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The JKA Group is an association of firms that use the principles of social ecology developed by James Kent and his associates beginning in 1967. The firms are:
James Kent Associates (Aspen, Colorado)
Social Ecology Associates (Ashland, Oregon)
Natural Borders. LLC
Institute for Social Ecology and Public Policy (Aspen, Colorado)
Foundation for Urban and Neighborhood Development (FUND),Inc. (Denver, Colorado)
The JKA Group has developed and refined a methodology over the past 30 years that assists a community and the proponent of an action to mutually benefit from proposed change. In more than 200 communities where we have used these techniques we have been able to prevent, manage, and/or reconcile disputes in a manner that has enhanced the quality of the community and the project.
JKA Group projects have included Environmental Assessments (EA), Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), public participation processes, and strategy implementation plans for proposed ski areas, resorts, airports, mines, housing projects, industrial parks, golf courses, power generating facilities, military installations, and river recovery, among others. The JKA Group pioneered the concept of community-based interpretation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) through creative use of the Policy Section 101 of NEPA. We have experience in implementing NEPA, Superfund, the Clean Water Act, and other federal and state environmental compliance laws.
Our experience has shown that most proposed projects that run into trouble, fall behind schedule, and generate community opposition may technically comply with the legal and regulatory requirements of their various local, state, and federal regulations. However, they often fail to discover the real issues existing in the community that are held by people who don't come to public meetings and are therefore excluded from the project design and review.
Through The Discovery Process (tm) project proponents come to understand that an informal, communication decision-making system exists in every community, and that all of the networks in every community carry issues. Some of these issues are not affected by the proposed action, but some are directly or indirectly affected. If the proposed action neglects to take this reality into account, the proposed projects can get bogged down or ambushed, often at the last minute. Even if the project is approved the results are often disastrous to the local culture of the community. The JKA Issue Management System (tm) takes these factors into account early in the process and creates an environment amenable to preventing and resolving conflicts in a culturally sensitive way.
The JKA Group has successfully used its methodology in a variety of urban and rural communities, including international settings. Key components are:
Use of a human-geographic mapping system. Present and historic settlement patterns are analyzed. Seven cultural descriptors are used to define and map cities, neighborhoods, villages, and rural areas.
Issue based management. Public issues are identified as emerging, existing, or disruptive. Issues can then be acted upon in a timely, appropriate manner to resolve emerging and existing issues and to prevent further disruption.
The process includes describing and understanding the ways in which public issues become formed. Of special importance is the access of informal channels of communication by citizens at the neighborhood level, not just depending on formal organizations and the media to provide information. Public issues that are discovered are linked to the informal networks that carry the issues for resolution.
This holistic system has worked in a variety of localities with different cultural, social, economic, physical, and biological conditions. Grassroots networks and natural helping systems are identified to provide information from the appropriate cultural perspective necessary for developing the strategies and policies of our clients.
Previous and current clients include:
United States Forest Service
Hawaii Electric Company
Bureau of Land Management
University of Hawaii
Environmental Protection Agency
The Applegate Partnership
United States Marine Corps
Upper Rogue Watershed Council
U.S. Agency for International Development
City of Medford, Oregon
Center for the New West
Rogue Valley Council of Governments
American Strategy Center
Oregon Department of Transportation
World Vision International
R. W. Beck
American Heritage Rivers
Morris and Knudsen
The New England Health Association
Aspen Skiing Company
Walt Disney Imagineering
DEC (Puerto Rico)
City of Grand Junction, Grand Valley, Colorado
The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
For more information please contact us at:
Post Office Box 3165, Aspen, Colorado 81612 . Phone: (970) 927-4424 . Fax: (970) 927-4443 . email@example.com
Post Office Box 3493, Ashland, Oregon 97520 . Phone: (541) 601-4797 . Fax: (541) 552-9683 . firstname.lastname@example.org
970 N. Kalaheo Blvd., Kailua, Hawaii 96734 . Phone: (808) 263-2422 . Fax: (808) 263-1242 . email@example.com
Creating Productive Harmony between Human and Natural Environment
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