Warmly illuminated cliffs, birds, and rippling water at a beach at sunset
Patrick Smith

Resources Library

An Environmental Regulation Paradigm Shift: The Cutting Green Tape Story

California Landscape Stewardship Network
March 2023

A paradigm shift is inherently complex and difficult to achieve. It is particularly challenging within a layered, multiagency regulatory environment that has been built over decades. However, it can be done. This case study examines one promising example—Cutting Green Tape (CGT)—that not only aims to increase regulatory and permitting efficiencies, but also to shift our collective thinking about how multibenefit environmental restoration projects in California can happen.

The CGT case study allows us to explore the evolution and current status of a perceived paradigm shift. This case study’s researchoriented lens and consideration of Kuhn’s seminal work on shifting paradigms (1970) reveals CGT’s progression in a way that can be applied by a wide range of professional audiences. Insights are shared with those seeking to create such a shift within regulatory (or similar) contexts.

Findings indicate that a paradigm shift for environmental restoration work in California is indeed underway. CGT is moving into the final phase of a five-phase process (see Five Phases of a Paradigm Shift). Two of the four signs of a true paradigm shift (see Four Signs of a Paradigm Shift) have been fulfilled, and there are initial indicators of progress towards the third sign of change as well. However, while promising, CGT as a new paradigm (i.e., a profound change in approach or underlying assumptions) has yet to be fully realized.


Equity Leaders Speaker Series: Chanell Fletcher

Equity Leader Speaker Series: Chanell Fletcher
December 2022

On December 6, 2022, we were joined by Chanell Fletcher, Deputy Executive Officer for Environmental Justice at California Air Resources board. Over the course of an hour, Chanell and moderator Barb Kipreos talked expansively about working toward air quality standards and the need to orient toward justice.


Infrastructure and Climate Investments will Require Building Rural Capacity

Center for American Progress
October 2022

This brief article links to two October 2022 reports CAP issued that assess the ways in which missed opportunities in implementing federal resilience programs exemplify the challenges facing rural communities.


Cutting Green Tape Exchange Fall 2022

California Landscape Stewardship Network
September 2022

On September 7, 2022, the California Landscape Stewardship Network hosted the 5th virtual Cutting Green Tape Exchange. During two hours, we heard insights, updates and more on the Cutting Green Initiative from:

  • Welcome from lead facilitator Shawn Johnson (University of Montana)
  • Reflections on Cutting Green Tape from Wade Crowfoot (California's Secretary for Natural Resources)
  • Presenting the Hidden Hero Awards to Madeline Cavalieri (California Coastal Commission) and Jake Shannon (North Coast Regional Water Board)
  • SERP Program highlights and updates from Brad Henderson (California Department of Fish and Wildlife)
  • Practitioners' panel on SERP Program project implementation including Kristan Culbert (American Rivers), Kellyx Nelson (California Landscape Stewardship Network), and Jim Robins (San Mateo RCD)
  • News Announcement on the Programmatic USFWS Biological Opinion from Katie Haldeman (Sustainable Conservation) and Lee Ann Carranza (US Fish & Wildlife Service)
  • Discussing the Cutting Green Tape Case Study with Amy Mickel (California State University at Sacramento) and Sharon Farrell (California Landscape Stewardship Network)
  • Closing Reflections from Jennifer Norris (Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat) The Exchange was facilitated by Shawn Johnson, CLSN Steering Committee member and Director at the University of Montana's Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy.


Increasing Collaborative Capacity and Infrastructure for Landscape Stewardship

California Landscape Stewardship Network
August 2022

Most current natural resource plans and policies focus on the need for collaborative management. Indeed, the complexity and intersectionality of today’s biodiversity, environmental justice, and climate change challenges require collaboration with diverse governmental and non-governmental partners at many scales. However, multi-benefit, cross-sector, and cross-boundary collaboration is an emerging field, one in which practices continue to evolve. While California’s leaders have expressed strong support for collaboration, agencies and legislators are seeking to identify specific roles that the state and federal government can play to activate and sustain this work at a regional scale.This paper provides an overall approach as well as specific recommendations for how state and federal agencies can support the building and sustaining of local and regional collaboration necessary to advance landscape-scale stewardship.


What Does Collaborative Capacity Mean? Moving Toward a Shared Understanding

Collaborating Well
August 2022

Collaboratives continue to emerge as a viable and effective type of organization that can tackle today’s most complex problems. Collaboratives reflect the best qualities of formal and informal organizations — durable and adaptable. To optimize these qualities, their capacity needs must be met.  

The purpose of this research note is two-fold: 

(1)    to raise awareness that collaboratives (as a type of organization) have capacity needs just like all other enduring organizations, and
(2)    to help develop a common language and understanding of collaborative capacity and other relevant terms.


Forest Service Project Planning to Implementation

Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition
June 2022

Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition (RVCC) developed the following guidebook that charts the course of a Forest Service project, from planning through implementation. This document aims to help collaborative groups and other external partners better understand the full “lifecycle” of a Forest Service project and, in turn, develop a better sense for how and when to productively engage with various aspects of the agency’s work, including implementation.


Equity Leader Speaker Series: Geneva EB Thompson

California Landscape Stewardship Network
June 2022

On June 29, 2022, the CLSN continued its Equity Leaders Speaker Series with a visit from Geneva E.B. Thompson, Assistant Secretary for Tribal Affairs.


Mycelium Map: Healing Severed Connections for Justice & Equity in Landscape Stewardship

California Landscape Stewardship Network
June 2022

The Mycelium Map was first created for the Stewardship.2021 Spring Forum – a convening of the California Landscape Stewardship Network – to bring Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) principles into all scales of participation in the Spring Forum, from the individual, organizational, network, and beyond. Going beyond that point in time, the co-creators intend for the Mycelium Map to drive conversation, lead action, and increase connectivity across our field of practice, from regional, state, national, and international levels.


WSN Watershed Framework

Watershed Solutions Network
June 2022

California’s long-standing efforts to integrate at a regional and/or watershed scale reflects the importance and value of aligning human activity with natural systems. Multiple state programs were (and are) designed to incentivize watershed and/or regional scale collaboration, and we have many examples of strong collaborations that cross sectors and jurisdictions. Despite the incentives and efforts, full-scale watershed collaborations across jurisdictions and sectors have remained largely elusive. This framework reflects the participants’ commitment to finding an expedient path to cross-jurisdictional, cross-sector watershed scale coordination of management scale actions that builds on and connects the promising work already in progress.


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