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Abstract

Challenges to successful environmental management, such as costly litigation, planning delays, and contentious stakeholder relations, suggest a need for improved environmental governance. The need for improvement does not, however, in and of itself make a case for alternatives that engage diverse interests collaboratively in environmental decision making, commonly referred to as environmental conflict resolution (ECR). To better make the case for ECR and to understand what contributes to ECR success, a group of federal and state agencies developed an ECR evaluation framework. This article describes the evolution, structure, associated instrumentation, and current applications of this ECR evaluation framework.