Tips for Building Relationships with Agencies
- Build one-on-one working relationships with key contacts in government. Relationships at the local level can create new opportunities and open doors for higher-level negotiations and successes.
- The openness of resource agency staff to collaboration often depends on the personality and competence of the individual in the position. Keep in mind that because of this, staff turnover can work for or against you!
- Learn about any constraints that resource agency staff may be under, hampering their ability to do their job as effectively as you’d like. While these constraints are sometimes a hindrance, they can also open up opportunities for collaboration.
- Educate and regularly update agency staff about your program or community’s priorities and activities.
- When possible, conduct joint patrols with resource agency compliance and enforcement staff to build relationships, share knowledge, coordinate efforts, and learn from each other.
- Develop protocols and procedures with agencies regarding how to report and follow up on compliance infractions.
- Where appropriate, participate in agency-led research and other resource management projects and invite resource agency staff to participate in your guardian and stewardship activities.
- Develop opportunities to participate in technical and professional training that is offered to agency staff.
- Host multi-agency meetings with on-the-ground staff at the beginning of each season. Find out what each other’s priorities are, where work plans overlap and how to communicate effectively throughout the season.
- Find ways to share data, observations, and other information both formally and informally.