U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
http://www.blm.gov
 
April 24, 2007
 
In Reply Refer To:
9210 (FA106) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 05/01/2007
Information Bulletin No. 2007-075
 
To:                   State Directors
 
From:               Director
 
Subject:            Earning Bridges
 
Each fire season, situations arise in which a partner or a neighbor feels alienated by how we manage a wildfire. When constituents become frustrated, we can find ourselves reacting to an incident within an incident. It is part of a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manager’s job to deal with these situations because, if ignored, they can cost the BLM heavily in terms of time, resources, and reputation.
In 2006, then BLM Director, Kathleen Clarke, asked for a “tool box” of strategies to help managers mitigate these situations before they occurred. Earning Bridges is the result.
 
Earning Bridges includes techniques, methods and ideas from the BLM units that have experienced significant success in creating the kinds of relationships with partners which anticipate and deal with problems before fires occur. This tool box contains useful tips, brochures, adaptable handouts and presentation materials for use in meetings with ranchers. It has resources to give to partners and neighbors to help them understand how and why the BLM fights fire the way we do. To make it credible, Earning Bridges was designed based on input from permittees in several states.
 
Most of all, Earning Bridges has been developed and written with District and Field Office managers’ needs in mind. Along with the public affairs staff, offices can—and should—adapt the materials to their local situation. This is not meant to replace the good work already being done; it is intended to give offices additional tools and strategies. Above all, this tool box is about building and maintaining relationships. Good managers earn trust and build bridges.  
 
Earning Bridges will be periodically revised to incorporate new ideas and new successes. The tool box will be sent separately. Ideas or more information about Earning Bridges is available through External Affairs at the National Interagency Fire Center.
 
I encourage you to examine and use Earning Bridges—especially if your office has regular fire activity and partners who may feel threatened by wildland fire. If even one potentially expensive problem is prevented, it will be well worth your time.
 
Signed by:
Authenticated by:
James M. Hughes
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Director
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
 
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Last updated: 10-21-2009