ADR Program

Finding a Neutral in Natural Resources Cases

A neutral third party, such as a mediator or facilitator, can often be helpful in preventing, managing, or resolving conflict. Neutral third parties can play a variety of roles, often facilitating discussions or negotiations, and generally managing process such that the parties can more effectively manage the content.  The ADR Program staff assist BLM staff in evaluating the need for a neutral third party and identifying a source.

External third parties are neutral individuals and organizations outside BLM that assist in conflict prevention, management, and resolution. Generally these neutrals charge a fee for their services.  In a conflict or dispute involving a BLM office, it is important that all parties involved have agreed on who will share in the costs for the neutral.  In some circumstances, the sponsoring BLM office will pay the fees; however, available funding may require cost sharing among other parties or offices.  The ADR Program staff can help BLM staff in determining which type of procurement mechanism is most appropriate for external neutral third parties.

A list of potential BLM-specific sources for neutral third parties in natural resources matters is provided below for informational purposes. To make the fullest possible use of these and other sources, BLM staff are encouraged to contact the ADR Program, whose staff members are knowledgeable about selecting and utilizing neutral third party services. The ADR Program staff can help by identifying a variety of options and make a selection that is tailored to individual or organizational needs. Individuals and offices that are considering the use of a neutral third party should contact us.


Resources for Finding a Third-Party Neutral

All BLM staff can obtain expert services in conflict or issues assessment, early public involvement activities, consensus building and ADR-based collaborative processes, and alternative dispute resolution processes. For more information on the Program and its staff click here.

The National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals is a source of information for identifying neutral third parties and matching them to appropriate disputes. The Roster is maintained by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, and it contains information on more than 150 individuals who have met certain qualifications with regard to experience in managing natural resources disputes. Anyone can access and search the Roster's database for appropriate neutral third parties. For more information on the Roster, click here.

A new and developing resource for those seeking assistance from a collaborative conflict resolution practitioner where American Indian, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian people and environmental, natural resource or public/trust lands (including cultural property and sacred sites) issues are involved. Network Members include American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other practitioners who work with Native peoples. Network practitioner members have experience with environmental, natural resource and public/trust lands issues as well as experience resolving disputes involving Native people or communities. For more information on the Network, click here.