The Forest Service cannot ask the Krause Basin Collaborative for group/consensus recommendations, only advice from individuals.
This is because the Forest Service is controlling the Collaborative, not the facilitator, and hence cannot ask for agreement or consensus without firstly convening a formal committee under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
This is to keep federal agencies from manipulating a collaborative, then turning around and claiming any consensus reached was independent of the agency. The FS's own direction on complying with FACA during collaboration states:
1. The FS "may NOT . . . Solicit consensus, agreement, or a common point of view from the public meeting that the agency manages or controls."
2. "Be clear that in public meetings controlled and managed by the agency that the goal of the meeting is to exchange facts or information and listen to opinions. Indicate that the agency cannot ask for agreement or consensus. Keep in mind that the individuals attending a meeting do not constitute a 'team'."
3. "The agency does not control or manage the contractor's [facilitator's] information, the group's membership, or sources of information except to establish by contractual terms what performance or results will fulfill the contract, including any limitations imposed by the agency. The contractor is the only point of contact with the agency."
The FS sought out particpants "commited to building consensus," assembled the Collaborative, and insists on overriding the facilitator and controlling what information it makes available to the Collaborative.
The upshot here is that the FS is refusing to acknowledge that its previous Forest Plan's Amendment 19 promised to close all of the trails in Krause Basin to motorized use and refuses to post those documents on its Krause Basin Collaborative web page. It is even refusing to post the 2017 Biological Opinion on its revised Forest Plan, which uses the same research benchmarks as Amendment 19, meaning that all trails in Krause Basin would need to be closed to motorized use to remove the ongoing harm to grizzly bears, instead promising a new Biological Opinion someday. See this email string for the details on why these documents are important to an informed plan for Krause Basin. Be sure to scroll down to get at the meat of the email string.
Now, the FS is proposing in its 2/16/22 virtual Collaborative meeting to break into small groups to determine "the 1-2 most important recreation issues in Krause Basin," in violation of FACA if the group's and not each individual's most important issues get reported.
In other words, the FS is manipulating the Collaborative to insure participants are not well informed of the FS's past promises to provide adequate wildlife security in Krause Basin and to bar discussion of those promises from the Collaborative.
That is like losing both legs in an auto acccident and having the insurance company say it would rather get a fresh start, can't pay you for your legs because you don't have any, and refuse to let you see the insurance policy that said you would be paid for the loss of your legs!
Participants should insist that their individual recommendations be recorded and respected, not morphed into specious group recommendations/consensus, and that they firstly be provided ALL of the information about the FS's past promises and management of Krause Basin.