A key goal of this integrated project is to address capacity shortages and inefficiencies across the spectrum of Extension and community development approaches to farm, landowner, and local business impacts from energy development.

1. Inventory of existing extension activities and network strategy

Purpose: To identify the optimal ways to engage and assist extension and community development professionals working on issues related to oil and gas development.

Summary of Extension Inventory Findings - March 2016

Inventory of Oil and Gas Publications - March 2016

Inventory of Institutions and Researchers - March 2016

2. Capacity building for local governments and community leaders

Develop, execute, and assess a pilot educational program through the Oil and Gas Leadership Institute. The institute will provide an opportunity for local government officials, economic development professionals, and other stakeholders in community development to interact with specialists and technical experts representing different topical areas including economics, community development, investment and funding opportunities, and local impact mitigation options and solutions.

Communities in Action, Richland County, Montana

The research team has been working closely with Communities in Action, a network of volunteers, community leaders, and government representatives in Richland County, Montana. The goal of Communities in Action is to unite community initiatives, build connections between people and organizations, and prevent redundancy. Through their efforts, Communities in Action has helped mitigate negative impacts from oil and gas development.

To help support Communities in Action, the research team conducted a program evaluation of the group in 2016. The  evaluation and research process involved four discrete activities: a ripple effect mapping exercise with the current Communities in Action steering committee, stakeholder interviews with individuals with a prominent role in the Communities in Action process, Town Hall meetings to solicit community dialogue on current issues and feedback on Communities in Action, and document analysis focused on detailing the group’s history, process and achievements. Read the program evaluation report.