Request for Proposals – Contracted Facilitator

West Virginia Rivers Coalition (WV Rivers) is looking to contract with a consultant to assist with design and facilitation of a public listening project relating to the future of West Virginia’s public lands. The consultant will drive a process of information gathering and fostering buy-in with stakeholders primarily around the conservation, use, and management of the Monongahela National Forest (“the Mon”). Information gathered in listening sessions will inform the creation and roll-out of a pro-active campaign. There will be opportunity for the contractor to remain on the project in for the campaign development and roll-out phase. 

Background: From 2013 through 2016, a coalition of West Virginia conservation groups collaborated on a campaign to create a national monument in the southern Mon. The proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument would protect the headwaters of six great river systems and the habitat of species vulnerable to the emerging effects of climate change, as well as elevate its outstanding outdoor recreation value. The national monument campaign stalled after the 2016 general election when it became clear that urgent action was needed to defend from a Trump administration drive to weaken the framework that protects federal public lands. Now we are at a new juncture to regroup on a pro-active effort, such as the national monument campaign. 

The process: Broad-based public support for a pro-active vision is necessary. The proposal will be organically developed from the ground up through a stakeholder process that identifies shared values. Care and attention will be given to the Mon’s gateway communities and the economic challenges they face. A genuine, inclusive process that brings in critical stakeholders from the start will be at the core of the planning work. These stakeholders include sportsmen and women, economic developers and small businesses, public health advocates, commercial lease holders in the forest, and others — in addition to traditional allies like conservation groups and outdoor recreation businesses 

We envision a two-phase planning process, including a quiet phase of fact finding, small group meetings, and plan development. This process requires specialized facilitation and communications. We seek to hire a contractor to serve as facilitator in this process, interfacing with communities, documenting input, and communicating back with stakeholders on the process as it develops. 

Ultimately, the desired outcome is a plan for West Virginia’s public lands, with a focus on the Mon, that reflects consensus across all stakeholders.  

Tasks will include (independently or in conjunction with WV Rivers staff): 

  • Creating relationships with stakeholders and points of contact that can help recruit people to participate in listening sessions. 
  • Designing, scheduling, and promoting listening sessions (likely designed as virtual sessions). 
  • Conducting listening sessions, and eliciting key information while ensuring that stakeholders are heard and respected.
  • Keeping session notes and processing input to inform a campaign plan.  
  • Working with the WV Rivers Campaigns Coordinator on any relevant follow up on high-priority issues that emerged during the listening sessions. 

Skills needed: 

  • Relationship building and management 
  • Charismatic in sharing ideas 
  • Dialogue and meeting facilitation 
  • Qualitative data collection 
  • Writing /synthesizing session notes 

Timeframe of engagement:  We expect to offer a one-year contract beginning in January 2021, based on a negotiated hourly rate with total compensation in the range of $10,000.  

How to apply: Please send a cover letter and summary of qualifications to Myia Welsh, Program Director at 

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