Conflict Resolution Week in Wyoming
This week, the Wyoming Agriculture and Natural Resources Mediation Program joins mediation programs and organizations across the nation to recognize Conflict Resolution Day. Designated for Oct. 19 by the Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR), Conflict Resolution Day seeks to recognize the role that mediation, facilitation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can play in resolving conflicts peacefully. We also use the day to promote the use of ADR in schools, families, businesses, communities and governments around the country.
In Wyoming, the Agricultural Mediation Program is hosting the following webinars and workshops to help promote the use of mediation and ADR across our state.
Oct. 16 – Webinar: Identifying and Framing Issues in Mediation – Fine tune your mediator skills in identifying and framing issues. From the questions we ask to the words we speak, how do we help parties look at a situation in a new light and move towards agreement?
Oct. 18 – Webinar: ADR in Wyoming – We’ll give an update on where ADR is being used across our state, programs that are available, how to request assistance and more.
Oct. 19 – Expanding Your Mediation Skillset Workshop, Cheyenne
Oct. 20 – Expanding Your Mediation Skillset Workshop, Jackson – Topics for this one-day workshop include mediation demonstration, opportunity practice skills, difficult mediations and ethical scenarios, toolkit for advertising your mediation services and more.
The webinars are free and will be recorded and available for viewing at a later date if you aren’t able to attend on Oct. 16 or Oct. 18.
The in-person workshops are $25 per person, with lunch and materials included in the registration costs. More information about all of the programs can be found at wyagric.state.wy.us/divisions/nrp/mediation-program.
The Mediation Program offers services to Wyoming’s agricultural producers and natural resources managers.
In the past year, we have provided mediators for ag family estate planning discussions, farm credit issues with private lenders, farm landlord/tenant conflicts, energy development on private land, workplace disputes and neighbor versus neighbor conflicts regarding shared fences, roads, trespassing livestock and water access.
The program is also available to mediate issues that result from adverse decisions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Examples include grazing permit reductions or terminations, Conservation Reserve Program designations, denials of farm loan applications or loan accelerations, crop insurance disputes and more.
Although it may not be appropriate for every conflict, mediation can be a viable tool to help parties resolve disputes in a lot of different circumstances. The Mediation Program can help you decide if the process is right for you. In Wyoming, mediation is confidential and voluntary. Parties are not required to come to an agreement and participating in mediation doesn’t prevent parties from pursuing the legal process or other avenues available to them. Mediation sessions generally take place within one month of receiving a request and mediators are located around the state.
Along with this, the Mediation Program also offers technical review teams (TRT) to help resolve disputes related to grazing permits on public lands. Any individual who has a permit or lease on grazing land administered by a federal agency can ask for assistance when a dispute arises over a grazing allotment or permit. Disputes can be on grazing allotments administered by the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.
Each TRT includes three or four members who are scientists with technical expertise in a specific area, particularly range management, water, wildlife, livestock management and more. Permittees may request assistance either before or after the federal agency has rendered a decision. However, if assistance is asked for after the agency has provided notice of an adverse decision, there are strict timeframes that have to be followed.
For more information on the TRT process, visit the Mediation Program’s website at agriculture.wy.gov/divisions/nrp/mediation-program and scroll down to “Technical Review Teams.”
There are a few other programs offering ADR services around Wyoming. In Teton County, University of Wyoming Extension Center for Resolution offers mediation for small claims court disputes. For more information, contact Mary Martin at 307-733-3087 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with this, the state of Wyoming offers a peer mediation program for workplace disputes between employees of state agencies. Some federal agencies offer mediation for employment conflicts, and some attorneys around the state provide mediation services for divorce and custody disputes, business conflicts and more.
If you are interested in developing your own conflict resolution skills, the Mediation Program conducts training several times a year in mediation, communication, conflict management and more. If you’d like to be added to the training e-mail list, contact me at email@example.com.
When your next dispute or conflict arises, consider using ADR to help resolve it. Mediation and other ADR processes are growing in Wyoming and there are organizations and mediators around the state ready and willing to help.