Eight years ago, TLG’s Andrea Gumm was working in the Salt Lake Office, but was itching to make a geographic change. She loved her job and was getting great experience on some of TLG’s most exciting projects, and after extensive conversations with TLG’s fearless-leader Dan Adams, Andrea offered to move to J-U-B’s Pocatello, Idaho office. “You mean Boise, right?” Dan asked. “Nobody has ever requested to be sent to Pocatello!” With staff in Boise and in two other locations in Northern Utah, it felt like the right time begin a TLG presence in eastern Idaho.
A year after that conversation, in 2012, Andrea was setting up shop in J-U-B Engineers’ Pocatello office (TLG’s parent company), and already becoming involved tackling tough local issues while also managing projects and initiatives that brought the public along in community decision-making. In addition to supporting several of J-U-B’s engineering projects, a few of Andrea’s most memorable (and challenging!) projects have included:
- Idaho and National Laboratory Nuclear Clean-up Facilitation: Andrea is contracted with the Department of Energy (DOE) as the lead facilitator for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) Citizens Advisory Board (CAB). The CAB is a federally-appointed citizen panel that provides advice and recommendations to the US DOE. Andrea is responsible for consensus building and mediation to make specific recommendations for where federal dollars are spent on the Idaho Cleanup Project.
- Yellowstone Corridor Plan Update: TLG managed the public involvement effort for an update to the master plan for Yellowstone Highway, a vital transportation corridor in Bannock County, Idaho. Andrea and TLG created and implemented a process to solicit public feedback on current and future conditions of the corridor, and she worked with planners and engineers to help outline and detail potential improvements. Not only did this project include the use of traditional public outreach techniques (public meetings, mailers, stakeholder interviews, etc.), TLG worked with GIS experts to develop a web-based commenting tool to allow for online commenting and visualization of public comments. All of the feedback gathered was incorporated into the planning document and used to develop future plans and projects for Yellowstone Highway.
- Regional Wildlife Work Group Facilitation: Andrea facilitated meetings for IDFG’s Southeast Idaho Regional Working Group, a group comprised of hunters, anglers, trappers and other wildlife enthusiasts. This group, and other similar groups across IDFG’s seven regions, were tasked with developing a list of potential mechanisms to generate approximately $1 million in additional revenue for the state’s Wildlife Diversity Program. The group brainstormed potential funding mechanisms, prioritized ideas, and vetted the ideas through several facilitated discussions. Andrea also worked with participants to develop a comprehensive report of the group’s recommendations, and The Langdon Group was recognized with a 2013 Distinguished Service Award for their facilitation work.
Now, after six years, TLG’s Pocatello office has worked on projects all over eastern Idaho, and has given TLG a unique opportunity to support statewide public involvement efforts to Idaho agencies and organizations. With TLG still going strong in Boise, and Andrea in Pocatello, there was still one more part of the state that needed a little TLG love……