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Haub School of Environment
and Natural Resources
Bim Kendall House
804 E Fremont St
Laramie, WY 82072
Phone: (307) 766-5080
Fax: (307) 766-5099

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming

Steve Smutko

Steve Smutko, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources

Associate Dean

Spicer Chair of Collaborative Practice

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources
Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Economics

(307) 766-2703  |  |  CV | Kendall House, Rm 202


PhD Economics, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University
Dissertation title: "An Operational Model of Regional Sustainable Economic Development."

MCRP (Masters of Community and Regional Planning), North Dakota State University
Thesis title: "Preservation of Migratory Waterfowl Habitat in North Dakota: Landowner Attitudes and Recommended Strategies."

BS Outdoor Recreation, Colorado State University

Background and Expertise

Steve Smutko is the University of Wyoming's Spicer Chair in Collaborative Practice and associate dean in the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. He has designed, convened, and facilitated numerous public policy decision processes on natural resources issues in the Rocky Mountain West and the southeast United States. Dr. Smutko also conducts research in collaborative decision-making and teaches courses in environmental decision making and negotiation analysis.

Classroom Teaching

ENR 3000 Approaches to Environment and Natural Resources Problem Solving

ENR/AGEC 4450/5450 Negotiation

ENR/AGEC 4550/5550 Negotiation Analysis

Selected Publications

Kern, M. A., and Smutko, L. S. Collaborative Governance: The Role of University Centers, Institutes, and Programs. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 39(1), 29–50. 2021.

Rashford, B.S., A. Mellinger Scott, L.S. Smutko and A. Nagler. Assessing Economic and Biological Tradeofffs to Target Conservation Easements in Western Rangelands. Western Economics Forum. 17(1): 8-22, Spring 2019.

Epstein, K., L.S. Smutko, and J. M. Western. From 'Vision' to Reality; Emerging Public Opinion of Collaborative Management in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Society and Natural Resources. 31(11), 1213-1229, 2019.

Bastian, C., C.J. Rhitten, B. Fuez, A. Nagler, and L.S. Smutko. Can Producers Bargain for Better Prices? Implications from Wyoming Focus Groups. 2018 J. of Am. Soc. of Farm Mgrs and Rural Appraisers, 29-42. 2018.

Stoellinger, T., L. S. Smutko, and J. M. Western. Collaboration through NEPA to Achieve a Social License to Operate on Federal Public Lands. Public Land and Resources Law Review, 39(1), 203-252. 2018.

Selected Public Policy Projects

Wyoming Public Lands Initiative. Assisting stakeholders across Wyoming to make decisions on future management and designation of Wyoming's Wilderness Study Areas and associated public lands. This effort is in support of the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI), a collaborative, county-led process intended to result in a statewide legislative lands package that is broadly supported by public lands stakeholders in Wyoming. Provided decision support, resource materials, and training to county commissioners and working groups. January 2016 – October 2018.

Western Governors Association Species Conservation and ESA Initiative. Assist the Western Governors Association and the Office of Wyoming Governor Matt Mead to design and facilitate a robust and bipartisan conversation regarding species conservation and the ESA. October 2015-present.

Pole Mountain Travel Management Process. Develop a public involvement program for the US Forest Service’s travel management planning efforts on the Medicine Bow National Forest. The focus of this project was to develop a pre-NEPA information sharing process that enables the Forest Service to develop a proposed action that incorporates the interests and values of stakeholders in the region.  May – October 2015.

Laramie County Control Area Steering Committee. Provide decision-making assistance to a committee appointed by the Laramie County (Cheyenne) Board of County Commissioners to provide recommendations to the Wyoming State Engineer on ways to reduce groundwater consumption from the High Plains Aquifer system. This high-profile, precedent setting project is the first of its kind in Wyoming and is a model for future groundwater regulatory processes in the state. December 2014 – March 2016.

Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee Public Listening Session. Designed and conducted public listening sessions on issues related to landscape-scale ecological management in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Jackson, WY March 2013, Bozeman, MT October 2014, Cody, WY April 2015.

The Wyoming Governor's Task Force on Forests.  Assisted the Wyoming Office of the Governor to design and lead a multi-party decision making process for developing policy recommendations for forest restoration in Wyoming's forests. Resulted in a set of consensus recommendations on issues as varied as biofuels production and use, roadless areas, enhancement of NEPA processes, and invasive species control. October 2013 – present.

Assessment of Issues and Stakeholders Related to the Stabilization of Oregon Inlet, Dare County, NC.  Conducted an assessment of the potential for a collaborative decision making process on issues related to stabilization of the Oregon Inlet in coastal North Carolina. Contracted with Dare County, North Carolina.  March – September 2013.

Public Participation in Forest Treatments in Teton Canyon, Wyoming.  Working with the US Forest Service, Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The objective was to create a pre-NEPA public involvement process for developing a preferred alternative for forest treatments and habitat improvement in Teton Canyon.  May 2013 – December 2013.

Brucellosis Issues in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.  The Ruckelshaus Institute, in cooperation with the National Wildlife Federation and the Murie Center initiated a project to reinvigorate interagency cooperation around Yellowstone Bison management and Brucellosis control with funding from the Ladd Family Foundation and the Turner Foundation.  The objective was to provide a neutral forum for federal, state, and tribal representatives involved in bison management and brucellosis control in the GYA to come together to take a fresh look at the situation, and re-launch their commitments to look for meaningful and effective approaches to manage bison in the GYA. The Institute planned, organized, facilitated, and summarized two inter-agency meetings. July 2011 – April 2012.

Upper Green River Basin Air Quality Citizens Advisory Task Force. Assembled and led 23-member task force of representatives of industry, community, local government, and conservation organizations. The purpose of the task force is to advise and make recommendations to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality on approaches to reduce winter time ozone levels associated with energy development in Upper Green River Basin Ozone Nonattainment Area.

Coalbed Methane Produced Water Permitting Strategy. Contracted with the Wyoming Dept. of Environmental Quality to design and conducted a collaborative decision process to develop recommendations on a new strategy for permitting water discharges from coalbed methane production wells. December 2009 – present.

For more information about Dr. Smutko's expertise, publications, and projects, please click here to view his CV.

Haub School of Environment
and Natural Resources
Bim Kendall House
804 E Fremont St
Laramie, WY 82072
Phone: (307) 766-5080
Fax: (307) 766-5099

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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