Restoration Plan Process - A graphical representation of the process, described below, that TACF will take to develop a restoration plan for American chestnut.

The goal of the facilitated track meetings is to develop a catalog summary of suggestions and associated questions that must be addressed to develop a comprehensive restoration plan for The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF). This process is designed to ensure a bottom-up approach to our restoration plan development and fully consider the comments and recommendations of our partners and membership.

Each facilitated workshop will stick to a fairly rigid agenda to ensure that all necessary topics are covered. Getting too technically detailed too early in the process can, and will, restrict progress in the overall process. The specific agendas for the four different tracks are under development and will be posted here as soon as they are completed.

To accomplish the goal of cataloging suggestions and questions regarding TACFs next steps, there will be an initial set of facilitated track meetings followed by several rounds of review, analysis, and distribution. These tracks are set up to mimic the categories most directly related to TACFs science and structure and include: 1) TACF Internal track; 2) Breeding and Testing; 3) Reintroduction and Ecology; and 4) Development and Business. These tracks are more specifically described below.

The facilitated track meetings will provide an open platform to present ideas and pose questions to help TACF develop our restoration plan. These meetings are designed to allow for presentation of ideas in an open and professional setting. The merits of ideas and suggestions provided are not open to full debate during these workshops. Such a process will allow TACF to better learn about and document all the questions, concerns and suggestions for developing the plan. Because no debate will occur during the meetings themselves, subsequent analysis, review, and meetings will be necessary to fully evaluate and prioritize the initial data, suggestions, and questions gathered during the first round of workshops. Figure 1 shows an outline of the proposed planning process (To be posted soon!).

TACF developed an early iteration of the Restoration Plan and presented this at the April, 2010 Board of Directors meeting. This early draft offered some key recommendations for TACF to move forward with our restoration activities, but the early draft also generated numerous questions and suggestions. The early draft is not an adopted plant but a working document only and is provided for discussion purposes. Our current planning efforts are designed to expand the early draft and develop a comprehensive plan that addresses the many aspects of restoring the American chestnut. TACF's planning process is broken into four different topic areas, or "tracks." Each track is open to any and all interested participants. The tracks include:

TACF Regional Meetings - TACF will host one-day facilitated workshops in four regions: Southern Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic, Northern Appalachian and the New England region. These workshops are open to any interested TACF member and partner. The goal of these meetings is to develop the following: 1) identify areas of agreement over a restoration plan, 2) identify areas of disagreement over a restoration plan, and 3) develop a list of questions that TACF and our partners must address as we develop this plan. These recommended ideas will be documented for inclusion into the restoration plan.

Breeding / Testing - Initial facilitated workshop will likely include 1) a review current science programs and activities that would include Phytophthora work, CMS, and NY biotech program, state-level backcross program, etc., 2) establishing concepts for breeding program going forward, 3) providing strategies for incorporating biotechnology to advance breeding program, and 4) developing a list of strategies for test plantings including metrics to measure performance. This workshop may require more than one day.

Reintroduction / Ecological - TACF will host a one-day workshop to develop concepts and questions that deal with the actual on-the-ground planting of chestnuts. This track will focus on developing and addressing a variety of concepts such as: identify partners to assist with on-the-ground efforts, identify areas of ecological and silvicultural research necessary to out plant trees, methodology to track and monitor reintroduction, identify partners/cooperators to grow out seedlings, determine protocol for site selection, etc.

Development / Business - To implement our restoration plan, TACF must establish a sustainable and robust business plan to support implementation. TACF will host a one-day workshop to present ideas and concepts that should be considered within the restoration plan to generate the funding and logistical support necessary to fully implement the plan. This workshop will generate a list of strategies to support the restoration plan and develop a list of questions that should be evaluated during the development of the plan. This workshop will also develop a list of concepts for TACF to consider in developing future communications and marketing strategies.