is an ongoing process
that uses public involvement to determine
the problemshed and areas you will address by communicating
with participants , core
team members , and decisionmakers.
Scoping looks at various perspectives to define the crucial
issues in your process, critical resources, and how the resources
and solution interrelate. This helps define your study
a scoping process and documentation, not just a scoping
Using specific scoping activities throughout
the process will help you stay on the right track and understand
the human environment. Remember, everyone associated
(all interested and affected parties) with your process needs
to participate in scoping--you need to involve them. Scoping
activities can be formal or informal. Put up notices for public
meetings and send letters to request input from government agencies
and partners. Talk to a wide variety of participants
: technical experts, other agencies, those on other projects,
etc., to get as broad a perspective as possible. The more they
share, the fewer the chances of overlooking critical information.
Local participation uncovers the unique, local aspects of the
action, while national and expert participation uncovers how
the action fits into an overall picture.
When you meet with these groups, avoid bias by asking questions
that get as accurate and comprehensive a picture as possible,
- Who do you think would be affected?
- Who do you think would be interested or might have information/data
relevant to this study?
- Are there key or influential individuals or groups that
should be contacted?
- What other activities could be affected by or affect
- Are we overlooking any concerns or issues?
- Does our proposed study boundary address the problemshed?
Is it too large? Too small? Why?
- Who are the decisionmakers?
What are their roles and involvement going to be?
Shape the decision process by categorizing all the data.
Your public involvement specialist could serve as a data coordinator.
He or she can categorize the scoping data, prioritize
what seems to be important, and present the findings to the
team. Cultivate core team members
who can ask the needed questions and put the answer into context.
Often, what seemed at first to be narrowly focused may take
on new, broader meanings when relationships are explored. This
process will help identify issues which are significant
and those which can be safely eliminated.
Look at the discussion of scoping in the NEPA compliance
handbook. Public involvement policy and directives as well as
discretionary guidance contains scoping report outlines and