Extension as a multilevel bridging organization: supporting networked environmental governance.
Governmental and nongovernmental actors at different spatial and jurisdictional levels have information that can benefit natural resources management; however, barriers in communication and organizational culture often prevent information sharing and joint endeavors. Bridging entities, such as task forces or working groups, bring together potential stakeholders to pool expertise and stimulate shared learning. Using a network survey, interview data, and meeting minutes, we constructed a case study of task forces convened to stimulate management of the emerald ash borer, an invasive wood-boring beetle. We found that coordinated action among university and county Extension catalyzed bridging through visionary program design and network positioning.