Home | Stewardship Library | Forest Planning | Restoration & Collaboration | Newsletter | Stewardship Links Stewardship News | Contacts Directory | Links
The San Juan Public Lands Center, formed by the San Juan National Forest and the San Juan Resource Area of the Bureau of Land Management, increasingly are joining with area citizens, college professors, businesses, non-profit organizations, and local governments to learn how to become better stewards of public lands and natural resources associated with them.

Many in southwest Colorado believe that a collaborative process of sharing responsibility, learning, and doing hands-on problem solving is the best method to take on the challenge of change in these times of rapid social, cultural, economic, and  ecological change, when community and ecosystem sustainability and well-being are not assured.

What is Community-Public Land Stewardship?
The USDA Forest Service's National Collaborative Stewardship Team describes collaborative stewardship as "a process of scientists, government, and citizens working together to agree upon and attain goals and objectives that are environmentally responsible, socially acceptable, and economically viable." Beyond this definition, Community-Public Land Stewardship is demonstrated in many forms across the country. Collaborative by nature, stewardship occurs in national forest planning, in community-based forestry efforts, in sustainable tourism development in rural areas near public land attractions, and in historical preservation.

Community-Public Land Stewardship also depends upon the resources and expectations that participants bring to their cooperative endeavors. Partners contribute an array of expertise, such as the knowledge of ecology, funding in the form of grants, cost-shares, matching and in-kind services, project administration and consultation, technical assistance, facilitation and field coordination.


For public land managers, community-ecosystem stewardship is a style of public land management characterized by:

  • integrating scientific information with community knowledge; 

  • sharing power and accepting mutual responsibility;

  • sustaining long-term interdependencies of communities, economies, public lands, and cultures;

  • facilitating an appropriate integration of desired community and ecological futures;

  • refining and improving the integrity and effectiveness of future actions.

For community members, who often possess a wealth of knowledge about local forests, community-public land stewardship can be as simple as communicating with others about caring for the land and how they hope its use reflects their values.

For more information about Community-Ecosystem Stewardship, visit some of the Stewardship Web Links listed.

"In effect, we should be looking for a new relationship between government, science, and citizens that supports stewardship by people, rather than looking for more regulatory and decision making powers in government."

Gary McVicker, Aurora Partnership Meeting 

November 2000

Click Here For Full Text

stewardship Is

  • Collaborative planning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Collaborative deliberation
  • Inclusive & diverse
  • partnership & cooperative networks
  • Knowledge building
  • Draws from science
  • Ecological monitoring
  • Results-based on-the-ground forest restoration
  • Social monitoring
  • Economic monitoring
  • Values biological diversity
  • Understanding communities & ecosystems are interdependent
  • Public participation

Click Here!

How to Plan

and Conduct A Collaborative Meeting

(MS Word Doc)

OCS Home