The Collaborative Conservation Mapping Project

The goal of the Collaborative Mapping Project is to create a one stop searchable map and database of all the collaborative groups and collaborative support organizations in the western US. For definitions of collaborative groups and collaborative support organizations, see below. To accomplish this, a survey has been developed to ask questions on your organization. This information will be used to create keywords so that the organization can be searched for within the database and map. The goal of the project is to facilitate networking and shared learning between collaboratives, their support organizations, and those interested in these efforts. Members of collaboratives will be able to search across the region for other collaboratives, or groups with similar projects, so that they can learn from each other, and solve common problems together. This map will show the impact and extent of collaborative efforts across the west.

The collaborative mapping project is a joint effort between the Western Collaborative Conservation Network (WCCN) and the Southwest Collaborative Support Network (SWCSN), as well as other partners, listed below. The Western Collaborative Conservation Network is a network of community-based, conservation-focused collaboratives, focusing on forest, rangeland, and watershed conservation. The WCCN supports these community-based collaboratives across the west through engaging collaborative leaders with skills and tools, building funding capacity for these organizations, and supporting smaller, regional networks. Additionally, it hosts a yearly conference to facilitate networking and shared learning. The Southwest Collaborative Support Network (SWCSN) is a regional network of experienced facilitators in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Its goal is to identify needs of collaboratives in the region and to develop and share capacity-building lessons and resources.


The mission of the Southwest Collaboratives Support Network (SWCSN) is to transform how stakeholders work collaboratively to conserve, restore and sustain large landscapes and their natural and human communities through building capacity and peer-to-peer support among the facilitators and leaders that work with these collaboratives. The SWCSN is composed of experienced facilitators and coordinators who work closely with collaborative partners, funders, agency leaders, and community members to foment leadership skills that enhance effective collaborative practices.

The Western Collaborative Conservation Network (WCCN) brings together representatives of community-based collaborative conservation organizations across the western U.S. The mission is to promote and support efforts that strengthen and sustain healthy landscapes, vibrant communities, and thriving economies

The Center for Collaborative Conservation (CCC) helps create innovative and lasting conservation solutions for people and nature through collaboration. The CCC believes that a collaborative approach can better address contentious conservation issues by representing the diverse voices, diverse needs, and diverse challenges involved in conservation and livelihood decisions. The CCC is located at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the principal in-house research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Southwest Watershed Research Center (SWRC) is one of two ARS centers in Tucson, Arizona. SWRC scientists conduct research in collaboration with local landowners and ranchers, local government and organizations, university partners, other state, federal and international scientists and agencies. SWRC research ranges from understanding, describing, and modeling hydrologic processes to applications of technology at the field to watershed scale.

 Southwest Decision Resources

Arizona Cross Watershed Network

The New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute (NMFWRI) provides technical assistance and practical knowledge in forest, woodland and watershed restoration to landowners, managers and stakeholders, with the goal of reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfire and restoring healthy and sustainable forested ecosystems and restoration-based economies. The NMFWRI is located at Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM.

The Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) is an independent not-for-profit mountain research and education center established in 2002 in Silverton, CO. The MSI develops science that people can use to address environmental issues facing the San Juan Mountains. MSI staff conduct and facilitate research, provide educational opportunities and internships, and carry out environmental monitoring. The MSI connects scientists and stakeholders across the San Juan Mountain region to go beyond scientific inquiry to the meaningful application of knowledge that makes a difference for the quality of the environment and our communities.

RiversEdge West is a nonprofit organization based in Grand Junction, CO focused on riparian (riverside) forest and floodplain health in the American West. RiversEdge West addresses the impacts from invasive plant species such as Russian olive and tamarisk, challenges associated with increased drought and habitat fragmentation, and stressors that may result in diminished biodiversity. RiversEdge West provides credible information on the best  practices  and technical aspects of restoration and specializes in fostering leadership by bringing diverse stakeholders together across boundaries to coordinate restoration on riparian lands.


Collaborative groups are formal or informal organizations that: (1) have multiple partners/members/participants representing different organizations, agencies and/or interests, (2) share a conservation objective (managing natural resources, improving economic characteristics and/or community values), (3) have a geographic focus, (4) work across jurisdictions, (5) engage in a sustained process of interaction or consensus-building, and (6) self-identify as a collaborative of diverse stakeholders.

A Support Organization/Entity provides services that advance the organizational goals and functions of a collaborative group, either by participating directly in the collaborative in an advisory role or by engaging on specific or shorter-term projects. Services may include facilitating, training, mentoring, finance, capacity building, or technical expertise on issues of collaborative governance, organizational development and management, operations and/or strategies and tactics.


For questions about “Find a Collaborative” web map, contact Gerardo Armendariz (

For questions about the mapping project, contact Alan Barton ( or Joe Zebrowski (