Searching for Local Solutions to forest health and job growth
Solutions for the ailing health of our forests and communities are achieved when people cooperate and figure it out together. That’s what the Southwestern Crown Collaborative is all about – local collaboration that gets the job done.
Our collaborative was stitched together by neighbors and new allies who saw a clear need to bolster rural economies and make our forests healthier in the long-term. Our partners work well together because they are pragmatic, value science, and work to engage a diversity of viewpoints. Our growing list of members and participants includes economic development firms, conservation groups, federal and state land agencies, timber groups, land trusts, and the University of Montana.
Residents of the Southwestern Crown of the Continent already have a rich history of working together. For years, partnerships between groups and individuals once at odds have been defining a new vision for success on the land. Whether it’s saving private timber lands to conserve Montana’s agricultural and hunting heritage or finding better ways of engaging the Forest Service to reduce conflict – folks have been pioneering solutions that are ground-up and that work for Montana.
Our group, the Southwestern Crown of the Continent Collaborative (SWCC) is the next big step in this journey. We began meeting regularly in July 2009 in response to the creation of a new forward-thinking program that promotes community well-being and forest restoration – the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Program. It took us a year to develop a comprehensive vision for the Southwestern Crown landscape. Now, with investments from the CFLR program and private match dollars, we have begun implementing a decade-long restoration strategy to achieve it.