About the Southwestern Crown Collaborative

Local strategies for healthy forests and healthy communities

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.

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. Our partners work well together because they are pragmatic, value science, and work to engage a diversity of viewpoints.  Our list of members and participants includes local and national conservation groups, federal and state land agencies, local citizens, and the University of Montana.

Alice Creek prescribed burn on the Lincoln Ranger District.

Alice Creek prescribed burn on the Lincoln Ranger District.

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.

Our process: Anyone can become a member of the SWCC.  The founding “charter” of the group identifies all that is necessary is a willingness to participate and attendance in at least two meetings prior to becoming a member. The SWCC Collaborative members try to make decisions by consensus.  The group typically uses a voting method where a “thumbs-up” (approve), “thumbs sideways” (approve with reservation), or “thumbs down” (disapprove) signals a member’s vote. A disapproving vote requires an explanation to the other members of the reason for the objection and a potential means by which the objection might be resolved. If agreement is reached, a memorandum summarizing the suggestion is written by one of the SWCC Co-Chairs and submitted to the appropriate Forest Service officials. If concensus cannot be reached, the discussion is tabled or all sides of the argument are presented to the Forest Service.