Stitching the West Back TogetherConservation of Working Landscapes

Stitching the West Back TogetherConservation of Working Landscapes

Susan Charnley, Thomas E. Sheridan, and Gary P. Nabhan

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780226165684

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Contradictory land management policies dating to the mid-19th century resulted in today’s patchwork of public, private, and tribal land ownership and land use in the American West. Such boundaries create challenges for maintaining undeveloped, ecologically healthy working landscapes such as forests and ranchlands. Resource agencies, people who make their living off the land, environmentalists, developers, and recreationists frequently find themselves at odds over land-management decisions. However a movement toward collaborative conservation has resulted in communities working together to find solutions that respect all the parties involved. Policies and programs such as conservation easements and estate taxes can help or hurt efforts to conserve and maintain working landscapes and their biodiversity, and developing concepts, such as payments for ecosystem services, show promise as the basis for new policies. Numerous case histories illustrate how individual communities have approached their particular challenges of protecting forest lands and ranches to sustain their ability to support the local economy while also protecting the environmental resources. Implementing a variety of approaches for land conservation and economic sustainability, with flexibility to modify them, improves the likelihood of success. As well, local involvement, inclusion of all parties in decision-making, long-term commitments by agency personnel, and willingness to innovate and adapt to changing circumstances contribute to the movement that is stitching the West back together.

Table of Contents

1 A Brief History of People and Policy in the West

Thomas E. Sheridan and Nathan F. Sayre

2 Status and Trends of Western Working Landscapes

Susan Charnley, Thomas E. Sheridan, and Nathan F. Sayre

3 The Biodiversity That Protected Areas Can’t Capture

Gary P. Nabhan, Richard L. Knight, and Susan Charnley

4 Beyond “Stakeholders”and The Zero-Sum Game

Thomas E. Sheridan, Nathan F. Sayre, and David Seibert

5 The Quivira Experience

Courtney White

Spotlight 5.1 Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished Livestock Production

Gary P. Nabhan, Carrie Balkcom, and Amanda D. Webb

6 Place-Based Conservation Finds Its Voice

Maia Enzer and Martin Goebel

7 Swan Story

Melanie Parker

9 Stewardship Contracting in the Siuslaw National Forest

Shiloh Sundstrom and Johnny Sundstrom

10 Lava Lake Land & Livestock

Michael S. Stevens

10.1 Country NaturaL Beef

Susan Charnley and Sophia Polasky

11 Conservation And Development at Sun Ranch

Roger Lang, William H. Durham, and Josh Spitzer

Spotlight 13.1 Ranching and The “Death Tax”

Thomas E. Sheridan, Andrew Reeves, and Susan Charnley

14 Payments for Ecosystem Services

Gary P. Nabhan, Laura López-Hoffman, Hannah Gosnell, Josh Goldstein, Richard Knight, Carrie Presnall, Lauren Gwin, Dawn Thilmany, and Susan Charnley

Conclusions and Policy Implications

Thomas E. Sheridan, Gary P. Nabhan, and Susan Charnley