ELI Primary Menu

Skip to main content

Working Landscapes: The Future of Land Use Policy?


December 8, 2014


Washington, DC (and via telecon/webinar)

An ELI Research Seminar

The history of land use in the American West has traditionally been one of conflict, but the divisive relationships between ranchers, foresters, land management agencies, recreational users and conservationists are transforming. Grassroots coalitions have developed among unlikely allies. Together, they are advocating for management approaches that incorporate local knowledge, community needs and sound environmental stewardship. This “collaborative conservation” is especially appropriate for promoting the conservation of working forests and rangelands, which are critical for maintaining the ecological and economic health of rural communities and landscapes in the American West.

Recognizing this revolution in land management, a group of scholars, agency staff, land owners and managers, and leaders of community-based conservation groups compiled case studies, thoughtful observations and policy recommendations in a new book, Stitching the West Back Together. The authors discussed the history of western land use, the rise of collaborative conservation and creative strategies that western landowners and collaborative groups have used to conserve working landscapes where they live.

Our panel included editors of Stitching the West Back Together, government, and stakeholder group representatives who provided a dynamic overview of the issues. Particicpants learned about the conservation of working landscapes and what the movement means for land use in the West and across the United States.

Marc Miller, Dean & Professor of Law, University of Arizona, College of Law, Editor of Summits: Environmental Law & Policy Series (moderator)
Susan Charnley, Ph.D., Research Social Scientist, U.S. Forest Service, Editor of Stitching the West Back Together
Jim Lyons, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Department of the Interior
Tom Martin, Chief Executive Officer, American Forest Foundation 
Christy Plumer, Federal Lands Program Director, The Nature Conservancy
Thomas E. Sheridan, Ph.D., Research Anthropologist & Professor, University of Arizona, Editor of Stitching the West Back Together

If you are an ELI member and are logged onto the Members site, you will see below links to event materials. If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like these, see the bottom of the page for a link on how to join.