Policy Recommendations for Western Landscape Conservation
Anticipating the change in national leadership, and acknowledging a shift in values and political will, a group of scientists, policy experts, and students assembled at Northern Arizona University in the spring of 2008 to address key issues facing the West. We developed recommendations for three fundamental, interconnected policy areas to offer direct avenues for improving land, water, and resource stewardship across the West.
Our recommendations offer a starting point as we transition to new federal leadership and strengthen partnerships with the tribes, states, and private landowners. With careful deliberation and inclusive approaches to decision making, we can create a clear, practical agenda for the West. These goals are especially important now, in an era of rapid population growth, increasing demand for natural resources, and strained relationships among public and private actors — all unfolding in the context of climate change.
Water: Integrating water policies with conservation planning will ensure that environmental stewardship keeps pace with water’s increasing value.
Forests: An ecosystem approach to forest management will reduce conflicts and identify new avenues for restoration and conservation.
Tribal Partners: Throughout the West, landscape conservation efforts will benefit from a close collaboration with tribal governments.
Grounded in an expansive, landscape perspective, the recommendations presented on this website offer integrated solutions that cross political and geographic boundaries. These recommendations are intended to ensure that the West’s iconic landscapes and invaluable resources are protected and wisely managed — so that communities prosper and biological diversity flourishes long into the future.