Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Geography

Committee Chair

David Shively

Commitee Members

Matt McKinney, Sarah Halvorson


Collaboration, Conservation, Planning, Public Land Manager


University of Montana


Collaborative Conservation Planning (CCP) has proven to create solutions to challenges many Montana and Americans face with protecting or restoring their natural resources and rural lifestyles from previous non-sustainable land use practices and rural land development. This planning model has proven to be successful when organized groups consisting of multiple stakeholders come together to find common ground and address decreased biodiversity, fragmented habitat, threatened traditional farming, timber, and ranching rural lifestyles through open space protection and restoration efforts. The Public Land Manager’s (PLM) part in the CCP process is seemingly important because of their influence and the unique and diverse roles they play as a stakeholder. The planning processes and outcomes can be greatly affected by these factors. As PLMs become more engaged in these collaborative planning endeavor a better understanding is needed of the roles they play in such efforts. Therefore, this study investigates the various roles PLMs play in CCP in the context of three different conservation initiatives in Montana. These initiatives include The Blackfoot Challenge, The Madison Valley Ranchlands Group, and The Yaak Valley Collaborative Efforts. These three groups represent different ownership compositions of the land with which they are concerned. A qualitative approach is used in this research. Interviews were conducted with participants from each of the three collaborative groups. Through content analysis, different themes emerged that bring to light relationships between individual PLMs, what resources PLMs provide to collaborative initiative, agency structure, and the influence these three factors have on collaborative processes and outcomes.



© Copyright 2009 Lawrence Allen Byrd