Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies

Committee Chair

Len Broberg

Commitee Members

Len Broberg, Shawn Johnson, Hannah Jaicks


Collaborative conservation, working lands, Northern Rockies, large landscape conservation


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Studies


This paper explores the creation of a collaborative group that is being convened by Future West, a nonprofit organization based out of Bozeman, MT, to address issues surrounding the loss of ranchlands to alternative land uses in the Northern Rockies. Using literature and theory on collaboration this paper outlines a framework for the development of a collaborative group that includes seven ranchers as advisors to Future West in the development of their program. This framework includes the following elements:

  1. A survey that was administered to each participant to assesses their ability to represent their community, and to gauge their initial expectations towards participating in the group.
  2. Recommendations for process design including creating a shared sense of purpose, building relationships, addressing power dynamics within the group, establishing ground rules, recommended meetings topics, and incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Through this framework the group will explore the development of a credit-based program that will provide diversified income for ranchers to help them resist the need or temptation to sell or convert their property, and acknowledges the ecosystem services and ecological commodities ranchlands provide for local, regional, and global communities.



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