Atlas of Collaborative Conservation in Colorado

Updates: If you are interested in participating in the survey on conservation collaboratives in Colorado, please click here to confirm that your collaborative group is listed. If your group is not listed there, click the link within the document to email Ch’aska or send a note to


Colorado has experienced a groundswell of place-based and bottom-up approaches to tackle complex conservation problems, but no one has attempted to track the progress of this movement and its outcomes across different natural resource issues.Participants in collaborative initiatives have told us that they learn a great deal when they exchange ideas and stories with other practitioners, but that they often don’t even realize there are other groups working on similar problems and facing similar challenges. The CCC is addressing this gap with the Collaborative Conservation Atlas, an open atlas of ‘who is doing what, where’ in collaborative conservation that facilitates networking, partnership opportunities, and collaboration.  


  • Identify and systematically describe collaboratives in Colorado to gain a better understanding of their experiences

  • Create opportunities for diverse collaborative initiatives to share their accomplishments, challenges, lessons learned, and models of collaboration with other initiatives, land managers, decision-makers, and the interested public. Each year, graduate students in our Collaborative Conservation class work with initiatives in the region to develop a descriptive situation assessment report. Over the past 4 years we've generated 16 reports for forest, range, energy, and watershed collaboratives. If you're interested in working with us, get in touch! See an example of a descriptive situation assessment and report !

  • Design tools to meet the specific needs of different models of collaboration

If you're interested in learning about the collaborative initiatives in our database, please email


Explore Further Topics

The Survey: Gathering information on the collaboratives in Colorado - fall 2016

Collaboration is a widely used tool to bring groups together to conserve and manage Colorado’s forests, waters, biodiversity, energy resources, rangelands and agricultural heritage. We use this tool because it’s often the only way to conserve or manage resources (like water, weeds) that cross ownership and administrative boundaries, but one size does not fit all.

The Collaborative Conservation Atlas is now locating and describing the many diverse and innovative collaborative initiatives across Colorado. We want to know how different environmental issues shape participation, process, adaptability, and outcomes of initiatives. This research will generate a report about the Atlas in 2017 and will help us tailor the tools generated by our Practice Program to meet the unique needs of different groups.

So far we have identified over 130 initiatives working on many different issues in many different regions of Colorado.  These initiatives bring together participants from multiple sectors with diverse perspectives. They generally involve a long-term process through which people pool resources to solve shared problems. If you are involved in a group like this, we need your help! We are trying to find as many of these groups as possible, both active and inactive. Check our list of initiatives to make sure we haven’t missed your group or a group you know by clicking here.

We have found a lot of information online, but many groups lack a consistent online presence. Help us find the most up-to-date information, such as:

  • maps, goals, charters, MOUs, reports, articles, 
  • participant lists: we are focused on the organizations represented by members, not individuals.
  • other resources to help us piece together the story of your initiative!

 We will be launching a statewide survey targeted at leaders of collaborative initiatives in the fall of 2016, so verify your contact information and stay tuned!

Criteria for participating in the survey - Does the group:

  • Involve citizens, landowners, and/or local community groups?

  • Include at least two additional kinds of stakeholders representing some combination of organizations, government agencies, businesses, special districts, or interest groups?

  • Involve a sustained process of interaction or consensus building lasting at least two years at some point(s) during its history?

  • Address issues related to environmental policy or management?

  • Pool resources and assets to solve shared problems?

To participate or learn more about our study, contact Ch’aska Huayhuaca, Program Coordinator.  (970)491-3983,

Resources for Collaboratives

Included here are resources that may be useful to collaboratives or those interested in learning more about collaborative conservation in Colorado and around the world.

Stakeholder Analysis Tools

Upper South Platte Partnership Collaborative Watershed Assessment Report