Shared Stewardship Across the Rocky Mountain Region

Across the Nation, managers and owners of forests face urgent challenges, including catastrophic wildfires, degraded watersheds, invasive species, drought, and epidemics of forest insects and disease. Fire seasons are getting longer, and wildfires are increasing in size and severity. Our communities and natural resources are increasingly at risk, and firefighter safety is being challenged more each year. Our treatments, and those of other federal, state and local land managers, must increase in coordination, speed and scale to match the immensity of the problem.

Shared Stewardship encourages us to work more deliberately with our neighbors and partners to expand forest restoration and treatments across boundaries, resulting in a more resilient landscape. This approach will identify and prioritize management needs and investments to achieve the landscape-level outcomes desired by all.

Shared Stewardship is an invitation to states, tribes, local governments, partners and stakeholders to set landscape-scale priorities, leverage resources, and work across boundaries to improve forest and watershed conditions and protect communities.

The U.S. Forest Service is working with states in this cross-boundary approach to improve forest conditions across Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Visit the national Forest Service Shared Stewardship site for more on this approach nationwide.


Shared Stewardship is a strategy that builds on cross-boundary successes achieved through various means authorized under different laws and implemented through different programs and partnership projects.

The U.S. Forest Service and its partners use various tools to get work done on the ground. An authority—which is public law—is the legislation that allows the Forest Service to commit resources and funding to a project. An instrument—which comes in the form of a grant or agreement—is the formalized document or arrangement that defines rights, duties, entitlements and/or liabilities. Here are some of the common authorities and instruments we use.

  • Wyden Authority: The Wyden Authority allows the Forest Service to conduct restoration work through cooperative agreements on non-federal lands if the work provides tangible benefits to watersheds on public lands.
  • Good Neighbor Authority (GNA): Good Neighbor Authority provides the Forest Service a simple, straightforward tool to collaborate with state, tribal, and local governments to carry out restoration projects on national forests and grasslands.
  • Stewardship Authority/Agreements: A flexible approach to implementing natural resource stewardship projects on federal lands.
  • Tribal Forest Protection Act (TFPA): Through the Tribal Forest Protection Act, eligible tribes may propose a specific project to the Forest Service that addresses a resource concern originating on federal lands but impacting adjacent tribal trust land or tribal communities.
  • Farm Bill Insects and Disease Authorities and Wildfire Resiliency: The 2014 Farm Bill provides several important tools to accelerate forest restoration within the priority landscapes
  • Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program: This program encourages the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes.
  • Joint Chiefs Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership: The goal is to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet through a partnership between the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service. The program enables federal, state, and local partners to work across boundaries and jurisdictions to accomplish joint management goals at a much larger scale.
  • Western States/Wildland Urban Interface: National Fire Plan funds to mitigate risk from wildland fire within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) are available and awarded through the Western Fire Managers competitive process within the 17 western states and Pacific territories.
  • Hazardous Fuel Reduction Grant: Hazardous fuel reduction on non-federal lands to protect communities adjacent to National Forest System Lands with similar mitigation actions
  • Landscape Scale Restoration (LaSR) Grant: Intended for implementation of watershed level, forest-based projects and activities which address the three state and Private Forestry national themes: conserve and manage working forests, protect forests from threats, and enhance public benefits from private forests.

Complete list...


Explore our completed stewardship projects and discover how the Rocky Mountain Region is working with states to address land management challenges and set landscape-scale priorities that will lead to the right treatments in the right places.

  • RMRI


    A collaborative of +40 Partners increasing pace and scale of stewardship work across 3 large landscapes in Colorado.

  • Wilder-Highlands

    drone footage pine beetle response project

    This project is an urgent, holistic forest management project on National Forest System and private lands in the Colorado Rockies.

  • Joint Chiefs'

    Joint CHiefs' Landscape restoration Pratnerships

    This unique partnership combines the USDA's Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service to improve the health of forests where public forests and grasslands connect to privately owned lands. Projects are ongoing in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.



    The purpose of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) is to encourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes. Projects can occur in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

More Shared Stewardship work in the Rocky Mountain Region…


Regional Forester, Rocky Mountain Region

Shared Stewardship is a way of doing business and approaching landscape needs to manage these problems. How? Through better coordination and collaboration by all those affected, including people like you! Shared Stewardship brings together national, regional, state, tribal and local players to plan together, prioritize together and act together. The Rockies thrive when its people take pride in the land.