We came together in late 2016 to addresses our shared needs and challenges and to advance both the work of our individual member networks and the overall concept of collaboration as a land stewardship tool. To this end we are currently focused on how to:
- Grow a community of practice among California’s land stewardship collaboratives;
- Serve as an ongoing forum to shape the future of collaborative-based landscape stewardship across the state;
- Provide increased opportunities for networking, connections, and information exchange among Network members;
- Identify and solve challenges to collaborative landscape-scale stewardship at the federal, state, and local levels;
- Identify potential funding sources including foundations, public funding, and philanthropy;
- Demonstrate the value of landscape stewardship collaboratives, and advance collective outcomes that encourage additional support;
- Articulate a framework and common vocabulary for land stewardship to increase awareness and appreciation of our work and to effectively articulate its value to funders, policymakers, and other key stakeholders; and
- Provide a virtual clearinghouse of best practices, agreements, and other resources.
To address these shared goals, we have formed a managing Core Team and subject-specific Working Groups.
Core Team members come from five of the founding Network collaboratives and include representatives from government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private consulting firms. This team facilitates the Network’s structure and governance and guides its work, growth, and evolution. It coordinates biannual convenings of all Network members, tracks progress toward shared goals and desired outcomes, oversees the development of specific products, and supports and coordinates the Working Groups.
Statewide working groups are addressing barriers to landscape-scale stewardship in four priority areas: Funding and Legislation, Communication and Convening, Permitting and Compliance, and Data Sharing.
- Funding and Legislation – Members research and share information about legislative solutions and examine grant opportunities, bond funding, or related policy to advance stewardship and conservation at the local, regional, and national levels.
- Communication and Convening – We are creating a common vocabulary, messaging, and communication tools to convey the need and urgency of this work, and the value, impact, and benefits of stewarding lands across boundaries.
- Permitting and Compliance – Network members are exploring ways to implement a more seamless approach to cross-boundary project permitting and compliance.
- Data Sharing – We are innovating cross-boundary data platforms and systems to promote efficient data sharing at a regional scale.
In addition to the topics currently being addressed by these Core Teams, other areas the Network plans to focus on include:
- Networking and professional development – including in-person convenings, webinars, peer shadowing, mentorship, and other ways to exchange information and expertise
- Knowledge and best practice sharing – including a list-serve and/or email newsletters, social media groups, webpages, and white papers, strategies, and case studies