Building Riparian Resilience through Collaboration
At the 2013 Restoring the West conference, Jerry Franklin spoke about restoring frequent-fire forests, and noted, “Collaborative groups may represent the most important interface between the American public and federal land management agencies.” The same holds true of collaborative groups focused on building riparian resilience. Five significant collaborations have been undertaken in Utah in recent years, focused primarily on the contentious issues of livestock and wild ungulate grazing, and/or aspen restoration. In four, consensus has been reached despite initial differences. The fifth consensus collaboration is newly-formed. Commonalities contributing to the success of these five collaborations will be examined in this presentation, as well as particular challenges. The Utah Forests Restoration Working Group, which developed recommendations for restoring aspen on national forests in Utah in 2012, is now beginning development of guidelines for restoration of woody riparian vegetation. The 2014 Restoring the West conference is timely for this collaborative group.