Shared Stewardship

Contact Information

Contact PersonEmail
Courtney Schultz (P.I.), Colorado State
Jesse Abrams (co-P.I.), University of
Heidi Huber-Stearns (co-P.I.), University of

If you are involved with a multi-partner, cross-boundary land management project or effort and think it would be valuable to share lessons learned with others, please contact us! 
See our Project Overview and read below for more information.

A Review of the Forest Service’s Shared Stewardship Strategy

The Forest Service’s Shared Stewardship Strategy emphasizes partnership with the states, tribes, and other collaborators to identify priority areas for management, coordinate work across jurisdictions, and leverage diverse capacities. Since 2018, the Forest Service and states have been translating these principles into action, building upon existing state and regional efforts and partnerships.

We are conducting a longitudinal research project looking at perceptions of the Strategy and the nature of its implementation across states. In 2020, we conducted nearly 120 interviews across the Western US states and with national-level land managers and partners to understand how Shared Stewardship is being interpreted, what opportunities the Strategy presents, how its implementation is playing out across states, potential challenges, and needs for new organizational approaches to support successful implementation.

In 2021, we are conducting similar interviews in eight Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern US states with Shared Stewardship agreements. We are also developing case study research using in-depth research into specific Shared Stewardship projects and partnerships. Our goal is to highlight different approaches to Shared Stewardship across the country, including: how partnerships develop and evolve; the role of collaboration, science, and other factors in prioritization and decision making; which mechanisms, authorities, and policies facilitate and challenge cross-boundary work; and the range of issues being embraced with a Shared Stewardship approach, such as forest restoration, fire mitigation, recreation, habitat management, or watershed improvements.


Practitioner Papers

Kooistra, C., Schultz, C., Huber-Stearns, H., Abrams, J., Greiner, M., & Sinkular, E. (2021). Assessment of early implementation of the US Forest Service’s Shared Stewardship Strategy. Public Lands Policy Group Practitioner Paper no. 10. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.