What is shared stewardship?
Shared Stewardship is about working together in an integrated way to make decisions and take actions on the land.
While on its face, Shared Stewardship sounds like the traditional partnerships or collaborative initiatives that are very familiar to anyone working in Central Oregon. However, the Shared Stewardship approach is much more. The approach asks all involved to consider: “What additional opportunities for restoration might be addressed within this landscape? And which other potential partners should be invited to participate?”
Shared Stewardship challenges groups to engage in proactive planning and, in so doing, to identify a broader range of potential partners and to consider a wider array of conservation concerns. Partners work together to make decisions about priority projects and design, implement, and monitor work among multiple partners, across multiple jurisdictions, and address a wider array of conservation issues.
The Need for Shared Stewardship
Small, siloed restoration projects fail to address larger ecosystem needs, leading to a “Swiss cheese” approach to forest health in which a few small parts of the forest benefit but the larger block misses out. Busy resource managers and conservation partners work at the project-scale, without a means of coordinating or communicating about the bigger landscape picture.
Shared Stewardship solves that problem, by engaging multijurisdictional partners in proactively planning together at scale. Together, partners identify priority projects and strategically coordinate work to have the greatest impact.
The Central Oregon Shared Stewardship Alliance (COSSA) is the program created to support the principles of Shared Stewardship in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties.