We focus on a number of program areas of interest to private landowners in the Alliance region.
Keeping lands open and intact is important, but the management of these lands is also critical. The Alliance assists landowners in meeting their land, water, and wildlife habitat objectives by coordinating stewardship or research efforts across boundaries, providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and technical resources, and connecting landowners and agricultural producers with funding opportunities. We also address potential threats to ecosystem health, such as poorly sited oil and gas development, climate change, or public policy that impedes responsible private land stewardship. With all our on-ground work we seek to integrate education and economic development objectives out of a recognition of the importance of informing each other, communities, and youth, and the opportunity to support a natural resources based economy in our rural region. We also address policy barriers and opportunities to improve private landowners' ability to steward their resources and care for our common resources across public lands.
forest and watershed health
The Alliance is working to build resiliency in the San Juan – Rio Chama Watershed region of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Our primary resource concern is water availability and water quality degradation due to decades of fire suppression resulting in overgrown forests that are susceptible to catastrophic fire outside the natural range of variation.
wildlife and fisheries
Land health and wildlife survival are dependent on the ability of wildlife populations to move across the landscape. In the Alliance region, this is particularly important as wildlife roam from the high elevations in summer to the lower elevations for winter.
climate and water
A key component to any resilience strategy is addressing the affects of climate change on land and water management well into the future. Climate model predictions for the region indicate that expected trends include warmer temperatures resulting in more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow, an increase in frost free days, and a much higher climatic moisture deficit that could result in tree mortality, especially at higher elevations.
One of the greatest threats to the region environmentally, economically and in quality of life is unplanned energy development. Alternatively, responsible energy development can provide economic benefits while also protecting important community values such as water, wildlife, cultural areas, and irrigated agriculture.
education and economy
Education is vital to advancing our collective understanding of and vision for land health and sustainable economic development. Through education, we can bridge traditional divides, provide opportunities for youth to engage directly with their surrounding landscape, and support local economies through rural development and poverty alleviation.
public policy for conservation
The most biologically diverse and ecologically important lands in the west are largely in private hands, yet the voice of conservation-oriented private landowners is noticeably absent from many public policy forums at all levels of government.