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The Role of Land Trusts in Landscape-Scale
Collaborative Initiatives


A thesis completed for the School of
Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan
Margaret Macdonald
Advised by Professors Donna Erickson and Steve Yaffee
April 2002




Over the last ten years, the number of landscape-scale collaboration initiatives involving landtrusts and both public and private partners has increased. Given that the success of local land trusts depends in large part on their grassroots origins and connections, why are these organization joining together to create large-scale regional initiatives? What challenges are they facing in these efforts? Do the benefits of working regionally outweigh the costs? In order to explore answers to these questions, original data were gathered through through interviews with executive directors or key staff emmebers of five landscape-scale collaborative initiatives. Case studies included: The Bay Area Open Space Council (California), The Mississippi Blufflands Alliance (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa), The Michigan Dune Alliance (Michigan), The North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership (Massachusetts), The Northern Rockies Initiatives (unofficial name) (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, British Columbia and Alberta).


The project is available in PDF format by individual chapters and subsections. To download the entire report, click here.




Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction


Chapter 2: Methods


Chapter 3: Summary of Case Studies


Chapter 4: Why Collaborate?


Chapter 5: Factors Contributing to the Success of Collaborative Efforts


Chapter 6: Challenges of Collaboration


Chapter 7: Potential Future Changes


Chapter 8: Conclusions and Recommendation


List of Figures






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