The Owl Mountain Partnership is a prototype for ecosystem management in North Park, Colorado. The mission statement of the Owl Mountain Partnership is to serve the economic, cultural, and social needs of the community, while developing long-term landscape management programs, policies, and practices that ensure ecosystem sustainability.
To develop adaptive long-term lanscape management programs, policies and practices that ensure ecosystem sustainability while also serving the economic, cultural and social needs of the community.
The OwlMountain partnership developed five fundamentals of ecosystem management:
Fundamental 1: Increased trust must be developed between local stakeholders and all levels of government.
Fundamental 2: Ecosystems allow harvest and use of appropriate natural resources on a sustainable basis.
Fundamental 3: Local people being affected must be involved and empowered to make decisions and implement actions that will contribute to sustaining the social, cultural, economic and ecological systems on which they depend.
Fundamental 4: Environmental education is a crucial element of management because it is a process of mutual learning about interactions and interdependence of socio-cultural, economic and ecological systems that support mankind.
Fundamental 5: Issues that drive an ecosystem management effort must, in large measure, originate from the community's grass roots, where a sense of place and community ties to a natural world are best expressed.
The Owl Mountain Partnership is one of those few exceptions of on-the-ground ecosystem management. The partnership is defining how ecosystem management can work -- managing land and its resources in a healthy, sustainable manner to provide social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits for all stake holders on public and private lands.
The main focus of the partnership is to create and implement a local land ethic, showing that local citizens can responsibly manage their resources on a sustainable basis. This in turn, will help to reduce the need for additional laws and regulations.
North Park ranchers were skeptical when they first heard government resource managers talking about "ecosystem management" as a new way of resolving resource conflicts on public and private lands in Colorado.
The idea was to bring together eight government agencies as "partners" with local landowners to tackle mutual problems, such as livestock grazing on public lands, elk damage to private property, declining sage grouse populations, degrading waterfowl habitat, water quality, and noxious weeds.
Thanks to grass-roots local participation, the Partnership quickly began to tally a list of on-the-ground accomplishments, notably land management practices.
Upcoming OMP Meeting:
Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 4pm
USFS Building in Walden
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