Importance of Large Landscapes
The most pressing political issues in the Rocky Mountain Region, from land and water use patterns, to biodiversity conservation, to sustainable economies, are shaped by forces which are much broader than traditional management schemes can account for. These forces include regional climactic shifts, burgeoning development around and between population centers, and differences in the management of natural resources beyond one agency's jurisdiction.
These problems must be addressed in ways that match their scale: hence, large landscapes. Due to the size and nature of these problems, they are well beyond the scope of any one entity to deal with. The goal of "large landscape" approaches is thus to work toward mutually beneficial goals for all stakeholders by breaking down traditional jurisdictional barriers. Such a breakdown is usually brought about through open and effective communication, integrative multi-disciplenary approaches, and an educated and politically active populace.
By examining issues of large landscape conservation, the State of the Rockies Project seeks to become an important piece in a network of managers, educators, researchers, and non profit groups, working to solve these complex and interconnected problems. In addition to the aid we can provide to those in the field, our goal is also to serve as an outlet for public learning, helping to create and sustain exactly the kind of knowledgeable and active citizens these problems require.
There can and should be a healthy debate about uses and management of public lands. The Colorado College Rockies Project supports and enables not only this debate, but also the continued improvement to our shared relationships with these Western lands.