Date of this Version
Utah has a 10-year history of local conservation planning for sage-grouse populations. The San Juan County Gunnison Sage-Grouse Local Working Group (SWOG) was formed in 1996 and completed a local conservation plan in 2000; the Parker Mountain Adaptive Resource Management Local Working Group (PARM) was established in 1998 and has been a model for sagegrouse conservation planning throughout the state. In July 2006, most of Utah’s 12 adaptive resource management local working groups completed local conservation plans for sage-grouse that address the unique issues affecting their respective areas. Each local working group is made up of diverse stakeholders including landowners, state and federal agency personnel, and nongovernmental organizations. This effort was achieved through the use of neutral facilitation and coordination provided by Utah State University Extension and The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Action Planning (CAP) process. We discuss how neutral facilitation and the CAP process contributed to the successes of local working group planning efforts and explore challenges faced along the way. Finally, we discuss the future of community-based conservation and Extension’s role in local conservation planning in the state of Utah.