Cooperative Conservation describes the efforts of landowners, communities, conservation groups, industry, and governmental agencies who join together to conserve our environment. Through cooperative conservation, citizens from every walk of life enhance, restore, and protect lands, waters, air, and wildlife resources on public and private lands. Through cooperative conservation, citizens play a central and substantive role in the stewardship and governance of the environments in which they live, work, and play.
Cooperative conservation has as many faces as it does places in which it is practiced. Its principles are simple. It is voluntary and incentive-based: people associate together voluntarily to pursue common conservation goals. It rests on cooperation and collaboration: problems are solved by people working together. It is rooted in local action and reliant on local, experiential knowledge as well as science. It is non-partisan: cooperative conservation is the practical option to litigation and polarization that otherwise divide Americans. Finally, it is entrepreneurial: innovation and creativity by citizens is the engine that drives cooperative conservation problem solving.