In this article, I explore the distinctive characteristics of landscape-scale collaboration in the context of forest resource management in the United States. The United States (US) is experiencing a significant increase in acres burned by wildfire in the wildland-urban interface zone, exacting a heavy toll on human life, health, property, and livelihoods. The US Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Program demonstrates an effective approach to reducing risk of catastrophic wildfire through collaborative forest restoration work at the landscape scale. This is the first in a series of articles building toward a grounded theory to guide development of the capacities needed to collaborate at this scale. The study is based on thirteen interviews and nine focus groups with CFLR Program participants. This article addresses the research question: What is unique about collaborating at the landscape scale? Findings include five characteristics that together define this form of collaboration and insights on how participants framed their focal landscapes. I explain the catalyst for these collaboratives, scope of the study, and context for my involvement. I review pertinent literature and then describe the methods I employed in this study. Finally, I present and discuss my findings and offer suggestions for further research and management recommendations. Subsequent articles in this series will identify the capacities needed to collaborate in this context, present a theory informing strategies for cultivating these capacities, offer additional management and policy recommendations, and suggest curricular implications.


Landscape-Scale Collaboration, Forest Resource Management, Wildfire, Collaborative Governance, Grounded Theory

Author Bio(s)

Marcelle (“Marci”) DuPraw, PhD, is a Senior Program Manager at the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and President of Collaborative Choices, LLC. She earned her PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, with a concentration in cultural aspects of conflict resolution, from Nova Southeastern University (NSU). She also earned NSU's Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research. In addition to her PhD, Dr. DuPraw also holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan is in Natural Resource Policy, Economics, and Management, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in Environmental Studies. She has over 30 years of experience in environmental and cross-cultural collaborative problem solving and conflict resolution; she has worked in Russia, China, Estonia, Cyprus, and Denmark, as well as with over 30 Tribes and Tribal associations. In 2011, the Association for Conflict Resolution honored her with the Sharon M. Pickett award for achievements in environmental protection through alternative dispute resolution. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: marcidupraw@gmail.com.


My deepest thanks to the CFLR Program participants who participated in this study for their time and insights, and to the US Forest Service personnel who helped make this study possible.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.