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Our Work

Our work covers diverse landscapes and communities and is centered around core areas of expertise.

Collaboratives and Networks

We work with core partners to design ongoing collaboratives, coalitions and networks, collaborative governance structures, shared leadership and funding, strategic plans, active working groups. Some examples include:



  • Southwest Collaboratives Support Network

  • Cross-Watershed Network and Arizona Cross-Watershed Network

  • Western Collaborative Conservation Network

  • Network for Arizona Trails



  • Verde Front Sustainable Recreation Collaborative

  • Lower San Pedro Collaborative

  • Eastern Mojave Conservation Collaborative

  • Lower Gila River Collaborative

  • Southwest New Mexico Collaborative

Forest and Watershed Management

Watershed collaboratives deal with a wide variety of issues and challenges including invasive species management, springs restoration, and connecting with local communities. SDR works with groups across jurisdictions to ensure continuity of efforts across the watershed and strengthen relationships and collective action among local stakeholders.  


Land use and environmental policy around forest management must keep pace with science, economics, and emerging technologies. Forest management creates new opportunities for multi-benefit and multi-interest solutions. SDR's role in the forest management sector has proven successful in designing and conducting effective collaboration and public involvement processes.


Relevant projects include:

  • Rio de Flag Watershed Planning

  • Escalante River Watershed Partnership

  • Lower Gila River Collaborative

  • Cross-Watershed Network

  • Arizona Forest Restoration statewide workshop

  • Coronado National Forest Leadership Team facilitation

  • Four Forest Restoration Initiative collaboration support

  • North Kaibab Plateau Collaboration

  • Tonto National Forest Plan Revision

Outdoor Recreation Planning

We work with communities, governments, and other stakeholders to agree on recreation-related priorities, develop regional recreation plans and foster ongoing collaborative efforts addressing recreation and its management in the Southwest.


Relevant projects include:

Climate Planning Engagement

SDR understands and helps partners navigate the intersections of land use, environmental resources, community values, economics, public health, and development. 

Relevant projects include:

  • City of Tucson community climate listening sessions

  • Climate-smart landscape conservation design

  • Southwest Climate Adaptation and Science Center strategic planning

Collaborative Conservation

SDR works with partners to address the issues at the nexus of conservation, preservation, and development. Collaborative conservation is the process of creating a sustainable future for peoples and places by inviting diverse and inclusive groups of stakeholders to jointly solve problems through collective learning and action.

Relevant projects include:

  • Lower San Pedro Collaborative

  • Escalante River Watershed Partnership

  • Eastern Mojave Conservation Collaborative

  • Gila River Basin Native Fish Conservation Program

  • Western Collaborative Conservation Network

Communities and Stewardship

Effective change comes from understanding local communities' needs and goals - people may prioritize values differently or sometimes disagree about what needs to be done. SDR understands the intersections of land use, environmental resources, mobility, community identity, economics, public health, and development and helps facilitate dialogues that lead to viable policy/action-oriented outcomes.


Relevant projects include:

  • City of Flagstaff Thorpe Park Annex Planning

  • Coalition for Farmland Preservation

  • Southeast Arizona Outdoors

  • Imagine Greater Tucson regional visioning

  • City of Tucson Complete Streets Coordinating Council

Strategic Planning and Governance

SDR provides strategic planning support for organizations, inter-institutional partnerships, and place-based collaboratives.


Relevant projects include:

  • USDA Water for Agriculture Project

  • City of Flagstaff Water Conservation Plan

  • Grand Canyon Youth Strategic Plan

  • Borderlands Restoration Network Strategic Plan

  • Partnership for the National Trails System

  • Southwest Climate and Adaptation Science Center

Working Landscapes and Adaptive Management

Relevant projects include:

  • Eastern Mojave Conservation Collaborative 

  • Las Cienegas National Conservation Area Collaborative Adaptive Management

  • Coalition for Farmland Preservation

  • Altar Valley Watershed Restoration Plan

  • Fossil Creek Comprehensive River Management Plan

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