SJWWII is an ideal demonstration site for numerous, compelling reasons:
The San Juan Watershed is a hotbed of infestation of both tamarisk and Russian olive.
The San Juan Watershed has an impressive diversity of habitats, ranging from high desert through alpine tundra, with expansive piñon-juniper woodlands, Gambel oak-dominated shrublands, and conifer or mixed conifer/aspen forests occupying much of the region.
Streams within the San Juan Watershed also provide important natural resources, and human cultures have been closely tied to these resources for thousands of years.
SJWWII is a unparalleled partnership, including well over 130 individuals representing over 60 entities (see partners).
SJWWII has a strategic plan in place that numerous groups outside of the San Juan Watershed are using as a model.
The partnership includes four states and four tribes, which can provide an exemplary model for working with political boundaries.
SJWWII has well-orchestrated coordination.
SJWWII has the expertise in place to plan and implement projects as well as to design and conduct associated research and monitoring.
SJWWII has the diversity of potential projects that will enable us to address the 11 main questions (and more).
SJWWII has numerous projects already underway that can provide baselines, including some beetle projects and goat projects that can take as long as 10-15 years of monitoring before definitive conclusions are drawn.
SJWWII has the fiscal ability to administer Federal grants and contracts through a non-political educational institution (Fort Lewis College) with no interest in affected lands. If grants from Federal Partners pass through the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, administrative indirect costs are greatly reduced (17.5%). Federal partners of CPCESU include Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U. S. Forest Service (Research Branch), U. S. Department of Defense, and U. S. Geological Survey.
The partners of SJWWII can coordinate and pool resource to meet the matching fund requirements of HR2720.
The Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (CPCESU) has adopted restoration of riparian ecosystems in the San Juan Basin as their strategic focus for the next five years (2008-2013).
SJWWII is coordinated by the San Juan Institute of Natural and Cultural Resources (SJINCR) in the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Fort Lewis College. The mission of the SJINCR is “To preserve and enhance biodiversity in the Greater San Juan Basin through culturally-sensitive natural and cultural resources education, outreach, coordination, information storage, and community services.” SJINCR has the resources necessary to conduct original and innovative research and administer large Federal grants. In addition to its own faculty and students, the Institute has a network in place that facilitates access to graduate students at a variety of research institutions and has connections with other colleges in the watershed: San Juan College and Diné College. Also, CPCESU will greatly increase the research capacity of SJWWII through participation by partner research institutions, including Arizona State University, Colorado State University, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Diné College, Fort Lewis College, Haskell Indian Nations University, Mesa State University, Navajo Nation, New Mexico State University, Northern Arizona University, Museum of Northern Arizona, Oregon State University, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Southern Utah University, The Arboretum at Flagstaff, The Center for Desert Archaeology, University of Arizona, University of Nevada, University of New Mexico, Utah State University, and Weber State University (see http://www.cens.nau.edu/Orgs/CPCESU/ ).
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