Funded by Hewlett Foundation, the IEN coordinated a national research and outreach network to evaluate the potential value of CBCs, specifically how they do, and do not, satisfy the needs of communities, agencies, and organizations involved in protecting and managing natural resources. A \"Community-based collaborative\" is essentially a committee of stakeholders that seeks consensus agreements for management of a specific natural resource, most typically federally-owned lands. These collaboratives are gaining in popularity among communities who benefit from and utilize these publicly-owned resources. At the same time, criticism over these locally derived management plans also has increased, along with questions concerning the legality of locally negotiated agreements. In some cases, there may be potential conflicts with existing federal laws, as well as far reaching implications for national environmental policy about resource management plans. The Consortium's on-line database of projects, research, books, and journals about collaborative approaches can be viewed at Consortium Website.
March 3, 2004 Press Release: U.Va. based research consortium receives grant to study environmental outcomes of collaboration. Click here to view the Press Release (PDF).