The 2-3-2 cohesive strategy partnership launched in early 2016 out of a collective public and governmental interest to address forest health concerns and protect headwaters and water resources in Colorado and New Mexico through cross-boundary forest and fire management, collaboration, and planning. More than 5.1 million acres make up the 2-3-2 footprint – approximately the size of Delaware and Connecticut combined. Below are some of the successes achieved by the partnership as of 2022. Stay tuned for more updates.
The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), enabled by Congress, is designed to increase the resiliency of forests and watersheds in priority forests across the U.S.
The Rio Chama CFLRP is the largest project of the 2-3-2 Cohesive Strategy Partnership, which serves as the local collaborative group working with the Forest Service. The Program provides $30 million in funding over ten years.
By establishing trust and critical communication between partners, the 2-3-2 has leveraged funding opportunities, matched needs, and built programs to utilize at-risk funds. To date, partners in the 2-3-2:
Secured the use of $1.5 million for the development of a FireWise Program and forest thinning treatments to help protect homes in Rio Arriba County
Leveraged existing finances to secure $3.25 million in Regional Conservation Partnership Program funds from NRCS to implement on-the-ground conservation practices on private lands, with an emphasis on forest and watershed health. Like the 2-3-2, these funds are contingent upon diverse participation and the implementation of innovation solutions.
Partners in the 2-3-2 share critical, on-the-ground resources for forest management and fire. To date, partners in the 2-3-2 have:
Diverse representation within the partnership promotes dialogue about shared impacts and opportunities on topics such as wildlife habitat and connectivity and the health of streams and aquatic species. These conversations include collective thinking about resources across boundaries on the landscape. Through shared management experiences, partners are better informed and able to consider and incorporate multiple values into treatments; work together to manage for forests that are resilient for the optimum number of values; identify appropriate treatment efforts to achieve agreed upon goals; and strategically apply these efforts across the landscape regardless of ownership. These relationships have already resulted in cooperative prescribed burns of more than 5,000 acres by representatives of three forests, BLM, Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, local entities, multiple NGOs, and others.
Through quarterly in-person meetings (hosted at locations throughout the 2-3-2 geography), bi-monthly web meetings, and regular communication, the 2-3-2 has established a critical cross-boundary dialogue about resource management and developed networks for sharing resources, lessons learned, and tools for coordinating land management activities. Just one of many examples is set forth below.
“When Jeremy Marshall [District Ranger, Carson National Forest] told me that the Blanca Mill is putting on a second shift and maybe taking more outside wood, that made me think that it could serve as a close mill for our purchasers to be able to take the wood harvested off of the forest. This could reduce their costs and allow for them to bid on more of our sales as they might be able to increase their capacity having a mill so close by (as opposed to Montrose for example). I think that communication of important information such as this is one of the greatest values of the 2-3-2. Just by communicating, we are helping everyone find ways to work more effectively and efficiently, and in a way that makes sense for the landscape.”