Abstract: The Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative (WRI) is a partnership-based program, administered by the Utah Department of Natural Resources, which seeks to improve the functional capacity of high priority watersheds throughout the state. Since its inception in 2006, the WRI partnership has completed nearly 1,500 projects to restore and rehabilitate over 526,091 ha in Utah watersheds. The WRI program is unique to the west, in that it transcends jurisdictional boundaries, and local, state, and federal management authority to focus finite resources on completing high priority conservation projects. We surveyed selected WRI selected participants in 2015 to determine what factors they believed most contributed to the overall success of the program. Survey respondents attributed the success of the WRI program to: 1) engaged leadership at multiple levels, 2) a bottom-up hierarchy, 3) a history of collaboration, 4) practice partnerships, 5) a science-based approach, 6) operating at a meaningful spatial scale, 7) being solution minded, not problem focused, and 8) unselfish sharing of resources. In this paper we discuss these success factors and provide recommendations to those desiring to implement voluntary incentive-based landscape conservation strategies.
Clark, Alan G.; Thompson, Tyler W.; Vernon, Jason L.; and Whittakker, Alison
"Utah’s Watershed Restoration Initiative: Restoring Watersheds at a Landscape Scale,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 11
, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol11/iss3/8