Sustaining Our Progress
by Tim Reader
One of the beneficial outcomes of our Team Fellows Project partnership with the Center for Collaborative Conservation (CCC) is in our taking advantage of additional opportunities for sustaining and growing our project efforts that just may have gone by the wayside in the absence of our relationship with the CCC.
Case in point is the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Renewable Resources Fund solicitation for project (funding) applications. Admittedly I needed to step back a bit, (NIFA projects are generally not something I consider very often) “the forest through the trees” analogy works well here, I was able to take a collaborative view to hypothesize a competitive proposal idea based on the work and results of our current Fellows Project with the CCC.
Looking at the literal and figurative landscape in southwestern Colorado, three dominant truths coalesced…(1) southwestern Colorado plays host to three of Colorado’s most accomplished forest-based collaboratives, (2) these collaboratives are seeking biomass facility and market opportunities and (3) often these collaboratives are not fully recognizing and applying results from previous biomass facility and market research. Maybe call it a 3+, that the presence of a novel from of conservation financing in southwestern Colorado has potential to provide significant capital lending to our existing biomass business community and new biomass entrepreneurial startups.
An opportunity therefore exists to bring the most current biomass facility and market research findings from the private and public sector in the form of today’s digital and web based platforms and extension tools. Would that NIFA accept this simple declarative statement as our proposal rather than their required lengthier exposition and application.
Good news that CSU Cooperative Extension is onboard as a co-proposal applicant, and our CCC and our forest collaborative community are receptive to participating and supporting the grant application and in furtherance of our Team Fellows Project.