Cultivating an International Pastoralist Network to Identify and Share Collaborative Landowner-Led Solutions to Conservation Challenges in Kenya and the U.S. West

- Members of Team Kenya & US West

  • Johnny Sundstrom, Rancher, Exec. Dir./Founder, Siuslaw Institute, OR, Leadership Team, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, Oregon (Team leader)
  • Gary Burnett, Exec. Dir., The Blackfoot Challenge, Ovando, MT, Co-Leader, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, Montana
  • Paul Meilara, Maasai, Chairman, South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO), Kenya
  • Rick Knight, PhD., Prof., Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University (CSU), Colorado
  • Kelsey Silver, Student, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, CSU, Colorado
  • Hannah Gosnell, Assoc. Prof., Geography, Oregon State University (OSU), Oregon
  • Kendra Sharp, Prof., Humanitarian Engineering, OSU, Oregon
Team Kenya & US West

Project Summary

Team leader, Johnny Sundstrom, and six additional teammates will develop a long-term, collaborative pastoral conservation network of landowners, scholars, government, non-profits and citizens in Kenya and the western U.S. to promote cross- fertilization between collaborative conservation practice and scholarship. The team will 1) bring together lessons from practice and scholarship  regarding collaborative success in east Africa and the US, 2) strengthen and solidify the newly formed international learning network of pastoralists, researchers, and community-based organizations in Kenya and the US West initiated over the last two decades, and 3) identify and work to solve collaborative conservation and livelihood challenges common to pastoralists in Kenya and the US West, including ranch subdivision and fragmentation and human-wildlife conflicts. This will include a needs assessment to determine what collaborative conservation tools, handbooks, trainings and skills and what technological innovations are needed in the US West and east Africa. The team will connect this network to nascent networks in Mongolia and beyond, by engaging leading scholars and practitioners in those places. The team is inspired by the life long work of rancher-scholar Shiloh Sundstrom (1981-2015) who aspired to address these issues both through his work with Siuslaw Institute and Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition in the US and, more recently, as a PhD student in Geography at Oregon State University working closely with the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) in Kenya.  Collaborators: Kenya Wildlife Conservancies, African Conservation Centre, SORALO, the African Development Bank, Collaborative Conservation, and the CSU Private Lands Conservation Initiative.


South Rift Valley, Kenya; Ovando, Montana, USA; Corvallis, Oregon, USA