Examining the role of collaborative governance in fostering adaptive capacity: A case study from northwest Colorado
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Over the past two decades, the mountain pine beetle (MPB) has killed millions of acres of forest across western North America. In addition to extensive environmental disturbance, the MPB epidemic has deeply impacted human systems, including motivating the formation of novel environmental governance arrangements. In Colorado, the Colorado Bark Beetle Cooperative (CBBC) formed as a collaboration between federal, state, and local stakeholders to address the epidemic. This study used a combination of GIS analysis and qualitative document analysis to understand how the CBBC has been able to respond adaptively to changes in the landscape pattern of MPB damage. I found that the CBBC was able to respond adaptively to changes in the MPB outbreak through shifting their organizational direction and activities. However, the adaptive capacity of the group was constrained by logistical factors, the declining importance of MPB at a national level, and the ways in which the group framed the MPB problem.