Photo Credit: Peter August

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the members of the CSC?

The Conservation Stewardship Collaborative (CSC) is comprised of the organizations that own conservation areas or make significant contributions to the stewardship of conservation areas in Rhode Island.

The business of the CSC is done by an Advisory Committee which consists of one representative from each of the following organizations:

  • Audubon Society of Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
  • Rhode Island Chapter of The Nature Conservancy
  • Rhode Island Land Trust Council
  • Rhode Island Natural History Survey
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service
  • University of Rhode Island Department of Natural Resources Science

Is the CSC a new organization?

Not at all! It is a coalition of conservation organizations who want to make sure their work complements each other and that there is clear communication among them. The CSC is about efficiency through collaboration and teamwork.

How does the CSC work and what kind of projects will it undertake?

The Advisory Committee (AC) meets and identifies high priority short-term (the year) and long-term (multi-year) CSC initiatives that will constitute the annual work plan. The proposed initiatives will meet the Principles of the CSC and may span a range of topics and themes.

The CSC is especially interested in supporting the implementation of approaches to stewardship and monitoring that have potential for replication and expansion by other organizations. Examples of priority activities for the CSC to support with funding include, but are not limited to, projects that:

  • Develop cost effective approaches to monitor for ecosystem pests, pathogens, and invasive species, and respond to the presence of pest organisms in a rapid and effective manner.
  • Create stewardship practices that ensure the long term viability of rare, threatened, or endangered plants, animals, and natural communities.
  • Create stewardship practices that ensure the long term viability of ecosystem services.
  • Train, coordinate, and facilitate local stewards in the best methods of conservation land monitoring and stewardship.
  • Develop and disseminate information on best practices of conservation stewardship.
  • Develop, disseminate, receive, and store data on ecological information required for effective conservation stewardship.
  • Develop and implement policies and practices that increase the long-term legal security of conservation areas.
  • Develop measures and protocols that can be used to assess conservation progress and guide adaptive management of protected areas.
  • Develop and disseminate reports and information on the status and trends of flora, fauna and ecosystems, opportunities for habitat restoration, and strategies and activities to mitigate threats to conservation areas.
  • Provide training and technical support for the development of signage, trails, and interpretive materials to enhance public access and educational opportunities on conservation lands that are appropriate for and able to support such activities.
  • Monitor state legislation, policies, and actions to prevent activities that would threaten conservation areas.

Once a work plan has been conceptually identified, a written description of the work to be done and a budget recommendation is prepared. The AC will reconvene to refine and ratify the written work plan. The Rhode Island Foundation (RIF) is then notified of the recommended work plan and fund allocations. The final distribution of funds will be determined by the RIF.

Can I write a proposal and get funds from the CSC?

No, the CSC is not a grant-giving organization at this time. We don’t have the capacity to support a grants program, but we are always looking for good ideas. Bring your stewardship ideas, or needs to the attention of one of the members of the Advisory Committee. They will bring it to the CSC.

What is the conservation stewardship endowment fund?

The Conservation Stewardship Endowment is a fund managed by the Rhode Island Foundation for the purpose of supporting the state's top priority stewardship needs. This fund was established in December 2007 with a gift from the Sharpe family and it is open to other donors with an interest in conservation. The CSC Endowment will provide an annual source of funding to address opportunities and mitigate threats to our state’s natural resources and conservation lands. The annual budget for the CSC that is derived from the Endowment will be made by the Rhode Island Foundation with advice from the CSC.