Hill Country Conservation: A Network and Narrative for Large-Scale Collaborative Conservation

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Bixler, R. Patrick
Lovell, Ashley Noel

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Cynthia and Georgy Mitchell Foundation


This report describes the joint research and practitioner-based effort to understand the network and narrative that shapes Hill Country conservation opportunities and outcomes. From April 2015-July 2016, we collected and analyzed over 40 hours of interview data and developed an extensive database of information in an attempt to better understand the organizations and agencies that work to make the Hill Country a socially and ecologically thriving landscape. Our mixed-methods research approach also included an online survey. Through these efforts, we believe that opportunities exist to improve coordination of activities, leverage and pool resources, increase and use social capital, enhance conflict management (i.e., prevention, reduction, resolution), and improve knowledge management (i.e., generation, translation, and diffusion). Understanding the inherent capacities that a networked approach provides can identify opportunities for successful conservation action by leveraging largely informal networks that bridge geographic, economic, cultural, and political differences. The report that follows summarizes these efforts and offers insights and recommendations based on the analysis.


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