The UP was formalized in a 2001 Memorandum of Understanding/Cooperative Agreement by the Public Lands Partnership (PLP), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Western Area Power Administration (Western) and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assoc. joined the partnership in 2004.
The goal of the UP is to develop a collaborative approach to improve the ecosystem health and natural functions of the landscape, using best available science, community input and adaptive management.
The primary UP programs are: Landscape Scale Project Planning, Invasive Species Management, a Native Plant Program, On-The-Ground Treatments, and Education and Technology Transfer. The UP directs, coordinates and/or facilitates these activities across jurisdictional boundaries. The UP does not supercede management authority on any federal, state, or private lands.
The majority of funding comes from the UP Partners. The UP also seeks outside grants. Funds are administered by Unc/Com, Inc., a 501-c-3 non-profit organization, established by the PLP. A Technical Committee, representing the six partners, gives direction for all activities and projects. Programs funded through the UP follow collaboratively agreed upon guidelines for design, implementation, monitoring, and post-project management.