Southwest Ecological Restoration Institutes (SWERI)
(Public Law 108-317)

Created by the Southwest Forest Health and Wildfire Prevention Act, on October 5, 2004, the Southwest Ecological Restoration Institutes (SWERI) are charged with promoting the use of adaptive ecosystem management to reduce the risk of wildfires, restore the health of forest and woodland ecosystems, and enhance the economies and well-being of rural, forested communities. The SWERI consists of the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University, the Forest and Watershed Institute at New Mexico Highlands University, and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute at Colorado State University.


  • Colorado Forest Restoration Institute logo
  • Ecological Restoration Institute logo
  • New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute logo


The five-year assessment of the SWERI indicates the effectiveness of the three institutes, both individually and collectively, in meeting the goals defined in the founding legislation and charter.  Individually, the Forest and Watershed Institute in New Mexico has worked successfully on jobs-related issues and activities. Meanwhile, the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute has become a leader in studying the collaborative processes involved in ecological restoration and supports the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration project on the Uncompahgre Plateau. In Arizona, the Ecological Restoration Institute has operated for 25 years to advance landscape-scale restoration through evidence-based science and outreach. Currently, the ERI provides support to the Four Forest Restoration Initiative on the Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Kaibab, and Tonto national forests. Together, the Institutes provide an integral source of applied information and experience for collaborative restoration of frequent-fire forests in the western United States.

Federal Government

  • USDA Forest Service shield
  • USDI, Bureau of Land Management
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs logo
  • Logo, US Fish and Wildlife Service


"Staff of the Institute are some of the best in the field."

"The Institute has alway been there when needed and provided answers to questions."

"Their level of monitoring is just right-not too much. They do a great job steering treatments in the right direction."

"I can't stress enough the value of having this kind of institute in the area."