The UC Natural Reserve System is launching a Sister Reserve Program to enable reserves to form alliances with other protected areas around the globe. The program is designed to help sites with similar habitats, such as oak savannas, or having mutual interests, to have an official relationship with one another
The goal is for sister sites to exchange best management practices and improve stewardship of natural landscapes. The program is modeled on the Sister Park Program of the U.S. National Park Service.
To be considered for the program, sister reserves must be protected areas recognized as natural resource sites of global importance. Sites named IUCN World Heritage Sites, state or national parks, Globally Important Bird Areas, or having similar distinctions would qualify. Preserves having affiliations with existing scientific research entities such as field stations would also be considered for the program.
Sister sites must also have mutual affinities with one another. Affinities could include having similar protected ecosystems such as deserts, or having common management issues such as invasive grasses. Sites may also have a mutual interest in collaborating on research that would be improved by a sister reserve partnership. Sister relationships could foster exchanges of personnel, sharing of management advice, parallel research projects, or similar endeavors.
Several sites in other countries have already been proposed as potential sister reserves, further expanding NRS involvement in international conservation efforts.