Newly built aquatic habitat along Galisteo Creek, NM.
What We Do
Ecotone's vision is to help create and maintain healthy, productive landscapes through insightful ecological stewardship by the primary users and decision makers of the land. Our work often centers around common themes, including soil health, water storage, woodland and forest health, and creating and restoring habitat for wildlife. By working at the nexus of these ecological principles, we take a holistic approach to land management that works towards healing the entire landscape.
We develop landscape management plans, conceptualize landscape conservation and restoration initiatives, bring together project teams, identify and pursue funding sources, and direct the project’s detailed design and implementation.
Ecotone’s work begins where there is an edge, a transitional space, where ecosystems meet and where people seek to resolve tensions in the use and health of the land. Through a deepening understanding of land and communities both human and wild, Ecotone guides diverse individuals and groups in an integrative multi-step process of land restoration and stewardship.
The Bigger Picture
Ecotone’s work focuses on on-the-ground action, applied research and action planning aimed at building resilience to the manifestations of the extinction and climate crises in the US Southwest. We plan and design solutions that spread and retain water in the landscape. We also work toward improving soil health, covering bare soil with organic mulch, plants or rock, (re)building resilient and diverse plant communities, and maintaining pathways across the landscape for free flowing water and roaming wildlife. These ecological conditions and processes are essential to adapt the landscape and people to increasing impacts of weather extremes and to reverse the current extirpation trend of all kinds of organisms. We do this directly through strategically located ecological restoration projects, and indirectly through educating and organizing people for land stewardship work, planning priority conservation and restoration actions for the next decades, and influencing policies and practices toward greater effectiveness and efficiency.
By accessing the resources and colleagues in our network, we can readily identify and incorporate the most qualified expertise and local resources for highly specialized projects. Our work is aligned with widely relevant conservation goals for the greater bioregion, such as climate change adaptation, rewilding and landscape connectivity for wildlife, and the interplay between forests and their hydrology, fire regimes, and insect populations. In this way, we impact your project with connection and relevance to current ecological trends in your area. Additionally, because of our participation with philanthropic, government and non-profit land-based organizations and initiatives, we are consistently aware of trends in the needs of land use communities, funding opportunities, and collaborations in the field.
Our approach is a collaborative learning process, with necessary coordination between independent groups and people. Ongoing education, public outreach, joint fact-finding, adaptation, and innovation are key aspects. We not only plan and lead projects to achieve restorative outcomes, but guide and support people and communities to sustain them over time.
Bringing a repertoire of over 30 years of global experience in landscape architecture and ecological planning, our Principal consultant, project manager and founder, Jan-Willem Jansens, is the hand behind our work. With careful and insightful steps, from the forest to the trees and the soil, let us build and realize the vision for your landscape.
Where is your edge? Let’s begin.
Principles, Planning, & Practice
Integrated Landscape Management: We holistically integrate all geophysical, biological, and human aspects of the landscape. By recognizing people as participatory members of the ecosystem, we include their impacts and needs.
Water storage: Keeping and spreading moisture across the landscape promotes a productive and species rich ecosystem that is more resilient to drought.
Soil Health: Building a healthy ecosystem starts with the soil. Healthy soils build a vibrant microbiome, slowly cycle carbon, store moisture, and are the foundation for healthy plant communities.
Forest and Woodland Health: By maintaining healthy forests we help to build resiliency to fire and pest outbreaks and store water and carbon in the landscape.
High elevation forest and grassland in the Upper Sapello watershed, NM.
"As a landowner, I appreciate the complexity of the land we have now and especially the challenges with global warming and increased drought. On our land on Glorieta Mesa, we are working to mitigate about 100 years of poor management. When we began over a decade ago, we hired Jan-Willem to do a major study and forestry management plan of the greater region. For thirteen plus years now, Jan-Willem has been involved in the assessment and planning, as well as supervising the hands-on work from forest thinning to road repaving, coordinating all of the contractors, partner organizations and volunteers involved. He is uniquely capable of understanding the forest environment, grassland and rangeland environments, and the watershed. Many people have specialties in one of those things, but through his training and a tremendous amount of experience, he has been able to combine all of that together, not in pieces and fragments. If you want a more holistic way of dealing with the problems you are facing, Jan-Willem is the kind of guy who can pull it all together. Other people can do part, but he is the one I know of who can do a wide range of activities."
Brad Holian | Private Landowner
“My experience working with Jan Willem for over 26 years has shown that he shows up and delivers on what he commits to doing with excellence. Rare is his ability to listen, be still and humble, and know that a great richness of knowledge is available from people who have lived and experienced work on the land in a particular place.
He has honed his skills in facilitating and participating in team meetings in many multicultural settings, a variety of personal and professional contexts, and in different roles from group leader to note taker to participant. He also has a strong awareness of group dynamics in team projects, interventions needed to improve communications or set clear expectations with multiple clients and partners, and strategies to coordinate multi-year projects successfully with budgets into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If Jan-Willem is willing to work with you, I suggest you take him on to your team -- he gets the work done on time, within budget, and with great quality."
Richard Schrader | Director of River Source
Collaborative work with UNM students on erosion control in a private forest.
Searching for educational wilderness campsite options in the forests near Rociada, NM.
"Jan-Willem used to be an employee of the Forest Guild years ago. He has worked with us on all sorts of projects. One of the great things about having him as a partner is his holistic view of the ecosystem in the restorative work we are trying to do. I can be focused on trees as a forester, but he really understands how to consider the soil, the grasses, the trees and all the communities of life that depend on each other. In Trampas, he helped us with erosion mitigation, which is very valuable here in New Mexico, where erosion can happen fast. We have worked on all stages of projects together. Most recently we worked on a proposal together in the formulation stage. On other projects we have had something started already, and known that we needed more of the landscape erosion work done, so we reached out to him. His ability to jump into a project at almost any stage and bring his long range of experience in New Mexico to face any challenge we are having as an additional team member has been key for us. When there is a skill that we need and do not have, we can plug him in seamlessly. We would absolutely and highly recommend him for all sorts of jobs, whether it's contributing a wildfire protection plan, or restoration work at a homeowner to forest management scale. We focus on putting the forest first, and making the connection that a healthy ecosystem can support a wide range of communities, human and otherwise. This resonates for a lot of potential clients.“