We solve complex land and water management problems

Using insightful analytical models and collective-impact approaches, we align political, institutional, and economic forces to make critical conservation work possible.

State of the Rockies Kicks off with ICS Keynote

ICS Principal Scott Campbell kicked off the 2015-2016 Colorado College State of the Rockies Project, The Scales of Western Water, as its keynote speaker. Campbell christened the thematic undertaking by examining landscape-scale approaches local, state, and national...

Mitigating the Economic Impacts of Dry-Up

As water on Colorado’s Front Range moves from farms to cities, an ICS economic study charts a more promising course for agriculture. The purchase of 5,540 Bessemer Ditch Company shares from Pueblo County farmers by the Board of Water Works of Pueblo (Pueblo Water)...

ICS Helps Launch New Babbitt Center

The intimate connection between land and water is often discussed in academic circles but not well integrated into land use and water management policy and practice at the local level. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (LILP) and the Sonoran Institute (SI) asked...

ICS—Nature Conservancy Issue Urban Watershed Plan

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) retained ICS to help the organization determine how it could support more integrated, effective approaches to watershed health and management in and around southern Colorado’s growing Front Range metropolitan regions. Natural Solutions for...

ICS Colleagues Win ASLA Planning and Analysis Award

ICS/Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) affiliates Sourav Kumir Biswas and Flavio Sciaraffia won a Planning and Analysis Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for their project: Productive Conservation. Biswas and Sciaraffia analyzed...

ICS Enterprise Launch: Frost Ranch Sportsmen Club

ICS helped Frost Livestock Company launch a private sportsmen club for fowl, small game, and big game hunters on its 24,000-acre, Frost Ranch property. Frost Ranch Sportsmen Club, LLC, a subsidiary enterprise of the livestock company, is an important component of two...

ICS Maps Course for Spur Water Policy Institute

Colorado State University selected CDR Associates, LRE Water, and ICS Consulting to initiate planning for a new water policy institute at the future Spur campus at the National Western Center in Denver. “The Spur campus is a place made for the public, and a place to...

A Western River with too Much Water? ICS Explores

Can it be, in the midst of drought, with intense competition for limited water supplies, that a major tributary flowing through one of the Intermountain West’s largest, fastest growing cities, has too much water? Descending an incredible 9,475 vertical feet in just...

ICS Guides Gates Family Foundation Strategic Plan

The Gates Family Foundation has committed more than $350 million to Colorado philanthropic endeavors since its creation. In 2011, under the leadership of Tom Gougeon, the Foundation initiated a fundamental shift in its grant-making approach, devoting 60% of its...

Reclamation Funds ICS Water Optimization Study

An ICS-led water optimization study will explore opportunities for the City of Thornton and Larimer and Weld counties to strategically repurpose—and possibly reirrigate—farmland following a large municipal water transfer. In 2019, the City of Thornton commissioned...

Colorado’s 1041 Regulations: A Means to Water Equity?

An ICS analysis of 1041 permitting practices across Colorado’s 64 counties begs the question: can this tool provide a mechanism to protect agriculture, restore natural systems, and more equitably apportion the water we need? Colorado faces a water constrained future....

ICS-TNC Pursue Green Infrastructure Partnership

An ICS-led team of scientists, policy analysts, and program managers from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) launched a plan to help restore the 927-square-mile Fountain Creek Watershed. Implementation—focused on collaborative stream management planning, forest health...

Harvard Grant Supports ICS Water Fund Feasibility Study

Harvard University is helping ICS clients explore how social impact capital can be used to optimize limited irrigation water supplies in the American West. A grant from the university’s Loeb Fellowship Alumni Council is supporting an ICS-led collaboration among...

Super Ditch: ICS Examines a Buy-and-Dry Alternative

ICS Principal Scott Campbell penned, “Super Ditch,” the fall cover story in Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s quarterly publication, Land Lines. In it, he explores the launch of the Super Ditch, a corporation designed to become a lease agent for farmers looking to...

ICS-Harvard Engage the West’s Farmers & Ranchers

In a semester-long course of study at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, ICS Principal Scott Campbell led planning and design students in a for-credit, hands-on exploration of private-sector land and water conservation efforts. Students explored the inherent...

Rockefeller Tags ICS for Resiliency Planning Expertise

Homes in the wildland-urban interface facing catastrophic fire. Commercial districts in flood zones. Coastal cities confronted by rising sea levels and increasingly devastating storm surge effects. Between 2011 and 2013, there were 67 presidentially declared disaster...

ICS Navigates the Wake of Municipal Water Sales

Irrigated agriculture is an economic pillar in Pueblo County, Colorado. Pueblo Chiles at Whole Foods Market: they’re grown here—along with other specialty, food, and forage crops. Until recently, Pueblo County was relatively unaffected by municipal “buy-and-dry”...

ICS helps clients build a world where people and nature thrive. Our clients include landowners, governments, NGOs, and partnerships. Our services promote:

 

  • land and water conservation (to protect the environment and safeguard food production);
  • equity for agriculture and rural communities (addressing threats imposed by rapid growth and climate change);
  • “good-neighbor” urban paradigms (recognizing urbanization’s impacts extend beyond municipal boundaries); and
  • the cessation of unsustainable land and water development practices.

If current land and water development practices feel like a race to the bottom, if environmental degradation is increasing and entrenched path dependencies are preventing innovation, ICS would like to work with you to develop a brighter, more hopeful alternative.

Our History

ICS was conceived at Harvard University where ICS founder, Scott Campbell, was the 2014-2015 Lincoln-Loeb Fellow. Scott recognized the need to better assess and guide the impacts of regional land use and water management practices on the larger systems necessary for human existence—climate, freshwater, food production. He launched ICS to develop decision-support frameworks that empower people to protect these larger systems while promoting local economic interests. Land and water conservation drives the work. Sophisticated GIS analytics, robust economic modeling, and exploratory scenario planning underpin the approach.

Our Aptitudes

Addressing entrenched, systemic problems.

To address complex land and water management problems, ICS focuses on big picture wins with a triple bottom line: social, economic, environmental. Designs that integrate communities and natural systems keep the triple bottom line at the forefront of all ICS projects.

Launching new endeavors.

Design inspires, but action delivers. Substantive outcomes require action, and ICS is adept at pioneering new ways of doing business, advancing novel ideas, and helping nascent efforts get off the ground.

Selling change.

Impactful writing, detailed reports, and compelling presentations sell change. ICS products are long-lived, meticulously researched documents that help clients advance a vision for a better world.

Structuring change processes.

Systems change is complex. Structuring processes that help individuals and organizations link desired outcomes to their big-picture vision is an ICS hallmark.

Solving problems through collective impact.

ICS is skilled at bringing together disparate groups to solve complex problems when institutions with the resources or mandates to solve those problems do not exist. Collective impact goes beyond collaboration or conflict mediation. It creates operational structures for unlikely partners that facilitate joint fact-finding and the development of a common agenda to address social, economic, and natural resource goals.

Our Approach

ICS operates as a creative studio, bringing practitioners from different organizations and disciplines together to solve complex problems through project-based work. Our associates—the best in their field—contract directly with us. Many have been with us since our launch, and ICS continues to expand its practitioner network to meet the needs of specific client projects. Strong teams, enduring commitment to tackling entrenched problems, and multidisciplinary approaches enable ICS to initiate complex systems change at multiple levels: within institutions; throughout communities and watersheds; and across broad, collective mindsets.

Wildflowers

Example Projects:

Bessemer Ditch

ICS assembled a diverse, multidisciplinary team to create buy-and-dry alternatives on Colorado’s Bessemer Ditch following a major agricultural-to-municipal water transfer.
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Fountain Creek Watershed

ICS led a team of Nature Conservancy scientists, policy analysts, and program managers to develop an institutional plan to restore the 927-square-mile Fountain Creek Watershed through forest health initiatives, collaborative stream management planning, and green-infrastructure partnerships.
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Frost Ranch

ICS helped Frost Livestock Company launch conservation, business, and succession planning endeavors to strengthen operational viability on its 24,000-acre Frost Ranch.
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Get In Touch

1518 Winfield Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
(303) 981-8015