The High Lonesome Institute is the brainchild of a few people intimately involved in the operation and ownership of The High Lonesome Ranch, which sits on 402 square miles of deeded and permitted lands of the western slope of Colorado. Those people believe in and strive for a model of sustainability that preserves the stewardship of a large western landscape, maintains biodiversity and ecological connectivity, enhances the lives of wildlife and fish, and restores degraded habitat – all while allowing multiple uses. They knew that they would have to make a very large and long-term commitment to supporting science in order to achieve this goal and then to maintain it. They knew that what they learn can and should be shared with other like-minded landowners and groups. They had already begun to form alliances with other people and organizations with similar goals of conservation and sustainable development. They are helping establish baselines, plans, and methods to achieve their goals – all with the help of science – using their large landscape as a laboratory.