In Niger, beginning in 1987, an eight-year project was initiated that involved local participation in the development of a common property management plan for land located within a degraded national forest. In this case, nine villages formed a cooperative, with elected representatives. The initial function of the cooperative was to oversee the protection of the degraded lands until ecological productivity of the region was revitalized. Once the natural resources were ready for harvesting, the cooperative established a multiple-year extraction plan that apportioned the forest into sections by which harvesting would occur in alternate years. Rules and regulations determined the fair division of proceeds and reinvestment needs to sustain and expand their operation.