Keeping our national forest lands healthy and productive while faced with challenges like invasive species, climate change, and budgetary constraints requires cooperating with private landowners and partners near public lands. A team of Forest Service representatives from the Northern Research Station, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and Region 9 of the National Forest System evaluated a landscape scale conservation project, the West Virginia Restoration Venture, to understand what has contributed to its successful implementation of projects crossing ownership boundaries. Long-term investment by Monongahela National Forest staff in building relationships across the Forest Service and with local organizations resulted in ready-to-implement plans for restoration. When funding became available for restoration projects through the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership, the partners were poised to take advantage of the opportunity and immediately begin on-the-ground work to restore red spruce ecosystems, protect water quality and improve aquatic habitat, and ensure local landowners are able to reap the benefits of their land while protecting natural resources. Establishing relationships before competitive or targeted funding is allocated to a project may be one important way to improve the efficiency and success of landscape scale restoration projects.