Matt – Currently, SITES is not a separate entity. The Executive Committee is made up of the ASLA, the Wildflower Center which is a part of UT and the US Botanic Garden. SITES staff who work with the various committees and lead the development of the metric and educational materials are located in Austin at the Wildflower Center. Liz Guthrie, Manager of Professional Practice Programs is the ASLA staff liaison. The US Botanic Garden is the major funder. I am not certain, but the formal partnership may be a legal issue/phrase. The group operated under an MOU at one time but I believe it is now expired.
Many Landscape Architects have contributed to SITES and have been instrumental in its success. But, if you look at the make up of the various committees you will see there are many other professions involved – ecologist, soil scientist, civil engineers, academics, foresters, horticulturist, social scientist etc… These groups are also important stakeholders and their expertise is absolutely necessary to building a whole systems approach.
I am sure there are many lessons to be learned here but in my opinion, this lawsuit is not constructive and can potentially have long-term damaging effects on SITES and the landscape sustainability movement as a whole.