The Center initiates projects and responds to requests for technical assistance. Each project is tailored to meet the specific situation and needs of the people involved, and may range from short consultations to one-time meetings to multi-year negotiations.
2nd Arab Water Forum
At the request of the Arab Water Council, the Center served as part of the “general rapporteur” team at the 2nd Arab Water Forum in Cairo, Egypt. The Forum was convened in November 2011 and included nearly 400 people from over 20 Arab countries. The 4-day event included plenary speeches, break-out sessions, and several informal dialogues.
The final outcome of the Forum includes the Cairo Declaration, which presents a water agenda for the Arab region. To learn more about water in the Arab region, visit the web site of the Arab Water Council.
While water issues in the Arab region may seem to have little relevance to water issues in Montana and the US American West, in fact there are tremendous opportunities for mutual learning. The Center will continue to work with the Arab Water Council to explore opportunities to share research, education, and policy responses to increasing water scarcity.
The World Water Forum is the largest gathering in the world focused on water use, management, and policy. It meets every three years, and regularly engages 25,000 people from every corner of the globe in a week of dialogue on issues ranging from the right to water and sanitation, the impacts of climate change on water resources, and alternative governance arrangements – among many other topics.
Since spring 2011, the Center has been working with the Secretariat of the 6th World Water Forum – which will be convened in March 2012 in Marseille, France -- to (1) mobilize and engage political and water leaders from the U.S. American West; and (2) prepare a policy report that tells the story of innovative solutions and institutional responses to water problems in the U.S. American West, .
Click here to read an account of the experience of federal officials, state legislators, and representatives of Native American Tribes, an international water commission, and a conservation organization as they shared the story of water management in the U.S. American West at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France, in March 2012.
The Colorado River Basin faces profound long-term water management challenges. As illustrated by the information contained in the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (released in December 2012), increasing demands for water for a variety of uses may not be sustainable in the long term, especially in light of projected impacts of climate change in the Colorado River Basin.
In cooperation with Carpe Diem West, the Center has engaged in a broad, ongoing dialogue about the issues and policy options for improved Colorado River management and governance. An initial report (Thinking Like a River Basin, released in January 2011) summarized the views of Colorado River basin leaders, highlighting the need for a broader range of stakeholders to engage in discussions about the river’s future. A second report (Governing Like a River Basin, released in December 2011) explored four stakeholder involvement options based on models in other parts of the country. Center Senior Fellow Sarah Bates is currently working on a third report, which will focus on priorities for next steps to implement the “call to action” embedded in the Basin Study.
Despite the obvious relationship between where and how people live and the water they need to do so, our institutions have been slow to encourage decision makers to think about land and water use together and to engage in a dialogue with affected publics about the consequences of those decisions. The dual pressures of population growth and climate change (along with impacts of energy production) are prompting a more urgent look at this connection.
Since 2007, the Center has played a prominent role in highlighting strategies to integrate land use and water arising throughout the country. The Center has published two widely distributed policy reports on this subject, as well as professional articles, op-eds aimed at a more general audience, and chapters in books. Center staff frequently are asked to speak to groups of land use planners, water mangers, and policy leaders on this subject. Senior Fellow Sarah Bates is pursuing these and related topics as a project team member of the Carpe Diem West network on climate change and water, including policy work focused on emerging headwaters partnerships between the Forest Service, nongovernmental organizations, and urban water suppliers.
At the request of the International Joint Commission (IJC), the Center designed and facilitated a 3-day retreat in February 2013 with commissioners and senior staff from both Canada and the United States. The purpose of the retreat was to (1) critically examine the authorities and constraints of IJC; (2) evaluate the purpose and performance of 15 transboundary boards governed by the IJC; (3) identify priorities on how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these boards; (4) examine the purpose, implementation, and future of the International Watersheds Initiative; and (5) create more strategic thinking and planning within IJC. The Center will continue to advise the IJC on implementing several of the outcomes of the retreat.
The Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy - in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and leaders in large landscape conservation - is coordinating a multi-year initiative to advance the theory and practice of large landscape conservation in North America. The human footprint of development and associated climate change has reached a scale of impact that requires an agenda for large-scale solutions. This initiative integrates three complementary components that advance large landscape conservation through participatory stakeholder engagement (People), enabling policy (Policy), and implementing place-based solutions (Place).
Matthew McKinney, Lynn Scarlett, and Daniel Kemmis, Large Landscape Conservation: A Strategic Framework for Policy and Action (2010) (4.41 MB PDF)
Toward a National Framework for Landscape Conservation: A Concept Paper Based on the National Policy Dialogue on Landscape Conservation (PDF)
National Policy Dialogue on Landscape Conservation: Convening Materials (PDF)
The Center promotes well-informed and sustainable policies for public land and resource management. In pursuit of this goal, we provide professional support and mentoring to the student-run Public Land Law Conference at the University of Montana School of Law, the longest running legal program dedicated to public land issues.
In support of the 2008 Public Land Law Conference, the Center facilitated a dialogue on public land policies for the new presidential administration with members of the National Advisory Board of the Public Land and Resources Law Review, resulting in a major policy report issued early in 2009. Center Senior Fellow Sarah Bates has spoken at a number of the public land law conferences, published three articles in the Public Land & Resources Law Review, and taught Public Land and Resources Law at the University of Montana School of Law in the Fall of 2011. She also mentors individual students interested in public resource law and policy.
The Crown of the Continent is one of the last intact ecosystems in North America. To protect the special qualities of the region while promoting sustainable economies and livable communities, leaders from the public, private, and non-government sectors come together periodically in the form of a Roundtable, which is coordinated by the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at The University of Montana, and supported by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (LILP)
Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance
The Columbia River basin is the fourth largest river basin in North America, including parts of Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Alberta, and British Columbia. It has ten times the flow of the Colorado River and is one of the most hydroelectrically developed river systems in the world. While this infrastructure has generated many benefits in the form of power and flood control, many people argue that it has adversely impacted fish, navigation, irrigation, recreation, and indigenous cultures.
Recognizing the need for dialogue among tribes, stakeholders, government officials, and researchers throughout the transboundary Columbia River basin, the Center – along with colleagues from the University of British Columbia, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and Washington State University -- co-founded the consortium in 2008
The consortium provides a neutral forum to facilitate informed dialogue on the Columbia River Treaty and related issues. It convenes an annual symposium and engages graduate students in exploring alternative scenarios on how to revise and update the Treaty.