Contributions to Policy and Practice

Staff and Senior Fellows from the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy frequently contribute to policy discussions, conferences, workshops, trainings, and forums. Several recent contributions are summarized below. 

June 2015 – At the request of Ecology, the leading international journal in its field and the flagship publication of the Ecological Society of America, Dr. McKinney completed a book review of Stitching the West Back Together: Conservation of Working Landscapes (2015). The review should be published in the journal in 2015.

June 2015 – At the request of the University of Michigan Water Center and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative, Dr. McKinney served as an external reviewer for the 2015 grant funding cycle. Sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the grants are designed to support the co-development and application of relevant and usable knowledge to address critical coastal management issues. The program places an emphasis on multi-sector, multi-disciplinary teams to improve the long-term stewardship of the nation’s valuable estuaries.

May 2015 – In partnership with the Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment at The University of Utah, the Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy convened a two-day workshop to explore the merits of catalyzing a comprehensive review of federal public land and resources law, policy, and governance. The participants included a who’s who in public land law and policy, including Charles Wilkinson, John Leshy, Lynn Scarlett, Anne Castle, Rebecca Watson, Billy Barquin, and several other recognized individuals. For more information on this initiative, please contact Matthew McKinney.

April 2015 - At the request of the University of Montana’s Indian Law Clinic, Dr. McKinney delivered a keynote address at a continuing legal education workshop on “Governing Transboundary Waters: The Role of Tribes & First Nations in the Columbia River Basin.” The presentation drew on Dr. McKinney’s ongoing work with all of the tribes and First Nations in the Columbia River Basin to explore alternative governance arrangements to promote and support whole basin management.

November 2014 — At the request of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Matthew McKinney participated in the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia. He delivered two talks and facilitated a workshop on alternative governance arrangements for transboundary conservation. He also participated in a special session to launch a forthcoming book on transboundary conservation, which will be published by IUCN in 2015. Over 5,000 people from all over the world participated in the World Parks Congress.

November 2014 — Matthew McKinney participated in the annual forum of the Accord Network, a catalyst for learning, collaboration, and building Christian responses to global poverty, development, and relief. Dr. McKinney followed the “water, sanitation, and hygiene” sector, and was asked to co-lead a working group over the next year on “ecological reconciliation,” the theory and practice of providing essential water and sanitation services while promoting peace and environmental stewardship in conflict regions. Over 250 people from all over North America participated in the forum.

October 2014
 — On behalf of the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance, Matthew McKinney participated in the 2014 conference on the Columbia River Basin — co-convened by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council and the Columbia Basin Trust. Dr. McKinney moderated a panel and facilitated a workshop on alternative governance arrangements for the future of the basin. He also shared some of the preliminary results of an applied research project he is working on with other members of the Universities Consortium and all of the tribes and First Nations in the basin on the future role of indigenous people in governing the use of water and related resources in the basin. Over 350 people participated in the 3-day conference.

June 2014 -- Matthew McKinney co-facilitated a two week workshop on international water law and conflict resolution at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Nearly 75 mid-career professional from every corner of the world participated in the annual workshop. Among other things, Dr. McKinney provided a keynote address on the history of ideas and strategies to prevent and resolve water conflicts in the American West.

May 26-28, 2014 -- Mountain Research and Education Institute Workshop
Emily Schembra and Shawn Johnson helped design and facilitate a workshop focused on ways to coordinate and integrate a social-ecological systems approach to management and decision making in mountain ecosystems. 

April 11, 2014 -- Who Gets What on Our Shrinking Planet? Reimagining Collaborative Decision-making
Matthew McKinney and Emily Schembra participated in the 20th anniversary symposium of the Consensus Building Institute. Over 150 participants from around the world explored the future of collaborative problem solving as applied to water, food, and energy.

February 20, 2014 -- Forum on Public Policy and Leadership 
Emily Schembra discussed Facilitative Leadership as part of a panel at the 2014 Carroll College Forum on Public Policy and Leadership.

February 18, 2014 -- Charting the Course for Large Landscape Conservation in the Coming Decade
Matthew McKinney and Shawn Johnson joined conservation leaders from federal agencies and the non-profit sector in a workshop in Washington, DC, focused on five themes that are shaping the future of large landscape conservation.

December 3-5, 2013 -- National Park Service Scaling Up Workshop
Shawn Johnson participated in a workshop at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown WV, focused the National Park Service's "Scaling Up" efforts.

October 15-18, 2013 -- IUCN Workshop on Transboundary Conservation Matthew McKinney participated in a workshop in Thayatal National Park, Austria on international best practices for transboundary conservation. The workshop was convened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and included participants from 17 countries and every continent. The workshop launched an effort to prepare a book on the topic that will be released at the 2014 World Parks Congress in Australia. Dr. McKinney will serve as one of the editors of the book and contribute articles on governance and leadership. 

October 9, 2013 -- Resources Article on the Endangered Species Act
Matthew McKinney co-authored an article in Resources, the premier publication of Resources for the Future on, "The Endangered Species Act at 40."

September 2013 to June 2014 — The Council of State Governments, Science Advisory Board
Matthew McKinney was invited to serve on the CSG Science Advisory Board. The primary task of the board is to revise and update a policy report for legislators on the use of science and technical information in making and implementing public policy. The updated policy report should be available from CSG in summer 2014.

September 11-13, 2013 -- 4th Annual Conference, Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent
Molly Stenovec, Shawn Johnson, and Stephan Edwards helped organize, convene, and facilitate the 4th Annual Conference of the Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent at Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier, MT.

July 15-18, 2013 — U.S. Institute on Global Environmental Issues
Matthew McKinney and Shawn Johnson led of series of lectures, exercises, and a field trip on "collaborative conservation" with 20 undergraduate students from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

July 15, 2013 -- National Native News
Sarah Bates was interviewed on the legal and policy implications of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes' acquisition of Kerr Dam on the Flathead River in Montana.  The interview is available here:

June 27, 2013 — Five Valleys Land Trust
Matthew McKinney participated in a strategic planning session with the Board of Directors of Five Valleys Land Trust. Among other topics, he emphasized the need to better link the work of land and water trusts, and to build partnerships to advance culture, community, and conservation at the scale of large landscapes.

June 4, 2013 -- Land Trust Alliance
Sarah Bates facilitated a forum at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law on opportunities for western land trusts to address water in their private land conservation initiatives. This gathering served as a review body for a draft sourcebook on land trusts and water, which includes detailed resources on western states' laws and policies for instream flow protection as well as sample legal document language for addressing water in conservation easements.
April 18, 2013 -- University of Montana Public Land Law Conference
Sarah Bates provided summary remarks, wrapping up conference on the legal and policy implications of energy development on western public lands. As visiting faculty at the University of Montana School of Law in 2012-13, Sarah served as the advisor for the student conference editors and provided valuable connections to speakers and sponsors representing diverse perspectives.

November 29-30, 2012 -- Healthy Headwaters Leadership Convening
Sarah Bates was an invited participant in strategy session convened in Portland, OR by Carpe Diem West, an interdisciplinary network of professionals working to develop solutions to climate change impacts on western water resources. A key focus of this group is the relationship of land management (particularly national forests) to water quality and quantity, an area of emphasis for Sarah's work at the Center as well.

September 30, 2012 -- Land Trust Alliance
Sarah Bates facilitated a forum at the National Conservation Conference-Rally on opportunities for western land trusts to address water in their private land conservation initiatives.  This meeting launched a project that will produce a sourcebook on land trusts and water.  Participants represented a diverse cross-section of western land trusts, water trusts, landowners, and other conservation interests.