Trees, Water & People (TWP) partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lead a regional forum for leaders of local watershed groups and water protection agencies May 4-6, 2009. Thirty-seven participants travelled to Loveland, CO from throughout the Intermountain West and as far away as Washington DC to discuss the future of watershed protection.
The roundtable is part of the Protecting the Water of the Arid West (PWAW) project led by TWP and is funded by a Targeted Watersheds Capacity Building Grant from the EPA. The aim of PWAW is to enhance the abilities of watershed groups to understand, protect, and restore their home waters by providing a network of supportive, capacity- building services.
A major focus of the event was providing the opportunity for grassroots organizations to connect with leaders of state, regional, and national agencies and discuss how to improve collaboration, strengthen programs and increase funding. TWP’s National Director Richard Fox explained how this roundtable lets us “turn agencies into people.”
Besides the extraordinary chance to interface with potential allies, participants came to the roundtable to learn what their interstate counterparts are doing, where they have found success, and how they have dealt with obstacles.