Monday, March 31, 2008

Stemilt Partnership

For the past several months I've been working with the Trust for Public Land on the Stemilt-Squilchuck Community Vision. Our client is Chelan County, and we've been working closely with a large citizen group known as the Stemilt Partnership. This photo was taken just after our most recent Partnership meeting last Wednesday at the Malaga Fire Hall. The project started in response to a proposed land exchange in which the Washington Department of Natural Resources was planning to divest itself of four sections in the upper part of the basin. As it happens, these four sections form the central core of many of the land use and land management activities that affect the entire watershed. The Partnership was formed to help the County determine what should happen with the land in light of all of the stakeholder groups that are using these public lands.

This project has been particularly interesting for me to work on, because it contains all of the elements that I really love about my job--interesting data and modeling challenges, lots of cartography, the opportunity to meet with and learn from a wide range of citizens and agency people (farmers, real estate developers, wildlife biologists, policy wonks, etc), public speaking and lots of travel to the watershed. The timeline is fairly compact for a project of this size and complexity, but I think the fact that so many community members are heavily engaged will help us produce an excellent result.