On December 5, 6 and 7, our policy director, Grant Colvin, represented WLA at the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition (RVCC) annual meeting in Troutdale, Oregon to discuss a range of ecological and economic issues affecting rural communities in the Western US. Grant sat on a Political Realities panel in which he spoke to Farm Bill Reauthorization, sage-grouse conservation, appropriations and other policy matters currently before Congress and the Trump Administration. Meeting attendees also participated in working sessions touching on the National Environmental Policy Act, forest health, rangeland management and conservation and other important issues for close examinations of what’s working (or not) on the ground and how groups with shared interests can work, advocate and move forward together.
WLA is grateful to the RVCC for the invitation to participate in its annual meeting and for the organization’s ongoing partnership. Earlier this year, WLA, RVCC, Partners for Conservation and the Family Farm Alliance came together to craft a series of principles – Toward a Productive and Healthy West – to help inform the debate in Washington, DC over how to best support rural communities in western states and harness the expertise of place-based organizations when developing policy.