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Environment and Public Lands

Wise use of our public lands and collaborative land-use decisions through stakeholder inclusive conversations are at the heart of the Andrus Center.  As former Secretary of the Interior, Cecil D. Andrus holds one of the greatest conservation records in American history.  In his words, “I remain hopeful that I will be able to pass on to my grandchildren all the pleasures of life in an unspoiled West. Perhaps hope should be replaced by a stronger word. It is a matter of obligation.”


2021 Environmental Conference

Energy, Salmon, Agriculture and Community: REVISITED

In April of 2019 the Andrus Center for Public Policy convened the groundbreaking conference – Salmon, Energy, Agriculture, and Community: Can We Come Together? The conference was designed to encourage discussion and action towards a long-term plan for solving the Pacific Northwest’s two interconnected crises – reliable energy systems and the continuing decline towards extinction of the wild salmon population.

On Thursday, May 13, the Andrus Center will host a two-year check-in virtual event to consider where we are now and how to keep progress moving. As in 2019, this online gathering will include diverse voices reflecting key stakeholders across the region. Some are responding creatively, some are holding long-held positions, and some have yet to join the conversation as our region’s history is written. The conference is scheduled as a half-day online event and will be followed by a summary report.

The half-day virtual event will include keynote speakers U.S. Congressman Representatives Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (Oregon).

The Discussion Panel will be moderated by author and environmental reporter Rocky Barker and will include many return panelists from our 2019 event to discuss where we are now and how things are moving forward.

The Discussion Panel includes:

  • Lynda Mapes, Reporter for the Seattle Times
  • David Reeoloeg, Vice President of Federal Programs for Tri-City Development Council
  • Debra Smith, CEO of Seattle City Light
  • Shannon Wheeler, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive
  • Sam White, COO for PNW Farmers Cooperative
  • Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited

Like many organizations, the Andrus Center has embraced the dynamic created by COVID-19 to ensure the safety of attendees by hosting events virtually. This half-day conference will be hosted online through the conference platform, HOPIN. The Andrus Center has successfully hosted three events using the HOPIN platform and we hope attendees enjoy the unique online experience that goes well beyond your typical ZOOM webinar.

Registration for this half-day event is $10 and scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of sponsors and individual donors.

A cost-sharing scholarship program is available to qualifying registrants. Because these scholarships are limited, they will be available on a first come – first serve basis. To apply for a scholarship, please complete this online request form and an Andrus Center representative will contact you.

Select sponsors and individuals have generously provided resources to the cost-sharing scholarship program to minimize barriers for attendee engagement, especially for students. We thank them for their generous support!

Click here to register for Energy, Salmon, Agriculture and Community: REVISITED

In light of the economic effects of COVID-19 and current events, the Andrus Center is offering a cost-sharing scholarship program. If you want to help financially support a fellow attendee, you can purchase a scholarship that will in turn remove financial barriers for a fellow attendee to participate.


Previous Conferences

2019 – Energy, Salmon, Agriculture, and Community: Can We Come Together?

The Pacific Northwest now faces two interconnected crises that can only be solved together – assuring our region’s energy system emerges reliable and affordable from the technological and market changes roiling it and reversing the continuing decline towards the extinction of many Columbian Basin wild salmon and steelhead, especially those in the Snake River. To make durable progress on these vital linked issues, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho must come together to resolve them. The conference is designed to encourage action and discussion toward such resolution and to bring together the leaders and groups who can find and implement a long-term plan that meets everyone’s needs.

2018 – Idaho’s Water: Supply and Quality in a Time of Growth

A conference to address issues with Idaho’s water supply and water quality in the context of rapid population growth and climate change in southern Idaho.  Some questions the conference considered: (1) The ability to manage Idaho’s water supplies for a rapidly growing population in the Treasure Valley where there is a continued reduction in acres of irrigated agricultural land, (2) How other states deal with changes in water use and growth, and (3) Water quality implications with urbanization of agricultural land and related issues with water quality downstream of the Boise River where it meets the Snake River.

2017 – Why Public Lands Matter

A conference designed to look at current public lands management practices, the various voices in support and dissent, and potential stakeholder collaboration toward forward-looking best practices designed to manage, protect, and preserve our public lands for the generations to follow.

2015 – Western Invasive Weed Summit

The purpose was to convene a summit of federal departments (i.e., DOI, USDA, DOC, etc) and agencies, state and local government agencies, tribes and key non-government organizations to review existing invasive species mandates and programs, and to set a coordinated plan of action for invasive plant management in the West.

The goal of the summit was to build on the recent Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) publication, Invasive Plant Management and Greater Sage-grouse Conservation: A Review and Status Report with Strategic Recommendations for Improvement (Ielmini et al 2015). We refined the report’s challenges and barriers and developed recommendations for securing adequate and consistent program funding at local, state, and federal levels.

We identified federal department orders and other directions for accelerating invasive weed management activities at all levels to meet the needs of GRSG conservation across the western United States. The final product of the Summit was the development of an Action Plan to help guide state and federal agencies, local governments and private entities in a coordinated and effective approach to addressing this important conservation issue.