Results-Oriented Collaboration

Session Date & Time: 
May 5, 2012 - 1:30pm
Session Length: 
90 minutes
Skill Level: 

Wendy McDermott, San Juan Citizens Alliance

The River Protection Workgroups were formed by San Juan Citizens Alliance and the Southwestern Water Conservation District to engage a diversity of people in a collaborative, consensus-based process to strike a balance between the protection of natural resources and water development in southwest Colorado. These two entities recognized that they could either fight over possible Wild and Scenic River designations on the San Juan National Forest or they could come together and make consensus-based recommendations after a productive and honest dialogue where values are identified and treated equally. There are five River Protection Workgroups for select river segments identified as eligible and suitable for a Wild and Scenic Designation in the 2007 Draft Management Plan for the San Juan National Forest. This workshop will benefit those working with community members, water users and providers, elected officials, etc. on Wild and Scenic River issues. Participants will learn about the River Protection Workgroup process and structure, how the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act fits within the forest planning process, and how to initiate and lead collaborative processes.

Presenter Bio(s): 

Wendy McDermott is the River Program Director at San Juan Citizens Alliance in Durango, Colorado. Wendy is passionate about rivers and wild places and is a long-time river runner. She was the Executive Director of High Country Citizens’ Alliance (HCCA) in Crested Butte, Colorado from 2003-2009 and was HCCA’s Outreach and Administrative Director from 2001-2003. Prior to HCCA, Wendy worked as a river instructor for the Colorado Outward Bound School. In 2008, she spent three months in Chile’s Patagonia volunteering with the Patagonia Sin Represas (Without Dams) Campaign and in the future Patagonia National Park. She is currently on the Board of Directors and Volunteer Staff at Rock the Earth and has served on the boards of The Maya Nut Institute, Colorado Rivers Alliance, and FutaFriends. Wendy has an M.S. in Resource Management from Central Washington University and a B.A. in Biology from Western State College of Colorado.