Friday, June 25, 2010

Pacific Northwest Section Meeting

The Pacific Northwest (PNW) section meeting was held in Kelowna, B.C., June 16-18, at the Lake Okanagan Resort.  The area is home to interesting rangelands, watersheds, user groups, and ecosystems as well as spectacular views, fruit and wine.  The tour had two engaging themes: Integrated Resource Use and Range Management and Range Management and Interface Issues.  Presenters represented a range of perspectives and fostered some great discussions.

During the tour we had the opportunity to learn about a local coordinated resource management effort, and presenters included representatives from diverse interests: grazing, community watersheds, recreation (off highway vehicles, OHVs), wildlife, and protected areas.  It was particularly interesting to listen to a variety of perspectives and presenters, all of whom talked freely about issues concerning resources, values, their area of expertise, and how they have been able to communicate with other parties involved.

This photo (above) was put up by the Okanagan Trail Riders Association as part of a large effort to reduce the effects of intensive recreation.  We also learned about the area watersheds, concerns for water quality and quantity, and local grazing practices and arrangements.

Another fun and informative exercise at the PNW meeting was to learn about the history and assessment of Bald Range.  We broke into small groups to get hands-on experience with monitoring and assessment, and compared monitoring notes.

During the final day of the PNW meeting, we toured a reservoir, learned about the Okanagan Mountain Fire and its impact on area rangelands, and hiked part of Myra Canyon over the reconstructed train trestles.

While at the PNW meeting, the committee for the 2012 Annual Meeting in Spokane met to work on planning for the 2012 meeting.  The Spokane group is working hard to put on a great program and give a new edge to the SRM Annual Meeting.  You won't want to miss it in 2012.

One of the clear tour highlights was the BBQ dinner, during which Ken Mather, Cowboy Poet and Author, 'enhanced our membership experience' with stories and poetry, and Rob Dinwoodie and Tim Ross impressed us all with their music - and especially their lyrics!

Stay tuned!  As always, there will be more to come.

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