By Karen Filipovich, Professional Facilitator
The Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum stakeholders reached consensus on recommendations for community-based priorities and actions to manage water resources in Big Sky. These actions will allow community partners to work together to address current impacts to water resources, maintain and enhance healthy river systems, maximize valuable and limited water assets, slow the flow of water through the watershed, and improve the community’s collective knowledge of the health of Big Sky’s water resources.
The stakeholders, representing 35 diverse entities in Big Sky and downstream, crafted a shared vision of water management priorities that benefit the health of the river, streamside areas, and wetlands; support fish and wildlife; and serve the needs of a growing community. By ensuring that both the human and natural needs are met, stakeholders were then able to build a unified approach.
Gallatin River Task Force acted as host, as well as one of the stakeholder represented. “This project was a natural fit for our organization as we use a collaborative community approach to solving water issues,” said Executive Director, Kristin Gardner.
Successful implementation of the plan will require many partners, from individual landowners to major partnerships, to effectively adopt recommendations, like making snow with reclaimed wastewater. In addition, stakeholders identified the need to build capacity for effective implementation.
The watershed stewardship plan will be completed by the end of the year. All community member are invited to learn more at the public meeting scheduled for 5:30 to 7 PM on January 31, 2018, at the Big Sky Chapel.