America’s Rural OpportunitY Panel Event

by Doug Decker, Senior Fellow, Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University

What do an environmental attorney, an economist, a recovering county judge, the attorney general for a Tribal nation, a university professor, and a non-profit leader have in common?  A commitment to shared stewardship, vibrant communities, and rural innovation, of course!

The most recent America’s Rural Opportunity event brought together panelists from a forest collaborative, tribal government, environmental group and stewardship organization in Idaho and Oregon. Together, they explored how tension brought about by changes in natural resource management and local economies has catalyzed new alliances among interests that have been polarized for decades.

The June 10th discussion, held in Portland, Oregon, featured rural leaders who have taken on that navigation, working across divided local public opinion, fractured economies, confusing policy and regulation, and litigation to forge productive local partnerships that benefit rural communities and their surrounding landscapes.

Doug Decker, Senior Fellow for the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University reflects on the dynamics and outcomes of the event in his story, “Collaboration and Innovation for a Better Rural West”.

Watch the full panel event, recorded on location at Portland State University:

This America’s Rural Opportunity event was moderated by Dr. Tony Cheng, Director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute at Colorado State University. It was co-sponsored by the Rural Development Innovation Group, the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, and Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University with support from the U.S. Forest Service.