A recent workshop on collaborative stewardship in the San Jose Watershed attracted around 35 people.
“We gathered to look at what we already know, what work has been going on in the last couple of years on watershed planning and management in the San Jose Watershed. What are the gaps and what should be the next steps,” said Maureen LeBourdais of the Fraser Basin Council, who helped organize the workshop at the Pioneer Complex, April 29.
Local government, First Nations, industry and various ministry representatives attended the one-day workshop, to look at better ways of managing the water resource.
Participants broke into groups in the afternoon to tackle priority issues such as agriculture, land use, education, base line research, identified gaps, stewardship and governance.
“How can we collaborate and work together, was one of our focuses,” LeBourdais said.
Dr. Harry Nelson, Department of Forest Resources Management, University of British Columbia, participated in the original research project on climate change in the San Jose Watershed, published in July 2012.
“We wanted to know what the next step is now that we’d done the research. That’s what this meeting was about,” Nelson said.
“We’re at the point where people are saying this is important. With something as complex as a watershed, where you don’t have a lot of institutional structure, I was really encouraged by the turnout and the fact that people want to move ahead.”
People came to the meeting who didn’t participate previously, especially people involved in agriculture in the watershed area, Nelson added.
Steve Litke works with FBC at its Vancouver office in the watershed and water resources program.
“We have some funding to help these types of workshops and help communities.
“I also presented in terms of how other communities in the province are undertaking this kind of work around their watersheds.”
Litke was also encouraged by the turnout and the level of engagement among participants.
“We’re in a stage where there are lots of ideas on the table. We’re just going to have to sift through what priorities emerge and determine who is in a position to work on those priorities,” Litke said.