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A Window into Upper Watershed Collaboration in the Sierra Nevada

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The Sierra Water Workgroup (SWWG) convened in August to discuss three critical headwater issues: groundwater, protecting in-stream flows, and disadvantaged regions and communities. As the source of 60% of California's developed water supply, the diverse mountainous region shares unique challenges and opportunities. In their August conference, SWWG coalesced around five pathways toward collective action that will improve the long-term health of the state's headwaters.

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Tags: Water, Ecosystems, IRWM, DAC

Noted Ag and Natural Resource Leaders Join Ag Innovations Board of Directors

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Ag Innovations is pleased to announce that three of our most respected colleagues have recently joined our Board of Directors: climate scientist Juliet Christian-Smith, PhD from the Union of Concerned Scientists; retired USEPA water expert Jovita Pajarillo; and natural resources management consultant Mark Rentz. These additions bring a high degree of expertise and credibility to our governing body, providing valuable guidance, advice, and oversight during a period of exciting growth and transition at Ag Innovations. 

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Tags: Leadership

Taking A More Holistic Approach to Food Hub Feasibility: A 3-Part Blog Series

Image representing Taking A More Holistic Approach to Food Hub Feasibility: A 3-Part Blog Series

Evidence shows food hubs can play a role in solving complex problems in our food system. Food hubs are relatively new on the scene – we’ve only been studying, experimenting, and talking about them for less than a decade – which means they present a lot of opportunity for creating resilient regional food systems. Building sustainable models and understanding a food hub’s true viability requires a feasibility study that takes a holistic approach. 

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Tags: Local Food, Food Hubs

Moving the Dial on Regulations

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Ag Innovations published two reports --  Permitting Restoration (2010) and Regulating for Agricultural and Public Outcomes (2014) -- that advanced recommendations to improve the efficacy of California's regulatory framework for projects improving environmental outcomes. It seems that California has heeded the call for change. New policies and information tools are streamlining permit application processes, expediting projects with clear environmental benefits, providing permit assistance, and increasing the flow of information critical to decision making.

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Tags: Regulations, Agriculture, Environment

Tips for Successful Collaboration Kick-off Events

Image representing Tips for Successful Collaboration Kick-off Events

Kick-off meetings for new collective action projects are like big games in sports: if it doesn't go well, it hurts. You have lost a golden opportunity to help a unique collaboration get started on the right foot, and will have to work a lot harder to ensure success. But when it goes well, the group builds the momentum, connections, and buy-in needed to succeed. And that makes any facilitator smile. So how can you set up such a meeting for the win? Read on to find out. 

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Tags: Conservation, Leadership, Facilitation, Meetings, Collaboration, Best Practices

Media Mentions

Science news: Designing for uncertainty with Theory U; California’s Delta-groundwater nexus; Missing the boat on freshwater fish conservation in California; Measuring drought in more than dollars and cents; and more …

Designing for uncertainty with Theory U:  “As anyone who has ever tried to work with a group on a complex design challenge knows, uncertainty is one of the most predictable parts of the job. Whether the topic is groundwater management, farm-worker housing, or building a local food alliance, project leaders are faced with the same challenge: they must bring together diverse …

More at Maven's Notebook

Blog round-up: Speaker Boehner blames CA drought on Obama, Public land management at a crossroads, Water wars from the top of the watershed, Groundwater crap detecting 101, and more …

Facilitating California's groundbreaking groundwater governance system: “The historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was signed into law in the fall 2014, providing the first comprehensive framework for regulating groundwater in California. The timeline is tight for local agencies to implement the act, and the state has recognized the pressing need to connect water …

More at Maven's Notebook

Blog round up: Temperature management on the Sacramento River, Economist advise how to manage drought, changing California’s water rights system, Arizona’s Colorado River zeitgeist and more …

A strategic, connected and adaptive California Water Action Plan?  Lucas Patzek writes, “In California’s multiple responses to the drought, there is one key initiative that remains relatively unknown: the California Water Action Plan (Plan). The Plan calls for coordinated action to address the dynamic and interconnected challenges faced by the state’s water system. Thus …

More at Maven's Notebook

Growing Our Farms Forum

Evan Wiig of The Farmers Guild, a fiscally sponsored project of Ag Innovations, was interviewed about the Growing Our Farms forum in Sonoma County. Ag Innovations' project, the Sonoma County Food System Alliance helped produce the event and President, Joseph McIntyre facilitated.

More at KRCB

Hunger Forum Radio Coverage

Joseph McIntyre was interviewed about the issue of hunger in Sonoma County on radio station KRCB.

More at KRCB

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