Coalition Building for River Protection

Speaker in front of PPT

How can students be more active and informed citizens in protecting our rivers? The fall 2020 Wilderness & Civilization program will include the Wild Rivers Weekend--a three-day field trip during which students will explore all aspects of river protection from advocacy and management to innovative citizen-driven water-use compacts. As part of this course, students will learn how to participate meaningfully as citizens in the legislative processes currently being used to protect public lands and waters.

This won't be your typical high school government class, though.

Members of the Montana delegation with river advocates

The Wild Rivers Weekend will be organized and taught by Lisa Ronald, who coordinates the Wild and Scenic Rivers Coalition in addition to leading wilderness communications for the Wilderness Institute. In early March, she traveled to Washington D.C. with Rivers Coalition members from across the country for a front-row seat to today's fast-paced, complex and evolving public lands politics. In addition to organizing a workshop that helps educate advocates on the latest Wild and Scenic Rivers legislative, appropriations and stewardship issues, she joined river advocates from American Rivers and American Whitewater in meetings to advance the Montana Headwaters Legacy Act. This bill, likely to be introduced into Congress in the next few months, would ddesignate 336 river miles of 17 river segments as new Wild and Scenic Rivers in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in southwest Montana. Her leadership in rivers coalition building is helping empower and connect Wild and Scenic Rivers advocates and will provide this fall's Wilderness & Civilization cohort with information and knowledge to become savvy and engaged citizens who can meaningfully participate in today's public lands debate.