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Nature-Based Solutions on Public Lands Meeting Series

The Nature-based Solutions on Public Lands Meeting Series delves into five key areas where a diverse range of stakeholders see opportunities to support the implementation and scaling of NbS for riverscape restoration on public lands in the Colorado River Basin.

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Purpose

To support a shared understanding of key challenges and opportunities, and lay the groundwork for ongoing collaboration and coordination to advance nature-based solutions for riverscape and wetland restoration on public lands in the Colorado River Basin.

Objectives

  • Identify the challenges and opportunities to support the implementation, scaling, and success of NbS on public lands.
  • Foster relationships among stakeholders involved in NbS on public lands in the Colorado River Basin and identify potential collaborations and actions to build on successes and address challenges

Background

The Nature-based Solutions on Public Lands Meeting Series delves into five key areas where a diverse range of stakeholders see opportunities to support the implementation and scaling of NbS for riverscape restoration on public lands in the Colorado River Basin. This meeting series is hosted by Meridian Institute with support from the Walton Family Foundation.

SESSION DESCRIPTIONS AND SCHEDULE

The Nature-based Solutions on Public Lands Meeting Series delves into five key areas where a diverse range of stakeholders see opportunities to support the implementation and scaling of NbS for riverscape restoration on public lands in the Colorado River Basin. The sessions will begin with brief presentations to highlight current knowledge, resources, and activities, followed by a short Q&A. The remainder of the sessions will consist of interactive conversation for participants to share and discuss lessons learned, opportunities, and strategies to advance NbS on public lands. All sessions will begin at 10:00am MT. The first session will be two hours and all following sessions 90 minutes long. Session presenters will be listed below as they are confirmed.

Science, Design & Durability: Monday, March 4 (2 hours)

During this session, participants will share and discuss the latest science and design resources to support NbS implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Brief presentations will explore the spectrum of approaches to NbS for riverscape restoration; the sufficiency of existing design resources for permitting and implementation; the current state of monitoring and understanding of outcomes; and what mechanisms exist or are needed to ensure the durability of benefits and stewardship of NbS. Group discussion will build on these topics and identify current knowledge gaps and ways to address them.

Project Planning & Prioritization: Friday, March 8 (1.5 hours)

This session will provide insights on how the BLM and Forest Service approach prioritizing funding and project planning. Participants will share and discuss opportunities to elevate the implementation and stewardship of NbS on public lands, mechanisms for cross-boundary collaborations, and how to navigate and standardize the planning process once funds have been dedicated. Interactive discussion will further explore how to strategically prioritize and plan NbS projects across landscapes.

Permitting: Monday, March 11 (1.5 hours)

This session aims to build an understanding of NEPA and Clean Water Act requirements and the challenges associated with navigating the permitting process. Presentations will share existing efforts to streamline or reduce permitting cost and time within federal agencies. Presentations will also address the nexus of NbS riverscape restoration projects and water rights. Breakout discussions will further explore challenges and opportunities participants see for streamlining and standardizing aspects of the permitting process.

Funding: Wednesday, March 13 (1.5 hours)

This session will build common understanding of federal and state funding, as well as private finance mechanisms, available to support projects and stewardship. Presentations and discussion will focus on how to access and streamline BIL and IRA funding, state revolving funds, funding for wildfire mitigation and climate resilience, and private finance mechanisms. Roles for partner entities to play in shepherding funding will also be explored.

Capacity: Friday, March 15 (1.5 hours)

This session aims to identify critical capacity bottlenecks and strategies for building capacity to support NbS planning, implementation, and stewardship. Presentations will highlight strategies, such as training programs and cooperative agreements, for how different actors are working in partnership to build capacity within agencies, NGOs, and the workforce.

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Sessions will take place on the Zoom video platform. Please join us for one more sessions.