Rural West 2022

Pressing Climate and Economic Challenges in the Rural West
Date
Fri April 8th - Sat April 9th 2022, All day
Location
Pond Student Union Ballroom (Room 220)
Idaho State University
1065 Cesar Chavez Ave
Pocatello, ID 83209
Rural West 2022

The Rural West Conference is an annual, interdisciplinary gathering that brings together academics, practitioners and policymakers to share knowledge and ideas about the rural West. The conference aims to catalyze scholarship about and solutions to the region’s pressing problems. Each spring, the Lane Center travels to a different location in the West, growing the network of individuals and organizations invested in identifying solutions to challenges of rural policy, health and environment.

The Eighth Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference, following a brief hiatus for the program due to COVID-19, will take us to Pocatello, Idaho. We expect the gathering to be an engaging and interdisciplinary dialogue on the critical issues facing rural communities in the American West. With the theme of “Pressing Climate and Economic Challenges in the Rural West,” this year’s conference will take on a range of twenty-first century issues, including wildfires, the future of ranching, and water, specifically drought management and dams. Panelists and speakers will explore the environmental, health, and economic dimensions of each of these topics.

Attendance at Rural West is by invitation only.

Agenda

Friday, April 8, 2022

Apr 8
5 - 7:30 pm

Welcome Dinner and Opening Keynote (by private invitation only)

Rising to Resilience in Challenging Times:  What will it take?

 

Felicia Marcus

Felicia Marcus
William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow
Water in the West, Stanford University

Felicia Marcus is an attorney/consultant who has served in positions in government, the non-profit world, and the private sector. She is currently the William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program and an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She is also a founding member of the Water Policy Group, an international network of former and current high level water officials dedicated to assisting developing nations. Felicia was most recently chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board during the state’s worst drought in modern history, helping to lead efforts to boost conservation and recycling, manage the state’s water rights system, balance water use between competing interests, extend drinking water to underserved communities, and develop and implement the state’s historic groundwater management act. She previously served as regional administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX and as head of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works in addition to leadership in national non-governmental organizations (Trust for Public Land and Natural Resources Defense Council). She is one of three US members of the Joint Public Advisory Committee to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, comprised of the environment ministers of the three North American nations and serves on a variety of boards and advisory councils. She was recently appointed to the Western Electricity Coordinating Council Board of Directors, which oversees the bulk transmission grid for the western United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. She received an AB cum laude in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, a JD from NYU School of Law, and attended Hong Kong University on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Apr 9
8:30 - 9 am

Registration and Breakfast

Apr 9
9 - 9:15 am

Welcome and Introductions

C. Hope Eccles
Advisory Council Member
Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University

 

David M. Kennedy
Advisory Council Member, Director Emeritus 
Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University

Apr 9
9:15 - 10:45 am

Wildfire and the Rural West

Rural western communities are facing increased threats and consequences as a result of raging wildfires in the region. Panelists will explore the various ecological, sociopolitical, and policy implications of the issue

 

Alexandra Konings

Alexandra Konings
Stanford University

Alexandra Konings leads the Remote Sensing Ecohydrology group, which studies interactions between ecosystems and water availability using novel satellite datasets. That is, her research studies how changes in hydrological conditions change ecosystems and how this in turn feeds back to weather and climate. In the rural West, her research has focused on demonstrating and understanding the significant effect ecosystem responses to drought have on wildfire risk and how this interacts with other risk factors, including population growth in the wildland-urban interface. She has been awarded numerous honors, including a 2018 NASA New Investigator award, a 2020 NSF CAREER Award, and the 2021 American Geophysical Union Global Environmental Change Early Career Award.

 

Headshot of Travis Paveglio

Travis Paveglio
University of Idaho

Travis Paveglio is an associate professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Society at the University of Idaho. His research focuses on wildfire, environmental hazards, and natural resource management. Paveglio's work on wildfire spans the human and policy dimensions of wildfire management (e.g., evacuation policies, fuel reduction planning, homeowner mitigation actions, suppression actions, identification of values-at-risk, and recovery aid). An overarching emphasis of his wildfire research focuses on the ways that diverse human populations adapt to changing wildfire risk and develop relationships with their landscapes. Paveglio has spent more than 17 years conducting qualitative and quantitative case studies of collaborative wildfire risk management, response, and recovery in dozens of communities across the western United States. He received training in natural resource sociology, communication, and ecology.

 

Rebecca Miller

Rebecca Miller
University of Southern California

Rebecca Miller is a postdoctoral scholar with the West of Fire project at the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Her research explores the impacts of recent wildfires on state policies and local communities across California. Rebecca earned her PhD in Environment and Resources at Stanford University.

 

Headshot of Craig Thomas

Craig Thomas
University of Washington

Moderator

Craig W. Thomas is a professor at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, where he teaches and conducts research on collaborative governance and environmental policy. He is the author of two books and numerous articles on collaborative governance using a wide variety of methods, including surveys, focus groups, network analysis, content analysis, and computer simulations.  He holds a PhD in Political Science and a Master’s of Public Policy, both from the University of California, Berkeley. He has also served as Associate Dean at the Evans School and as editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

Apr 9
10:45 - 11 am

Break

Apr 9
11 am - 12:30 pm

The Future of Ranching in the American West

Ranching, long an important way of life in the rural American West, faces shifts due to a number of ecological and economic challenges. Scholars and practitioners on this panel will explore rangeland ecologies, ranching on public lands, and the realities of ranching in the twenty-first century.

 

Briana Swette

Briana Swette
Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Stanford University

Briana studies rural land use change and governance, using methods from geography, ecology, and the social sciences. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Stanford Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER). Her dissertation research traces how and why public lands ranching is changing in Idaho’s High Divide landscape in the context of an ongoing rural transition, the impact of those changes on mountain ecosystems, and the responses from local communities. Prior to graduate school, Briana supported sub-national governments in Brazil and Peru and designed and implemented land use and forest policy as a research associate at Earth Innovation Institute. Previously, Briana ran operations at a growing natural food company and worked as a crop manager on a small vegetable farm in California. She holds a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford’s Earth Systems Program. Briana and her husband, Simon Neely, own and operate Lookout Farm in Bellevue, Idaho.

 

Karen Launchbaugh

Karen Launchbaugh
University of Idaho

Karen Launchbaugh is a professor of rangeland ecology and Director of the Rangeland Center at the University of Idaho. The Rangeland Center is a unique organization of 37 university scientists and educators who work closely with ranchers and land managers to bring science to address management issues on rangelands. Dr. Launchbaugh’s research and teaching focus on applying principles of grazing management and targeted grazing to manage invasive plants, wildland fuels, and livestock-wildlife interactions. Karen grew up on a sheep and cattle ranch in western North Dakota and has degrees in rangeland science and management from North Dakota State University, Texas A&M University, and Utah State University. Dr. Launchbaugh also serves as the current president of the international Society for Range Management.

 

Jim Hagenbarth

Jim Hagenbarth
Hagenbarth Livestock

Jim Hagenbarth was born and raised in southwestern Montana. He attended local schools and received a business management degree from the University of Notre Dame. Jim and his wife Laurie have three grown children and live in Dillon. Along with his brother Dave and son John, Jim manages a livestock operation that began in Montana and Idaho in the 1880s. Although the size and landscape have changed, the Hagenbarths are dedicated to using livestock as a tool to cause the disturbance necessary to keep the grazing resource they manage healthy and sustainable. They firmly believe that the diversity and sustainability of a working landscape and its communities are far more important than individual species. Most of Jim’s past efforts are focused on that belief.

 

Christy Wyckoff

Christy Wyckoff
Redwing Ranch
Moderator

Dr. Christy Wyckoff is the owner-operator of Redwing Ranch, a cattle ranch in Southern Colorado on the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As a wildlife ecologist, Christy’s career has focused on wildlife conservation and ecological land management, skills that she is now using to move Redwing Ranch from conventional to regenerative grazing practices. Prior to her move back to Colorado in 2022, Christy was the Deputy Director of the Santa Lucia Conservancy, in Carmel, California, where she led the wildlife research, prescribed-fire, and community-fire-preparation programs. She also supervised the land management program which included the Conservancy’s novel conservation cattle grazing program. Christy received her BS in Biology from Stanford University, ‘02, chased feral pigs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for her MS, ‘07, and delved into the molecular world of chronic wasting disease in elk at Colorado State University for her PhD, ‘13. Over her career, Christy has advised and mentored over 40 students (undergraduate and graduate), advancing the careers of young conservation and land management scientists.

Christy grew up on a ranch outside of Paso Robles, California, where she connected with the wide-open spaces and independent spirit of western communities. She is deeply interested in helping address the challenges western communities and landscapes are facing including drought, climate change, wildfire, rural “brain-drain,” and urban growth. Christy joined the Bill Lane Center Advisory Council in 2018.

 

Apr 9
12:30 - 1:45 pm

Lunch

Apr 9
1:45 - 2 pm

Break

Apr 9
2 - 3:30 pm

Water in the Rural West

Increased drought and aging infrastructure are only two of the many water-related challenges facing the rural American West. Panelists will explore a number of salient topics related to water, such as irrigation and drought management and dams.

Rob Van Kirk

Rob Van Kirk
Henry's Fork Foundation

Rob Van Kirk is senior scientist with the Henry’s Fork Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization in Ashton, Idaho. He is also professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. He earned a B.A. in mathematics and an M.S. in environmental systems from Humboldt State University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Utah, specializing in fish and wildlife population dynamics. From 1994 to 1998, he served as founding research director at the Henry’s Fork Foundation, establishing a widely recognized program of watershed research and monitoring. He then spent nine years on the faculty of Idaho State University and five years at Humboldt State University before returning to the Henry’s Fork Foundation. Dr. Van Kirk has been active in collaborative fisheries and water-resources research and management in the Snake River basin since 1994. He has authored or co-authored 35 peer-reviewed publications and dozens of technical reports and has received numerous awards for his research and conservation activities, including the R.L. Wallace Native Fish Conservation award in 2008 from the Idaho Chapter American Fisheries Society. He is recognized throughout the Intermountain West for his work in providing streamflow for fisheries and managing groundwater and surface water as a common resource.

 

Bruce Savage

Bruce Savage
Idaho State University

Bruce Savage, PhD, PE, joined Idaho State University and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering after working for several years at McNeese State University and Bucknell University. Currently, he is a professor and the department chair. He also has work experience as an environmental engineer for the Public Health Service prior to completing his graduate degrees at Utah State University. While at Utah State University, he worked as a graduate research assistant at the Utah Water Research Laboratory, where he gained experience with physical modeling of water control structures, including dam spillways. His research and teaching interests follow this path. He teaches courses in computational fluid dynamics, hydraulic design, water resources, fluid mechanics, open channel flow, pipelines, and engineering hydrology.  He has taught other courses in groundwater, environmental engineering, fluid transport, and other basic engineering courses.

His research interests include numerical and physical modeling to understand and solve fluid flow problems and he has written multiple papers on water control structures. Past and current research projects include dam spillways, labyrinth weirs, fish screens, fish passage, flood control structures, rock weirs, pumping pits, wave energy converters, and component flooding in nuclear power plants. In professional practice, he has been involved in numerically modeling hydraulic structures including a wide variety of spillway and irrigation structures. He enjoys discussing ideas and innovations when it comes to water and teaching.    

 

Justin Hayes

Justin Hayes
Idaho Conservation League

Justin Hayes was appointed executive director of the Idaho Conservation League in May 2019 after serving more than 18 years as ICL’s program director. Before ICL, Justin worked tirelessly as an environmental advocate in Idaho and Washington, D.C. for organizations such as Idaho Rivers United, Save our Wild Salmon, and American Rivers.

Justin’s unique blend of science-based technical skills, public policy and lobbying experience, and expertise gained from his dual undergraduate degrees in human biology and earth systems and master’s degree from Stanford University’s School of Earth Sciences ensures that ICL’s work is grounded in sound science and best practices. Justin also relies on experience gained during his years working as an environmental advocate in Washington, D.C., time spent lobbying in the Idaho Statehouse, and his interest in connecting people to policymakers and elected officials.


A native Idahoan, Justin rejoices in the knowledge that his work is protecting the things that make Idaho a great place to live – our spectacular landscapes, wildlife, clean air, and clean water. 
Justin lives in Boise and enjoys spending his free time hunting and fishing in Idaho’s backcountry, mountain biking, skiing, and running Idaho’s amazing rivers.

 

 

Felicia Marcus

Felicia Marcus
Stanford University
Moderator

Felicia Marcus is an attorney/consultant who has served in positions in government, the non-profit world, and the private sector. She is currently the William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program and an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She is also a founding member of the Water Policy Group, an international network of former and current high level water officials dedicated to assisting developing nations. Felicia was most recently chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board during the state’s worst drought in modern history, helping to lead efforts to boost conservation and recycling, manage the state’s water rights system, balance water use between competing interests, extend drinking water to underserved communities, and develop and implement the state’s historic groundwater management act. She previously served as regional administrator of the U.S. EPA Region IX and as head of the Los Angeles Department of Public Works in addition to leadership in national non-governmental organizations (Trust for Public Land and Natural Resources Defense Council). She is one of three US members of the Joint Public Advisory Committee to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, comprised of the environment ministers of the three North American nations and serves on a variety of boards and advisory councils. She was recently appointed to the Western Electricity Coordinating Council Board of Directors, which oversees the bulk transmission grid for the western United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. She received an AB cum laude in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, a JD from NYU School of Law, and attended Hong Kong University on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship.

Apr 9
3:30 - 4 pm

Closing Remarks

 

Bruce Cain

Bruce Cain
Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director
Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University

Bruce Cain is an expert in U.S. politics, particularly the politics of California and the American West. A pioneer in computer-assisted redistricting, he is a prominent scholar of elections, political regulation and the relationships between lobbyists and elected officials. Prior to joining Stanford, Professor Cain was director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley from 1990-2007 and executive director of the UC Washington Center from 2005-2012. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech, 1988 and UC Berkeley, 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000). He is currently working on state regulatory processes and stakeholder involvement in the areas of water, energy and the environment. 

Apr 9
4:15 - 5 pm

Reception