“One of the things that I have learned over the last two days is that something really good is happening in British Columbia,” stated Bob Sandford when he provided a closing perspective at the Comox Valley Symposium. “I travel widely, but I have never heard a conversation like what I have heard at the Symposium. And while I am often part of very positive conversations, what was unique (about the Symposium) was the atmosphere of possibilities and hope that I have witnessed here.”
The Symposium will introduce participants to a whole-system, water balance approach for restoration of watershed health. “The purpose of the Symposium is to build local knowledge and interest in how to apply eco-asset management principles at the local level,” stated Tim Ennis, Executive Director, Comox Valley Land Trust. “The Symposium is very much about setting in motion a mind-set change. It is therefore essential that everyone steps back and sees the big picture.”
"At the dawn of 2017, the purpose of this article is two-fold: take stock of our progress in 2016 to inform and educate; and foreshadow where we may be at year-end," stated Kim Stephens. "Other regions recognize BC as a leader. They perceive BC moving in the right direction with integration of watershed systems thinking and asset management. International exposure allows us to judge how BC stacks up against the rest of the world."
The influence of community-based community groups is expanding beyond the creek channel. “The stewardship and conservation sector has traditionally focused on habitat restoration and protection of lands with high ecological values,” states David Stapley. “With cumulative impacts from climate change, urban and resource development escalating, these groups have now become community leaders in educating and supporting improved land use practices.”
"Understanding leads to action. Getting to action is a step-by-step process to give practitioners the tools and experience to get the job done," stated Kim Stephens. "In addition, moving from understanding to implementation requires a sustaining commitment by local governments to implement ‘standards of practice’ that restore the desired watershed condition over time."
"A systems approach to watershed health and protection recognizes that actions on the land have consequences for the three pathways to streams and hence the water balance of the watershed," stated Richard Boase. "Local governments regulate how land is developed, drained and serviced," stated, This means local governments have the authority and ability to determine and implement watershed-based volume targets that would help to prevent drainage impacts in wet weather."
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