This spring marks Diablo Trust’s quarter-century milestone – 25 years since the day that almost 100 natural resources stakeholders (ranchers, agency staff, NGO activists, and citizens) met together at the old Days Inn on west Rt. 66.
Rancorous confrontational discussions occurred, but, thanks to some great facilitation, the Diablo Trust collaborative forum was born.
So, what is a collaborative forum?
In a word, it's synergy. In our business-as-usual world experts are hired to do their jobs in their specialties. It’s not their fault if things fall through the cracks and problems grow due to not having enough money or enough specialists. The collaborative forum concept is different, as it recognizes that among all of the private/agency/NGO/citizen stakeholders there is plenty of talent and goodwill – if they just met together on a level playing field to, as our slogan proffers: learn together from the land, share our knowledge together, and work together on shared goals – so there will always be a healthy West.
I’m grateful for progressive ranchers, and the vital role they play in “stitching the west together” versus watching it fall apart.
Most all land resources degradation has its root in carbon loss from the land. Committed 24/7 ranchers, along with other “hands on” stakeholders, are carbon managers. When stewardship of the inter-connected-web-of-life is done well more carbon is captured to the soil and plants than is released by harvesting products (remembering that plant tissue is over 99% carbon and water that comes from the atmosphere). Building a carbon-rich plant cover synergistically slows the water cycle to: cool the atmosphere, recharge aquifers, produce more harvestable products, improve plant and animal biodiversity, and achieve stable soil development.
Healthy land and wide-open spaces don’t “just happen” in today’s world with so “many cooks in the kitchen.”
I invite you to join with us in our actively facilitated forum process of land stewardship.
Norm Lowe, President