Project Description

MANAGING GROWTH IN THE NEW WEST: AN EDUCATIONAL WEBINAR SERIES

THE CHALLENGE

Montana and much of the West has experienced a history of boom-and-bust development. In many cases this growth, or decline, was related to the rise and fall of natural resource industries. With the transition of this “old west” economy to a much more diverse “new west” economy, population growth and land development, while still subject to some fluctuations, has seen a much steadier rate of increase. In the past year alone, with the influx of people seeking escape from the Covid pandemic, growth rates have spiked with significant impacts on both private and public lands.

Many communities and counties are less than adequately prepared to plan for and effectively manage this growth. And the general public, while alarmed at the noticeable increase of newcomers, soaring home prices, and even increased pressure on public lands and waters, is often at a loss on what can be done. We believe it’s time to re-energize a robust growth management movement to effectively address these critical issues.

OUR RESPONSE

Future West, in collaboration with a number of other organizations, is hosting a series of webinars on the most salient growth management topics facing the Northern Rockies. The goal is to inspire and inform local actions by both governmental and non-governmental entities that will more effectively address these challenges. We are producing on-line presentations featuring individuals with in-depth knowledge of planning, sustainable development and growth management issues – leaders in their fields who can foster a more complete understanding of the challenges and opportunities that come with growth and change.

These webinars will be presented on roughly a monthly basis and will be accessible to anyone anywhere to view and interact with featured presenters. While Future West is hosting these events, other organizations are invited to be co-sponsors and will be recognized during presentations.

Depending on the status of Covid-related concerns, this series may be followed by an in-person gathering of growth management activists to further explore these issues and to build better lines of communication and cooperation.

JOIN US FOR THE NEXT WEBINAR!

IMPROVING CITY AND COUNTY COLLABORATION ON MANAGING GROWTH 

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 4th 11:00AM-12:30PM Mountain Time

Too often, county and the city governments have viewed each other as adversaries rather than allies. Successful communities know that today’s world requires cooperation for mutual benefit; they know that the real competition today is between regions. Regional cooperation does not mean giving up your community’s autonomy. It simply recognizes that challenges like building modern infrastructure, water pollution, traffic congestion and loss of open space and agricultural land do not respect jurisdictional boundaries: regional problems require regional solutions. Fortunately, we have an excellent example of county/city collaboration in planning right here in Montana. Join us August 4 to hear how Yellowstone County and Billings plan for the future together– successfully.

REGISTER: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eCbalPMvTmKwCTYZ0BgItQ

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OTHER TOPICS IN THIS SERIES AS CURRENTLY CONCEIVED INCLUDE:

• Exploring the Nexus Between Non-Regulatory and Regulatory Approaches to Conserving Rural Landscapes

• How Growth Management Can Affect Housing Affordability

• Replicating Traditional Neighborhood Design in New Urban Development

• How We Grow Affects the Health of You and Your Community

• The Importance of Downtowns to Community Well-being

• Keeping People Out of Harms Ways in Growing Rural Landscapes

• The Role of Historic Preservation in Creating Vibrant Communities

• Transforming Environmentally Degraded Sites into Useful Space

WATCH RECORDINGS OF PAST WEBINARS 

TOOLS FOR PROTECTING AGRICULTURAL LANDS & RURAL OPEN SPACE with JIM STONE (ROLLING STONE RANCH & BLACKFOOT CHALLENGE) & RANDY CARPENTER (FUTURE WEST)

The Northern Rockies is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Many of our valleys are feeling the pressure of increased rural residential growth and this is affecting everything from our tax base to the environment. Rural working landscapes – farms and ranches – are particularly threatened by sprawling development that can significantly impact agricultural operations. But there are ways to maintain the agricultural lands that form the backbone of our region’s identity and rural economy. Our speakers, rancher Jim Stone and Future West staffer Randy Carpenter will survey the array of planning tools and strategies for better managing rural growth and they will illustrate how these are being successfully applied. While there is no one silver bullet for addressing this serious challenge, comprehensive strategies that utilize both regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to protecting rural lands are showing promise.

BUILDING STRONG TOWNS with CHUCK MAHRON

Are you worried that “the way we build our cities now squanders precious resources that should be used to make our communities more prosperous? That our communities are trading short-term growth for long-term liabilities and it’s slowly bankrupting us? That we deserve better?” At Future West, we certainly do – and that’s why we’ve booked Chuck Marohn, author of the words above and founder and leader of the Strong Towns movement.

The Strong Towns approach is a radically new way of thinking about the way we build our world. They believe, and we agree, that in order to truly thrive, our cities and towns must:
– Stop valuing efficiency and start valuing resilience
– Stop betting our futures on huge, irreversible projects, and start taking small, incremental steps and iterating based on what we learn
– Stop fearing change and start embracing a process of continuous adaptation
– Stop building our world based on abstract theories, and start building it based on how our places actually work and what our neighbors actually need today

RURAL SPRAWL IN THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND ITS IMPACTS ON WILDLIFE

Conservationists have come to recognize the critical importance of lower-elevation private lands to our wildlife legacy. However, it is in these landscapes where we are seeing explosive growth, with thousands of acres of open space and habitat developed every year. If that trend continues, how will the future of our wildlife and of our wildlife-related recreational activities be affected? Our speakers will share recent research on rural land development in the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, and potential future trends. This big-picture analysis will be followed by a more in-depth look at how rural development can and is affecting wildlife and wildlife movements right here in Montana, and how good planning and design, along with prudent regulations, can minimize the impact of growth on wildlife. Speakers: Andy Hansen- Montana State University & Brent Brock – The Wildlife Conservation Society

HOW DO PATTERNS OF GROWTH AFFECT OUR WALLETS?

This webinar will feature Joe Minicozzi, a nationally-recognized city planner, architect, and urban data analyst. Joe is a pioneer in fiscal impact analysis which is a fancy name for assessing how growth impacts the pocketbooks of taxpayers. Joe weaves his hard-nosed data and analysis into a persuasive story – replete with visually compelling graphics and 3D mapping – about how the choices that cities and counties have made that encourage sprawl, has in the end resulted in less financially resilient communities. We are fortunate to have booked this master storyteller and we think you’ll see why. Speaker: Joe Minicozzi (Urban3)

Or Click Here to Visit Future West’s Youtube Channel: https://youtu.be/O5656wkw1A8

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO ENQUIRE ABOUT BEING A CO-SPONSOR CONTACT:

randy@future-west.org / 406-582-8937