Skip to content Skip to navigation

Sixth Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference

Collaboration and Compromise in the Rural American West

Yakima, Washington, March 22-23, 2018

Conference Panels

Introduction and Conference Opening  Go to panel page

Rural West Conference Panel 19:00–9:30 am Friday

The emeritus historian David M. Kennedy and the political scientist Bruce E. Cain framed the critical issues of the rural American West in 2018 – some of which have been around for a hundred years or more, said Prof. Kennedy.

Panel 1: Challenges and Possibilities in Wildfire Management  Go to panel page

Rural West Conference Panel 19:30–11:00 am Friday

As devastating wildfires have become a new reality in the American West, this panel discussed the challenges and new possibilities of managing both their impact and our response.


Panel 2: Toward a Healthier Rural West Go to panel page

Rural West Conference Panel 211:15–12:45 pm Friday

Building upon the 2017 Rural West conference, this panel brainstormed the next steps in improving health care and access in the rural West.


Panel 3: Perspectives on the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan Go to panel page

Rural West Conference Panel 31:45 – 3:15 pm Friday

The Yakima Basin Integrated Plan has been praised for making the Yakima Basin a great place for families, fish, and farms. This panel discussed the background, implementation, and opposition to the plan.

Panel 4: Models for University-Based Collaborative Governance Go to panel page

Rural West Conference Panel 43:30 pm–5:00 pm Friday

This panel highlighted best practices in university-based collaborative governance for addressing environmental, economic, and health issues in the rural West.

Keynote: Hilary Franz, Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Go to panel page

Rural West Conference Panel 43:30 pm–5:00 pm Friday

Hilary Franz, who was sworn in as Washington State's Commissioner of Public Lands in January 2017, oversees 5.6 million acres of state-owned lands, the majority of which is considered rural. She delivered the closing keynote address at the Sixth Eccles Rural West Conference.


Rural West Conference Volume

Bridging the Distance

Common Issues of the Rural West

Edited by David B. Danbom
Foreword by David M. Kennedy

Published in cooperation with the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University
The University of Utah Press has published Bridging the Distance, a book by the Rural West Initiative of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Edited by the distinguished historian David B. Danbom and with a foreword by Center co-founding director David M. Kennedy, the book explores the Rural West across four dimensions: Community, Land, Economics – and defining the Rural West itself. The book is the result of work presented at the first Conference on the Rural West, which took place in Ogden, Utah, in October 2012.