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Sixth Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference

Collaboration and Compromise in the Rural American West

Yakima, Washington, March 22-23, 2018

Complete Video - Sixth Eccles Family Rural West Conference

In a departure from previous gatherings, the 2018 Eccles Family Rural West Conference took the form of an academic workshop focused on collaborative governance. Panels explored how collaboration in rural communities can foster greater environmental sustainability and better health outcomes.

Read a recap of the conference: Collaboration Key to Addressing Issues of the Rural West.

Held March. 23, 2018 in Yakima, Washington


Panel 1: Challenges and Possibilities in Wildfire Management

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


Panel 2: Toward a Healthier Rural West

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


Panel 3: Perspectives on the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan

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


Panel 4: Models for University-Based Collaborative Governance

This panel will highlight 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


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.