Conference focuses on water issues

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Reducing the effects of drought on rural livelihoods, protecting Montana’s waterways from invasive mussels and helping neighbors recover from wildfires — these are just a few of the many ways that locally driven watershed groups sustain communities across Montana every day.

Yet, many of these groups struggle to communicate their work to a wider audience.

The Montana Watershed Coordination Council’s 2018 Symposium, “Advancing Conservation through Effective Communication,” aims to change that. The symposium is Oct. 10-12 in Whitefish.

The conference will bring together renowned communications and storytelling experts, including Sarah Elkins of Elkins Consulting, Tony Incashola of the CSKT Salish Culture Committee, Ben Long of Resource Media, Randy Bachmeier of Montana State University, and Mike Forsberg, a National Geographic photographer known for his months-long project capturing images of the Platte River Basin.

MWCC and its partners expect more than 150 people from across the state to attend the symposium to learn about communications strategies, compelling storytelling, effective fundraising, social media, and more. Participants will also tour water protection and restoration projects in Eureka and Whitefish. An Oct. 9 pre-conference with experts from National Geographic and the University of Nebraska will start out the week.

“MWCC’s Symposium offers a great opportunity to share ideas and connect with resource professionals from throughout the state,” said Heather Barber of the Bitter Root Water Forum.

More than 20 sponsors have made MWCC’s 2018 Symposium possible, including National Geographic; Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Montana Department of Environmental Quality; and River Design Group.

For more information, visit https://mtwatersheds.org/app/.

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