This year’s Forum was a celebration of progress through collaboration. Almost 200 people gathered on a hot summer day to continue to address the problems of the region and to find ways to move forward together. There was a palpable sense of energy and forward progress. An informal poll showed consensus that we are moving forward in important areas, although there remains concern about addressing water quality issues and adaptation to climate change. Most importantly, there is agreement that the region’s self-esteem is definitely on the upswing. The morning sessions highlighted progress in important areas of tourism development, community sustainability and water quality improvement. All emphasized the collaborative efforts taking place throughout the Park. We presented a summary of the year’s events in terms of each of the six scenarios. For the most part, our preferred scenarios are happening and the ones we want to avoid are not, but there is a long way to go still to fully realize them. The day ended with Bob Bendick offering a vision of creative conservation, where entire communities and regions take up the preservation of our natural resources together with a shared sense of the benefits.
The full documentation for the Forum can be downloaded here.
Our presentation on the year’s events for each scenario can be downloaded here.
We also released an updated version of the ADK Futures Vision, which can be downloaded here.
Thanks to all who participated and have remained engaged in the Common Ground process.