One way to get awareness
February 8, 2016
I read the link (below) and thought about the similarities we have with the conservation districts in many Western states. Many of the same words in the article have been heard in Montana – best kept secret, election process, lack of funding, etc.
MACD continues to try to raise awareness with both members of the general public and the Montana State Legislature about the good work that Districts accomplish. The competition we face for their attention continues to increase every year. Corrections, education, transportation, and public health all take most of the time, attention, and money in the state’s budget. The list of special interests goes on and on. They are always knocking on the door.
We not only compete against other interests in society, we compete against other entities interested in natural resource issues. Some are like shiny new pennies that catch your eye and attention. Districts have lots of shiny new pennies every year, but we have to let others know they are there.
The low profile has had impacts over the decades. Recently, a wealthy ranch owner in eastern Montana gave $10 million to a grass reserve. Districts could have put those dollars to work almost immediately. We have lots of good work that needs to be accomplished. Why didn’t we receive that $10 million?
There’s an old saying that if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Sometimes we’re neither – no one knows or thinks about us. This is a worst fate. MACD is trying to make sure your interests are represented, your points of view are considered, and your work is recognized.
The effort to keep Districts in the public sight needs to be continuous and thoughtful. Our vision needs to be large. By sharing our successes, cooperating with other Districts, and remaining united, we can continue to make progress.
I hope you enjoy the weekend.