CADR: If the Mountain Could Speak & The Mountain's Wisdom

Located in Southeast Oregon and Northeast Nevada, the Trout Creek Mountain Working Group has been working collaboratively for over 20 years to find solutions to complex natural resource issues. In the late 1980s, Lohontan Cutthroat Trout, a threatened and endangered species, were genetically identified in the streams on Trout Creek Mountain. At the time, riparian areas on Trout Creek Mountain were in poor conditions due to decades of livestock grazing. There was also mounting pressure from environmental groups to remove cattle from the area in order to improve rangeland health and ensure the survival of the Lohontan Cutthroat. The situation caught the attention of Doc and Connie Hatfield, Ranchers in Central Oregon, with a reputation for bringing diverse stakeholders together to work collaboratively. Through the efforts of the Hatfields, local area ranchers, environmental groups, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the BLM, the Trout Creek Mountain Working Group was formed in 1988. In 1992, the Working Group developed a livestock grazing plan with the goal of improving rangeland health – especially riparian areas. As a result of the grazing plan, the health of the land improved dramatically over the next three years and continued to improve over the next decade. In 1994, the BLM, in partnership with the Trout Creek Working Group, filmed If the Mountain Could Speak: A Story of Collaboration, which told the story of the Working Group until that point in time. Following the film, the Working Group continued working together collaboratively. The Mountain’s Wisdom: Lessons from and Enduring Collaborative continues the story of the Trout Creek Mountain Working Group. The film highlights their continued collaborative efforts; struggles to keep the Working Group going; and challenges still to come.