THIS ISSUE: Climate Challenge * Take Action at the Farmers Market * Clean Power Plan * North Fork Oil & Gas Withdrawal & Lease Exchange * Campaign Workshops * More * 
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Summer 2015

Program Highlights

So far 2015 has been a whirlwind of activity and movement on the projects we are working on and following at Mountain West Strategies.

From organizing a climate conference in Paonia and a gourmet food event with a message in Denver, to providing strategic support for community leaders meeting with top decision-makers in DC, running skills workshops, and tabling at neighborhood events; Mountain West Strategies' effective tactics, communications, and planning have already made a difference for stakeholders, partners, and clients in 2015

And we'll be getting even more done. Information on issues we'll be watching and activity coming up this summer follows. But first, here is an update on some things accomplished so far in 2015.

Have a great summer out there!

Pete & Courtney
Mountain West Strategies

2015 Year to Date
North Fork Public Lands: Oil and Gas Withdrawal/Lease Exchange ** Advocacy Campaign workshop series ** Solutions from Western Slope Climate Challenge have participants rolling up their sleeves to make change happen now...

Protect the North Fork

Oil & Gas mineral withdrawal and lease exchange

In early July the Delta (Colorado) County Commissioners finalized their position on the proposed legislative "lease swap" exchanging existing oil and gas leases on public lands in the Thompson Divide area (across McClure Pass in Garfield and Pitkin counties), for an equal value of public lands leases in the North Fork Valley (in Delta, Mesa and Gunnison counties).  

Delta County took the position that any exchange legislation needs to resolve the broader issues about this activity in the area. First, by removing other public lands from the threat of future oil and gas leasing and development; and, second, by ensuring that all federal, state and local regulations apply, including the need to involve local communities in deciding how future development proceeds.  

Read more about the county's proposal on the Citizens for a Healthy Community website here
Mountain West Strategies introduces Advocacy Campaign workshops
What is an 'Advocacy Campaign'? 
How does one go about developing and winning one?  
These are just two topics covered in the Advocacy Campaigns workshops offered by Mountain West Strategies. The three workshops cover about 8 hours of instruction, discussion and hands-on exercises, and include The Art of Advocacy: Finding the Way to the Winning CampaignOverview to Campaign Development; and, Crafting the Winning Campaign.  

Read this blog or check out  the series below.
Paonia welcomes first ever Western Slope Climate Challenge
Listen to KVNF Community Radio story here
May 1 - 3 brought the first ever Western Colorado Climate Challenge and Solar Fair to Paonia Colorado.  In partnership with Climate Colorado, this event brought industry and academic experts, activists, students, and concerned Coloradans together to problem-solve four specific and daunting challenges driven by the climate crisis. 

You can read about solutions generated from this event in the 'What's Ahead' update below. 
Western Slope Now - TV 5 CBS
Paonia, a Model for a Healthy Environment

Campaign Updates ... Activity Briefing
July 27, 2015

After a busy fall helping the valiant but unsuccessful effort to win Coloradans the 'Right to Know' (Yes on 105!), the New Year saw our attention focused on the Greater sage grouse and on oil and gas issues percolating in the North Fork.  

Our time was spent making plans and developing curriculum for the Advocacy Campaign workshops. In April we field tested the series with a by donation presentation of the Art of Advocacy at The Learning Council

The first weekend of May brought the first ever Western Colorado Climate Challenge and Solar Fair to Paonia, Colorado for a full weekend of fun, inspiration, information and a one-of-a-kind rapid prototytping exercise that brought tangible solutions for taking what we learned forward into real world action. 

The last week of May brought another first ever event: a 'Savor the Quality of Colorado' gourmet gathering at The Kitchen-Denver.  We joined with the Colorado Farm and Food Alliance and partners including Slow Food Western Slope, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, and the Valley Organic Growers Association to bring a sampling of top quality Colorado-sourced food and drink with a message: If you care about food you need to care about how oil and gas is getting developed in Colorado.

The first week of June, Mountain West Strategies joined with North Fork community leaders and the Citizens for a Healthy Community on a last minute trip to Washington DC, to meet with top decision-makers, lawmakers, and legislative staff to discuss the proposed oil and gas lease exchange being pushed by driller SG Interests, as well as other issues impacting western Colorado.  

July began with the Delta County Commission supporting the partial mineral withdrawal to protect important public lands from oil and gas development along with the exchange proposal, in response to the hard work of community stakeholders.

We helped organize the 2nd Annual Drink & Act Locally at Delicious Orchards (for Citizens for a Healthy Community), and we helped orient a team of CU-Boulder INVST Studies students on conservation and energy issues facing western Colorado by guiding an EcoFlight over the area and debriefing with the students during the week.  

What's Ahead for this Summer & Fall
Clean Power Plan ** Saving Taxpayer Money and the Climate Too ** Protect the North Fork ** Take Action at the Farmers Market ** Solving the climate crisis at the local level ** North Fork Scrapbook captures unique qualities of Colorado valley

We have already been out with some of our friends and partners at events, including North Fork Uncorked and the Drink & Act Locally event. And we are supporting the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance at farmers markets over the summer and fall.

Mountain West Strategies will stay involved in the North Fork oil and gas withdrawal and lease exchange, to make sure whatever legislation moves forward protection of the valley's important resources and public lands is a top priority.

As the summer wanes we will also be paying close attention to rule-makings, legislation, and other activity coming out of the Obama administration, agencies, and Congress.  

Mountain West Strategies will be working with our partners at the National Wildlife Federation and others to get the word out about the Clean Power Plan and the importance reducing carbon emissions from power plants to protect Colorado's clear skies, clean water, and healthy lands. Learn more here
Methane is even more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It is also a valuable resource. A BLM rulemaking for public lands would limit methane leakage and waste, and will benefit Colorado communities, the environment, and taxpayers. Read a blog about this issue here
Mountain West Strategies expects to work closely with stakeholders, residents and our partners at Citizens for a Healthy Community on oil and gas issues impacting the North Fork, including the proposed withdrawal and lease exchange and the pending BLM plan revision. You can learn more at
And we'll help the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance share information with decision makers, stakeholders, and the public about key issues impacting Colorado's farm and food economy.

Mountain West Strategies is honored to provide campaign guidance in conjunction with Climate Colorado, for the projects resulting from the Western Slope Climate Challengehelping prepare rural residents for solar; moving schools toward 'net zero;' educating on water conservation; and, promoting change on and through western Colorado electric co-ops. 
And we are privileged to serve as editor and publisher for the community-based North Fork Scrapbook, which seeks to protect the unique qualities of the valley through sharing the stories that are lived there.

Contributions to the Scrapbook are tax deductible through a partnership with Citizens for a Healthy Community. 

Mountain West Strategies~
elping people, stakeholders, and businesses win--specializing in community-based strategies to effectively engage the region’s issues.


Now offering workshops on advocacy campaigns.


The Art of Advocacy: Finding the Way to the Winning Campaign — a framework for understanding what makes an effective advocacy campaign

Overview to Campaign Development covering the ‘nuts and bolts’ steps taken to assess the situation and craft a campaign plan

Crafting the Winning Campaign hands on training and practice in campaign development, including campaign assessment and crafting a plan

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Mountain West Strategies was founded as a company with a commitment. In addition to being selective in our work, we contributes at least 5% of net profits annually to organizations working to protect the environment,  build community,  and support sustainable livelihoods. Mountain West Strategies supports clean energy development and works to offset our share of carbon emissions.

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