Strategic Framework 2018-2023

Vision

Watershed stewardship groups and volunteers across the Columbia Basin actively and effectively engaged with partners in conserving and managing healthy, functioning watersheds.

Mission Statement:

The Columbia Basin Watershed Network Society works with members and partners to increase the impact and effectiveness of non-profit watershed stewardship groups and volunteers in improving watershed health. The CBWN is the go-to hub for watershed groups to find training, information, or connections. We are a voice for watershed stewardship across the Basin. We work with partners towards setting and achieving regional goals in watershed stewardship including data for decision-making, regional water stewardship collaboration, and regional water stewardship resources.

Services to members: We engage watershed groups in learning from each other through our member meetings, workshops, website, newsletters and in connecting groups with one another. We assist watershed groups across the Basin with access to scientific and funding resources for projects through our website, database and resource recommendations. We support member groups in forming new partnerships with other watershed groups and local organizations by making connections, hosting dialogues, identifying shared priorities and resources, and project resource assistance. We actively support members and partners in sharing information about their activities.

Values

The Columbia Basin Watershed Network Society values information for action, collaboration, and working together for clean water and healthy watershed ecosystems and communities. We value the involvement of communities and volunteers with community watersheds and water ecology for the cultural, aesthetic, health and knowledge benefits that such involvement creates. Members are water stewardship groups and community champions inspired by water. The Columbia Basin Watershed Network Society operates in a responsible, transparent and inclusive manner.

Goals and Measures:

Goals Example Measures
One: Build the CBWN network:
Network: network membership, health, connectivity, partnerships and collaborations formed.
Two: Serve CBWN members and build member capacity: Services: Communications, information, training, resources.
Three: Build regional capacity for watershed stewardship. Regional coordination: Regional partnerships and programs: data, water monitoring, applied research programs
Four: Improve watershed stewardship outcomes. Impact and effectiveness: Increased community support for watershed stewardship, improved data quality and availability, involvement of members in policy process, use of member group data in decision-making, measures to assess water quality
Five: Build the CBWN Society. Board strength and succession, involvement of membership in governance through committees and AGM, use of member feedback in governance, increased diversity of funding sources through partnerships

Five Year Vision:

1. Network: The CBWN Society has 75 group members and 475 individual members. Within the subregions, member groups know of all other active stewardship groups and have collaborated with at least two other groups or organizations on individual projects.
2. Services: The CBWN website and newsletter are reliable sources for watershed stewardship news and information, member updates, grant and funding information, and links to resources. Member meetings are well-attended and highly valued sources of useful information and connections. Training opportunities that are provided by the Network are specific to the needs of member groups, while the CBWN helps to communicate the many great training opportunities provided by others. Member groups can access assistance in finding resources for projects, with significant help for collaborative projects. Direct resources include expanded programming to assist members in understanding their watersheds, including mapping as well as new forms of watershed research and information.
3. Regional coordination: The Columbia Basin Watershed Network supports non-profit groups by supporting regional water monitoring, including ensuring that training, equipment and support are available for the regional program across the Basin. The CBWN helps member groups to share their data with the DataHub, and works with groups and local governments and provincial government agencies to ensure that this data is meaningful and used to support decisions. The CBWN works with Selkirk College on a Watershed Research Centre that supports basic research and applied research for members.
4. Impact and effectiveness: Member group data is available in DataHub, and is used in local decision-making. A baseline measure of regional watershed stewardship has been developed.
5. Build the Society: The CBWN Society is known to be effective and responsive. It has a combination of old and new Board members that work well together, and effectively with Committees. The Board has a strong partnership with the Senior Manager. Policies are in place to assist members, contractors and Board members to make day to day decisions with confidence, and the Board reviews and adopts new policies as the need arises. The organization receives strong support and confidence from the Columbia Basin Trust, who fund about 50% of its budget, largely core funding.

Goal One:

Build the CBWN network. Support members by building the heath and connectivity of the CBWN network, supporting dialogue with information, and developing a growing and diversifying membership. Build network capacity to support action by increasing density and quality of network connections.

Objectives:

1. Strengthen the Columbia Basin Watershed Network membership and connectivity to enable collaboration and enhance dynamic peer to peer collaboration.
a. Build and maintain membership by inviting new groups with watershed interests, maintaining existing membership and supporting member groups.
b. Maintain and build relationships with our partner organizations that offer expertise or project assistance to the membership, such as the Selkirk College Geospatial Research Centre, Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Framework Working Group, Kootenay Conservation Partnership, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, the British Columbia Wildlife Foundation, and the Selkirk College Rural Development Institute..

2. Provide opportunities for member interaction and collaboration
a. Increase interconnections between member groups through introductions and opportunities to work together outside of CBWN events.
b. Create opportunities for members to collaborate online and in face-to-face meetings:
c. Work with groups to identify opportunities for collaboration.

Goal Two:

Increase capacity of CBWN members to do their work. Build member capacity by a) coordinating information, education and training, b) assembling scientific/technical expertise and mentoring, and c) facilitating improved resourcing opportunities.

Objectives:

1. Serve as an information hub for members and Basin residents
a. Communicate and share information through website, newsletter, social media and in person.
b. Link to data, information and reports in watershed science, policy and communications.
c. Share partner information about watershed education, water monitoring programs, aquatic invasive species, watershed engagement programs and project resources
d. Continue awards program to celebrate CBWN member group achievements in citizen science, watershed education and habitat stewardship
e. Evaluate the effectiveness of our member communications


2. Enable member opportunities for education and training.
a. Offer and collaborate on webinars, meetings and workshops in watershed science, policy, culture, and communications.
b. Model mentorship culture in the CBWN organization and foster mentorship culture in CBWN collaborative projects.
c. Pursue subject-matter education priorities: community-based watershed stewardship, technical support for water monitoring, citizen science, the Water Sustainability Act, the Columbia River Treaty, watershed policy, and climate change.
d. Provide website links to training resources, and liaise with other Networks to meet demand for formal training opportunities.

3. Continue to build referral capacity to link members to mentoring and expert guidance.
a. Build capacity of Science Advisory Committee in citizen science, watershed science, traditional knowledge and policy studies.
b. Support the Science Advisory Committee in a) providing advice on scientific literature and sources, b) identifying research needs to support member activities, and c) oversight of SGRC mapping program.
c. Coordinate watershed stewardship mapping program with Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre.

4. Support members in their efforts to find funding and other project support.
a. Offer support for member funding applications where appropriate and possible.
b. Update and maintain database of funding opportunities for watershed projects and citizen-science initiatives.
c. Work with members to seek sustainable funding, including providing support for the development of collaborative and partnership projects.

Goal Three:

Build regional capacity for watershed stewardship. With partners, work to build and support regional scale information and resource programs such as water data, watershed stewardship resources, and linkages from members to decision-makers.

Objectives:
1. Support sustained collaboration at the sub-regional scale through organizations such as SWAMP.
2. Continue to work with members and partners to identify shared resource issues and to collaborate with partners to solve these at the Basin scale.
a. Serve as a collaborator for the Datahub project for water monitoring data
b. Participate in a regional approach to building water monitoring data quality and capacity.
3. Improve access of members to watershed stewardship expertise and resources through regional partnerships.

Goal Four:

Measure Outcomes. All network activities are directed towards improving watershed stewardship outcomes. Our impact and effectiveness will be demonstrated through measuring our activities.

Objectives:
1. Develop plan to measure watershed stewardship outcomes.
2. Measure the participation of member groups in subregional and regional collaborations..
3. Measure the open availability of group data in reliable and well-known locations.
4. Measure the extent to which member watershed data and knowledge is available and considered in local, provincial and First Nations decision-making.

Goal Five:

Build the CBWN Society. Continue to develop the organizational strength and effectiveness of the new Society.

Objectives:

1. Continue to involve members in governance, organizational direction and outcomes.
2. Develop Society’s governance.
a. Ensure that Committees and the Board are working together.
b. Continue to develop consistent and predictable policies that adhere to organizational values and purposes and support networked decision-making.
3. Seek sustainable funding to support CBWN goals
a. Implement Board sustainable funding policy that supports network collaboration among members.
4. Consult stakeholders where it furthers the mission of the Network.