SMP Nuts and Bolts

Engage Stakeholders

Focusing on river health and environmental issues is great but without support from water users this tactic will result in plans without action.

Cary Denison, N. Fork Gunnison and Uncompahgre SMP

The first formative step of a stream management plan, before any grants are written or technical work is undertaken, is to bring together the individuals, organizations, and constituencies that have an interest in how a stream is managed to define the purpose and scope for their planning effort. Once planning is underway and data has been collected, stakeholders should vet the assessment results and evaluate modeling to ensure its reflective of on-the-ground conditions. While referring to those assessments, stakeholders should also help identify and prioritize issues and concerns with the stream, as well as possible management actions and projects to address priority issues.

Thoughtful consideration of how to bolster group dynamics, gather information, set expectations, manage effective meetings, establish decision making structures, and overall process management are integral to a successful stakeholder engagement process and stream management plan.

Explore the steps to designing an effective stakeholder engagement process:


Identify Stakeholders


Consider Engagement Methods


Engage Agricultural Water Users


Hire a Neutral Facilitator


Define Clear Expectations, Decision-making Process, and Authority


Gather Community Input

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