For nearly two decades, instream flow conservation principles were provided under the direction of the federal Cooperative Instream Flow Service Group (CIFSG) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Since that group ceased to exist in 2001, no substitute centralized source of training and support services for instream flow and water level conservation studies has been established. Many who received training by the CIFSG have subsequently retired or moved to other jobs. As a result this interdisciplinary water conservation field has been losing a central focus, potentially leading to diminished credibility with quantifying the effects of water uses and management and research on effective conservation of instream flow and water levels on fish, wildlife, and habitat.
These concerns are being addressed by the Instream Flow Council (IFC) and American Fisheries Society (AFS) through a multi-state conservation grant project that will determine the need for, feasibility of, and path towards establishing a new instream flow and water level conservation training center (National Center).
As the first step of this project a steering committee was formed representing water stakeholder interests (state/provincial governments, federal/national governments, academic, and private sector) to assess the needs and support for a new National Center whose mission is to synthesize emerging research and to develop and provide uniform interdisciplinary training in support of all aspects of ecological flow and water level conservation.
This questionnaire attempts to identify interest in and level of support for such a National Center. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Below is a link to contribute to the survey. It will be open and active until Friday, August 6, 2021. Within the survey you’ll note a choice to self-identify in one of 4 different categories: agency, business, organization, or individual. You may fall into more than one of those categories. If so, you are welcome to repeat the survey from each of those perspectives. But please don’t repeat responses for the same category more than once.
We want to maximize outreach to stakeholders so you are encouraged to share this webpage and survey link with other water resource stakeholders.
On behalf of my co-chair and Instream Flow and Water Level Conservation Training Center project Steering Committee members, your time and input are greatly appreciated!