phoobyar@watersheds.com's blog

Rockfish Recovery in Puget Sound

Rockfish are long-lived fish that inhabit the ocean and bays off the West Coast at depths up to hundreds of feet below the surface.  Over 100 species of rockfish exist world wide.   These fish became popular with recreational anglers in the 1970s as salmon populations began to decline.   Howver, because fisheries managers and anglers didn't fully understand how long-lived these fish are, and how old they need to be to become sexually mature,  their populations began plummeting by the beginning of the new millenium.   Recreational and commercial fishihg pressure, and legal catch limits, resu

Boating Against the Odds

“So, how bad is it?” my wife asked when I got back to our drift boat.

“Well, it’s big,” I said.   “Make sure your lifejacket’s cinched up.”

Gretchen hadn’t scouted Wild Sheep with me, the first major rapids on the Snake River below Hell’s Canyon Dam.   Instead, she’d stayed with our drift boat, too frightened to look at the rapids after watching a 50-feet long commercial jet boat, loaded with passengers, speed past us and drop over the horizon line and out of sight.

Market Based Approaches to Conservation--Hip or Hype?

Entrepreneurs are approaching habitat restoration and conservation efforts from a market-based perspective in many places around the country.

Bending the Trend Away From Impoverishment

When's that last time you heard a conversation about the International Commission on Stratigraphy come up with your neighbors and friends?  During the last Super Bowl?  During the NBA finals?

Rules of Engagement

The very nature of public policy and natural resource management involves conflict, and often the parties involved in such disagreements are not only distrustful of one another, they can be distrustful of any “third party” mediator or facilitator that is brought in as an “impartial” agent to help find solutions and outcomes to the dispute.   In addition, when an agency or governmental entity is the sponsor of a third party neutral, other participants in the dispute can be suspicious that the agency may have undue influence over the facilitator or mediator.

Cross Cultural Facilitation in Eleuthera

In May 2013 I moderated a panel on the island of Eleuthera (one of the outer islands in The Bahamas) focused on tourism and development issues.  The panel was part of a day-long conference that the Cape Eleuthera Institute and a private school had convened to bring government officials, NGOs, local residents, and other concerned people together to become educated about, explore ideas for, a more sustainable tourism industry that would be beneficial to the ecology and economy of Eleuthera.  This conference was created partly in response to the numerous failed Club Med-style developments that