The mission of the VNRC Water Caucus (“Caucus”) is to better involve the environmental community in the development and implementation of sound water policy and legislation in Vermont. The Caucus will bring relevant information to watershed organizations and other interested parties to enable them to engage on these issues in a constructive, efficient and effective manner.
Need and Purpose
There is a need for greater diversity, perspective and number of advocates to influence the outcomes of statewide policy decisions for better water protections. VNRC engages in these issues regularly and would like to pass on information from our work to organizations that may lack the staff capacity and resources to participate in policy discussions. Examples include changes to the Vermont Water Quality Standards, various TMDLs, legislative efforts, and rules that implement legislation. One of the primary purposes of the Caucus is to present enough information to member organizations for them to be able to choose whether and how to engage in policy discussions.
Structure and Process
Initially, the Caucus will meet on a quarterly basis, at alternating locations. The frequency of meetings, dates and times may change based on the desires of the group.
Because the purpose of the Caucus is to communicate with members about issues of importance and not to advocate, the Caucus will generally not seek to reach consensus on a position. Rather, the Caucus will serve to bring information to its members so that they will be able to engage on these issues. Members are encouraged to bring questions and agenda items to the facilitator. VNRC welcomes statewide partners to present information on issues that fall within the scope of the Caucus.
The Caucus is a membership-by-invitation project organized by VNRC. We welcome members of watershed organizations and non-profit organizations interested in or advocating for sound water policy decisions in Vermont. Please contact VNRC Water Program Director Kim Greenwood if you are interested in becoming a member of the Caucus.
Watershed United of Vermont (WUV) is a newly formed coalition of watershed organizations. VNRC staff serves as an Advisor to that group. While WUV and the Caucus will reach many of the same watershed organizations, it is envisioned that the Caucus will specifically focus on policy and legislative issues, while WUV will instead provide broad-based support and information sharing to help build capacity within and among watershed organizations. The Caucus and WUV maintain a close working relationship.
The next VNRC Water Caucus meeting is scheduled for August 20, 2015 .
For questions on the Caucus or the next meeting’s agenda please contact Jon Groveman at 802-223-2328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.