Over 200 people joined the Tamarisk Coalition and the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University for a sold-out Riparian Restoration Conference in Grand Junction, Colorado, February 6-8, 2018.  
Despite the name, Tamarisk Coalition's 16th annual conference was not just about tamarisk; attendees and presentations covered the gamut of all things riparian.  The agenda included:
  • Novel presentations covering all things riparian. A few of the session topics included
    • Large-scale planning considerations, emerging research on tamarisk, Russian olive, and other riparian vegetation, restoring for wildlife, remote sensing, mapping and technological advancements, adapting to changing climates and planning for healthy river systems, community and partnership engagement, and more.
  • Four interactive panels:
    1. Grazing: panelists explored grazing policy on public lands and riparian management practices on private lands, with an emphasis on conservation and restoration practices beneficial to riparian ecosystems and landowners/land managers alike;
    2. Selenium Impacts to Restoration: panelists discussed the impacts/ramifications of selenium on riparian and wetland restoration;
    3. Lessons Learned in the Pursuit of Private Funding: attendees learned how to fundraise for their projects and effectively connect with funders and donors, and;
    4. The Escalante River Watershed Partnership: panelists covered the journey of engaging private landowners, public lands managers, and highlighted the value they’ve seen in matching the workforce to the project to achieve lasting outcomes.
  • Three field trip options, including a: 
    • Hands-on demonstration of EDDMapS;
    • Fundraising workshop aimed to master common challenges to private fundraising, and in keeping up with our tradition, a;
    • Tour of the Palisade Insectary
  • Ample time to connect with others in the riparian restoration field:  
    • Attendees enjoyed happy hour on the first night with over 20 poster presenters, exhibitors, and free beer and wine 
    • A social at Baron's Bar and Grill on the second evening. 
  • Continuing Education Credits: The conference was approved for continuing education credits from the:
    • Colorado Department of Agriculture: Category 107: Rangeland Pest Control.  
    • Society of American Foresters: Attendees earned up to 17 SAF credits.  
  • Special fundraising consultations:
    • Illene Roggensack of Third Sector Innovations, consultant to the TC's Restore Our Rivers Initiative, provided one-on-one sessions to the attendee's organization's specific challenges, needs, and next steps.
  • A river-inspired silent art auction: Thank you to everyone who bid on a silent art auction item! You helped to raise $1,535 to support scholarships for students and our riparian-focused workshops and youth education.
Who attended?
River restoration professionals, land managers, scientists, non-profit organizations, watershed groups, private landowners, consultants, students, river enthusiasts, biologists, from 13 states and 2 countries joined us!
  Early (before 1/6/18) Late (starting 1/7/18)


$285 $310
Non-Member $310 $335
Student $80 $100
One Day $200 $225

Other conference details:

What Attendees are Saying:
  • "Having the opportunity to attend the Tamarisk Coalition conference this year was a fantastic experience. Because I work in a local watershed group tackling tamarisk and Russian-olive is a big part of my job, and the conference provided a valuable insight into the best practices and methods to reach our goals. This included sessions that not only covered the science of removing invasive species but also, covered important organizational tasks like how to recruit volunteers or raise money for our non-profit."  - Non-profit staff member
  • “It is just inspirational and invigorating being around so many people doing similar work.  It was especially helpful meeting people who work in similar organizations but in different places” - Non-profit/Watershed Group Manager
  • “[The Conference] provides a broad range of information and new research that is applicable to a variety of audiences including private landowners” - Private Landowner
  • “I am walking away with a sense of how to foster collaboration at a watershed scale” - Student
  • “Learning about the quantity of research on riparian restoration was the most valuable to me.  It gave me some hope” - Land Manager
  • “I got to learn about restoration strategies that they just do not teach in school” - Scholarship recipient
  • “Getting a big picture view is critical when working in a small community.  These contacts will provide a wealth of information and inspiration!”
  • “It is easy to get down these days in our field.  I realized a lot of exciting things that were going on and that I need to push a bit harder.”
  • “This was my first conference in the area and the variety of attendees was fantastic; representatives from commercial companies, non-profits, cooperatives, academics, and state/federal agencies were all present.”
  • “I live in a rural town where it is difficult to convene with so many experts/practitioners/scientists/agency representatives.  The simple opportunity to meet and talk with people was hugely beneficial.”
Sponsors & Partners: