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Columbia Basin Trust continues to adapt during COVID-19

Columbia Basin Trust continues develop a short-term plan to guide activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. — Submitted photo

COVID-19 pandemic has put a major kink in the way operating plans of the community and the Columbia Basin Trust is no different.

The CBT is currently developing a short-term plan to help guide its activities during the next 18 to 24 months.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust postponed its process to renew the Columbia Basin Management Plan, including public engagement and community meetings.

The CBT said given the extraordinary situation in the Basin and the ongoing public health concerns, the Trust is now moving to develop a short-term plan.

“Our legislated mandate is to support people and communities in the Basin,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer in a media release Monday.

“To best address their needs, and to respond in meaningful ways to the challenges and opportunities in the Basin, we’re developing a short-term action plan to guide our activities.”

During the upcoming summer, the Trust said it will directly reach out and seek input from its volunteer advisory committees, First Nations leaders, elected leadership of local governments, partners, as well as a cross section of other Basin organizations.

The CBT said in late August, the Trust will seek feedback from people in the Basin through an online platform on the themes, opportunities and potential actions that emerge.

Once feedback from residents is integrated into the short-term plan, the Trust Board will consider the plan at its September Board meeting.

“We are developing this plan with Basin residents within a relatively short timeframe. These are unprecedented circumstances and we need to adapt while being responsive and flexible,” said Strilaeff.

 “By moving quickly to develop a short-term plan with input from the region, the Trust will be able to take action to help the Basin move forward.”

The Trust said it will undertake a more fulsome engagement process to renew the Columbia Basin Management Plan Strategic Priorities, potentially in late 2021 or early 2022.

The Trust said it remains committed to providing support to the Basin during this time and throughout the planning process. Programs are in place to benefit Basin communities and residents, and staff are available to respond to comments, questions or requests.

For 25 years, Columbia Basin Trust has been supporting your ideas and efforts. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.