A partnership formed by rice producers, regulators and environmental groups has resulted in a unique success story that provides habitat for 230 wildlife species including millions of migrating waterfowl along the Sacramento River, while at the same time supporting the cultivation of rice and the livelihood of several thousand farmers and supporting workers.

How can this remarkable symbiotic balance between humans and nature be maintained and improved and what lessons could be drawn from the cooperation among key actors that could be applied to other human-nature challenges? Those were the topics during a workshop hosted by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment titled Return of the Pacific Flyway: Maintaining and Enhancing Recent Gains.  

Held on January 13, 2017, approximately 30 experts and stakeholders participated in the dialogue representing the growers, farm advisers, academia, government, a boundary organization (California Rice Commission) and environmental writers. The workshop was facilitated by Harold (“Hal”) Mooney, Senior Fellow, Emeritus with the Stanford Woods Institute and Paul S. Achilles Professor of Environmental Biology at Stanford University.  The workshop began with an overview of the various dimensions of the rice production system and then explored broader regulatory issues and the roles of all levels of government- federal, state and local – and for managing wildlife.   

Read the Meeting Summary

Organizing Committee:
Harold Mooney, Stanford University
Mark Biddlecomb, Ducks Unlimited
Paul Buttner, California Rice Commission
John M. Eadie, UC Davis
Meghan Hertel, Audubon
Bruce Linquist, UC Davis
Don Bransford, Rice Farme