Growth & Development Challenges in GNAR Communities -
Oct. 15 - 2:00PM MDT

This interactive session will share the key findings of a survey of planning and development challenges in over 1,500 western gateway communities. It will also engage participants in dialogue about the findings, what they mean for GNAR communities, and what GNAR communities need to respond to the planning and development challenges they face.

Danya Rumore

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Frontier Forward, this session of the series can provide a training opportunity that counts for 1.5 American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certificate Maintenance (CM) Credits through the American Planning Association.






Research Q&A - Current Outlooks on Amenity Migration in the Intermountain West

Oct. 29 - 2:00PM MDT

Are the population cycles in gateway communities always a boom or a bust? Dr. Don Albrecht from the Western Rural Development Center at Utah State University joins researchers from across the country to share insights into the current population, mobility, and migration trends in western gateway communities and their surrounding regions. The team will discuss how COVID-19 may influence these trends and the implications of amenity migration on how we all live, work, and play.

Don Albrecht, Ph.D. - Director, Western Rural Development Center
John Cromartie - Geographer, USDA Resource and Rural Economics Division
Megan Lawson - Headwaters Economics
Peter Nelson, Ph.D.  - Professor, Middlebury College

> Recording
> Slides
> Chat




Community Q&A - Perspectives on Amenity Migration

Nov. 12 - 2:00PM MDT

Amenity migration is being experienced by communities across the intermountain west in very different ways. The perspectives on amenity migration vary as widely as do the communities, creating a continuum of excitement and concern. Leaders from communities across this continuum will share their insights, experiences, and strategies for managing the impacts of amenity migration.

Kaden Figgins - Planner and Economic Development Director, Garfield County, Utah
Kaden Figgins is the Planner & Economic Development Director for Garfield County, Utah. He was born and raised in Panguitch, the Garfield County Seat and attended Dixie State University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance in 2017. Kaden and his wife Cianna met in high school and are among the few who were able to move back to Panguitch and find a sustainable job and a home to purchase after attending college

Emily Niehaus - Mayor, Moab, Utah

Emily Niehaus is the Mayor Moab, Utah and the Founder of Community Rebuilds, a Moab-based nonprofit building low carbon affordable straw bale homes through a workforce training program. Emily holds a Master's Degree in Applied Sociology from Clemson University. She loves life in Moab with her husband and son. If you can’t find Emily in her office, she’s probably out on a trail or running a river.

Aaron Qualls - Director of Planning and Community Development, Sandpoint, Idaho
Aaron is the Planning and Community Development Director for the City of Sandpoint, ID and has previously served as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner and City Council Member. Aaron is a board member for APA ID, Panhandle Area Council, the Sandpoint Airport Advisory board and is the staff liaison to the Sandpoint Arts Commission.  Aaron holds a BA in Anthropology from the UC Santa Cruz and a master’s in urban and Regional Planning from Eastern Washington University. When he is not working, Aaron is typically spotted working on his 100 year old home or playing in the lake or mountains.


Ray Brown - Executive Director, Sanders County Community Development, Montana
Ray Brown is rural Montana.  Ray graduated from Thompson Falls High School in 1994 (class size of 54).  In 2001, he obtained his degree from the University of Montana in Business Admin, emphasis in Information Technology.  Since then, he’s worn many hats.  Sales Director for a Sedona resort, Energy Auditor, Category Management for Wine Distribution, Excavation and Erosion Control, Social Studies Teacher for At-Risk Youth, Behavior Specialist, High School Football Coach and most recently Executive Director for Sanders County Community Development.  Ray has a 14-year-old son that’s his best friend and adventure buddy and they both look forward to having concerts again.

Pete Muldoon - Mayor, Jackson, Wyoming




A Tale of Two Towns: The Successful Communities Approach in Action in Gardiner & Deer Lodge, MT
- ft. Future West

Nov. 19 - 2:00PM MDT


Gardiner, MT had a rapidly growing population and was struggling to manage it. Deer Lodge, MT had a shrinking population and was struggling to reverse it. Both communities partnered with Future West to work through the Successful Communities approach to community planning and strategizing. Future West will share these examples of their work and talk about the critical need for communities to come together, discuss and strategize for their future before it's too late.


Dennis Glick - Dennis is the Director and co-founder of Future West, a non-profit organization based in
Bozeman that helps communities create the future that they want. Future West provides
information, training, technical assistance and facilitation services to key land use decision
makers in the Northern Rockies. Previously, Dennis was the Director of the Sonoran Institute's
Bozeman Office, the Private Land Stewardship Director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition,
and the Co-Director of the Wildlands and Human Needs Program of the World Wildlife Fund.
He has a BS from Oregon State University School of Forestry and a MS from the University of
Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Randy Carpenter - Randy has spent many years working with community leaders in the Northern Rockies, helping them understand the challenges that come with growth and change, and tailor locally-based solutions to those challenges. Before joining Future West, Randy was a community planner in Iowa, followed by 13 years with the Sonoran Institute’s Northern Rockies Program. He holds an undergraduate degree in history and a graduate degree in urban and regional planning, both from the University of Iowa.

> Future West High Divide Video


What Comes Next? Community Peer Exchange & Listening Session

Dec. 3 - 2:00PM MDT

This peer-to-peer learning session is an opportunity for gateway and natural amenity communities to get together to discuss what the increasing trend of amenity migration might mean for their towns and regions and discuss strategies to move forward. This session is geared toward GNAR community members, and not the general public. Participants should come prepared to share insights, challenges, and strategies from their community and to learn from other communities across the intermountain west.

> > RSVP HERE < <




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