Vision West: Regional Plan for sustainable development

The Bush Foundation, North Dakota Department of Commerce, United States Department of Agriculture and Rural Developmen, DLN consulting

https://www.visionwestnd.com

Williams County, ND representation

Vision West ND’s original Regional Plan for Sustainability was a process that spanned from 2012 – 2014, covering the 19 western North Dakota energy producing counties. This assessment period occurred at the height of the oil boom; a time when the impacts significantly expanded the economic conditions unlike any other occuring in the United States. This dynamic placed extreme pressure on local and state government leaders, law enforcement officials, housing developers, school district administrators, emergency services professionals and volunteers, public works directors, health officials, and a whole host of other essential service providers throughout the region. The region’s economy is based on commodities – primarily energy and agriculture. When the oil boom declined in 2016 and 2017, community leaders were able to breathe more easily and start to catch up with the impacts. At the same time, however, the second largest economic industry in the region, agriculture, was hit hard by declining markets.

The Governor’s office, legislators, and local officials worked hard to respond, formulate and administer new and expanded programming to address the issues that continued to impact the region. It became evident that the region must take a hard look at diversifying, so leaders have better control during the volatile ups and downs of a commodity-based economy. While the efforts of the local, regional and state leaders have been effective, there is still much work to be done to more effectively plan for and allocate human, financial, and technical resources to address economic growth in western North Dakota. The Vision West ND Consortium took a hard look at its 2014 Regional Plan for Sustainability and decided an update was necessary to address the economic changes occurring in the region.

  • Through strategic planning sessions, community leaders and citizens have identified strategies most likely to succeed in the region. The primary goals of the project are to address immediate, short-term needs to meet growth management challenges and establish a diversified economy in the future through the development of local and regional strategic plans
  • Yana Ness acted as a representative of Williams County. She participated in various technical retreats and conferences, took part in the development of the plan, providing insight from the represented county, professional evaluation and proposals. On the side of the County, Yana Ness acted as a representative of the Plan’s Team to provide feedback and the information to the County Officials.

Yana Ness acted as a representative of Williams County. She participated in various technical retreats and conferences, took part in the development of the plan, providing insight from the represented county, professional evaluation and proposals. On the side of the County, Yana Ness acted as a representative of the Plan’s Team to provide feedback and the information to the County Officials.