Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Who is the IMA?

Location: Peak to Peak Highway, CO, USA
The IMA Meeting in Nederland
Characterized by local distinctiveness the Inter-Mountain Alliance, or IMA, organically evolved from the need for planning, organization and representation of the mountain region ... yet there are no elections, appointments, or voting on issues. Perhaps an organization determined to avoid becoming an organization. Now that's a club I want to be a member of. It's why we live in the mountains.

Generally, it is the conversations between these people (who loosely represent different geographic areas) that transfers knowledge and information across the region. Simply using our experience living in the mountains, which makes decisions to become apparent, consensus and cooperation are quickly agreed upon.

For the website, Harry Hempy has attempted to put the IMA Mission into words:
The Intermountain Alliance (IMA) is a forum for sharing knowledge of, and experience with, topics of interest to mountain residents, such as emergency preparedness, disaster response, fire mitigation, forest health, rural access to human services, and federal lands. 
IMA advocates for the needs of mountain residents and facilitates discussion at regular monthly meetings between IMA representatives from each participating mountain community and elected officials, government organizations, and non-profit organizations. 
Your mountain community is invited to participate in IMA. 
Whatever the IMA is – it has been very successful at the Ancient Greek, or the Athenian style of democracy, where political satirists and comic poets contributed directly in lawmaking, instead of elected officials. The IMA saved lives during the Flood of 2012, and has attracted the attention of many county departments, state officials, and the U.S. Forest Service.
[Related Story: U.S. Forest Service Proclamation]

The IMA Timeline:

IMA evolved from the Mountain Mayors Association, consisting of the mayors of all the incorporated towns in the mountainous area of Boulder County, originally convened by Rebecca Lawrence of Ward in 2010 to share lessons learned from the Fourmile Canyon Fire. Community-based emergency preparedness was originally the focal point of the group as we focused on understanding the needs and desires of mountain residents during and after a natural disaster.  Working closely with the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management, we documented the resources present in each town and devised community-specific plans to support our local volunteer fire departments.  In 2012, we launched Mountain Emergency Radio Network (MERN) in partnership with BCARES (Boulder County Amateur Radio Emergency Services). MERN ham operators in Allenspark were instrumental to helicopter evacuations following the floods of September 2013.

The IMA has expanded beyond the realm of emergency preparedness and also advocates for the needs of mountain residents to State and County officials.  Federal organizations, State legislators, Boulder County Commissioners and officials, as well as the Boulder County District Attorney have visited IMA meetings with the intention of understanding how to better serve our mountain communities.
[Related Story: Expanding Services in the Mountains in Spite of Federal Cuts]
The Inter-Mountain Alliance (IMA) is included on Foothills United Way's Boulder Mountain Resources web page.

You can also join the Inter-Mountain Alliance Google Group to receive emails about the group's activities. It's easy to unsubscribe from this group (and stop receiving emails from it) by sending an email to intermountain-alliance+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

[Here is a Video Valediction] This is the Oscar winning, Woody Allen in the opening scene of his film: Annie Hall[What is a Video Valediction?]
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