The organiser of a symposium on the future of the Mackenzie Basin says he's disapointed Federated Farmers have boycotted the event but he remains confident of a good outcome.
The gathering is designed to get people opposed to further intensification of agriculture talking to those who want it and to work through the issues, from water management to tourism.
Many farmers have decided to attend the symposium anyway, along with 200 other interested parties.
The organiser, the chairman of the Environmental Defence Society Gary Taylor says the future of the basin is in the hands of those who live and work there.
He says it is possible to agree on a strategic direction for the Mackenzie Basin rather than deal with it on an ad-hoc basis through the Resource Management Act.