March 2014 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation

 Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell visits western Montana

Sally Jewell along with Senator John Testor met with local ranchers at Rolling Stone Ranch, owed by Jim Stone and his family, in the Blackfoot Watershed on Saturday March 15th.  The group heard about the efforts of the Blackfoot Challenge, the Working Lands Council and broader public-private partnerships that work in this part of Montana to conserve the Crown of the Continent landscape while simultaneously sustaining local economies and ways of life.  During the visit, Secretary Jewell recognized both the accomplishments and potential of landscape-level collaborations "Ranchers like Jim Stone and other landowners in the Crown of the Continent region have created a conservation model that is being replicated across the country, from the Great Plains to the Everglades" she said  "Through the Blackfoot Challenge, the Working Lands Council and other partnerships, Montanans have proven that we can conserve and restore our land and its wildlife in concert with traditional rural was of life that have been passed down through many generations."   More information on the Secretary's visit can be found in this article from the Missoulian.

Partners for Conservation attends Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies meetings in Denver
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) is the professional organization which collectively represents state and provincial fish and wildlife agencies in North America. During the last day of the 79th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver  AFWA convened a number of committee meetings in addition to a board business meeting.  Partners for Conservation vice-chair Jim Faustich (South Dakota) and treasurer Russell Davis (Colorado)  were invited to present Partners for Conservation and share their stories of collaboration and partnership with the Agriculture Conservation Committee and later the Threatened and Endangered Species Policy Committee. Russell and Jim found a very receptive audience during the sessions and were constantly engaged in conversations over and above their prepared remarks.  In many regions of our country state fish and game agencies have a very close relationship with private landowners and can be extremely important in the development of landscape-level public private partnerships. Russell and Jim were also invited offer some remarks at the organization's board meeting which including all 50 state fish and game directors .  PFC is looking forward to continued conversation and collaboration with AFWA and their member agencies and regional affiliates.
Partners for Conservation in Sacramento
Partners for Conservation executive director Steve Jester joined PFC Secretary Dina Moore (California) for a series of meetings in and around Sacramento during the last few days of February.   First, Steve and Dina met with board and staff of the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition  discussing the current status of landscape collaboration in California and potential areas for cooperative work.  The following day, Dina and Steve had an opportunity to have a conversation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) - Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program staff from Region 8 which includes California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin in Oregon.  The primary topic of this conversation was what role Partners for Conservation might play in helping to support existing and emerging public-private collaborations in the region.  Finally, PFC met with a number of USFWS Ecological Services staff in Sacramento in an effort to continue the conversation with the part of USFWS which has the lead role in sensitive species management.  There is a great deal of interest in the collaborative conservation model in California and hopefully the work of Partners for Conservation can support that interest going forward.