April 2015 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation

New Farm Bill Practitioners Guide Released
Yesterday, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative released the 2014 Farm Bill Field Guide to Fish and Wildlife Conservation. This field guide is a tool to assist the staff of federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, nongovernmental conservation organizations, joint ventures, and other conservation partners in implementing Farm Bill conservation programs. It is primarily designed for those who work collaboratively with private landowners and agricultural producers to improve soil health, water quality, as well as fish and wildlife habitat.
“The 2014 Farm Bill is making robust investments in conservation and the vitality of America’s working lands,” said USDA Natural Resources and Environment Under Secretary Robert Bonnie. “This guide can help our conservation partners and customers understand what programs are available – and how to make those programs work for them.”
This user-friendly guide provides an overview of the Conservation Title in the 2014 Farm Bill, as well as Farm Bill history, program delivery, the role of partnerships, and priority setting. The guide includes case studies and details on the following programs: the Conservation Reserve Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Innovation Grants, Conservation Stewardship Program, Healthy Forests Reserve Program, Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program.

 Click here to access this guide.

Partners for Conservation Strategic Plan Adopted
Partners for Conservation's first ever 5-year strategic plan was formally adopted by the board during the January 2015 meeting.  The plan was developed during the second half of 2014 by the board and staff with the able assistance of Jen Boyer with Future West in Bozeman, Montana.  The strategic plan lays out PFC's program and organizational development priorities through 2020.  PFC has developed a strategic vision document that summarizes the plan that can be downloaded here.  If interested you can also request a hard copy by emailing executive director Steve Jester at
Bi-State Sage Grouse Not on the Endangered Species List

On April 21st Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determination that the Bi-state population of greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act.  This is the direct result of unprecedented partnership and collaboration among landowners, state and federal agencies and a broad coalition of stakeholders working together through voluntary conservation projects and initiatives.  The decision validates the power of a diverse partnership working together to achieve a shared vision of success.  Much more on the decision and the work can be found at the Sage Grouse Initiative website here. Also of interest is an opinion piece authored by PFC Board Member Duane Coombs (NV) that appeared in the Las Vegas Sun in December 2013.  Duane's vision of conservation success is certainly prophetic given last week's announcement.

See Duane's December 2013 Las Vegas Sun Editorial