September 2013 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation

PFC Board Members Recognized

PFC board Member and Vice Chair Jim Faulstich (Highmore, South Dakota) was recognized at the annual meeting of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) this month in Portland, Oregon.  Jim was awarded the 2013 National Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award.  AFWA is a national organization of state fish and wildlife agencies and their national award recognizes the contributions of private farm, ranch and forest lands to conservation of the nation’s fish and wildlife resources.  Jim was recognized for his conservation of grassland and wetland resources on his 5,300 acre operation. Jim was also asked to provide an introduction to Partners for Conservation during the meeting where many of the attendees had not heard about the work of the organization. The award and presentation seemed to generate interest among the agencies in attendance and will hopefully result in more opportunities for collaboration.
In late August, Ute Creek Cattle Company was awarded the Harry Hopson Excellence in Conservation Award from the Ute Creek Soil and Water Conservation District.  PFC board member Tuda Libby Crews (Bueyeros, New Mexico), and husband Jack Crews, were recognized for outstanding stewardship of their ranch, including participation in a watershed effort aimed at restoring the Ute Creek riparian zone. Tuda also gave a presentation about PFC to around one hundred guests attending the awards dinner. The event was co-hosted by the Ute Creek and Mesa Soil and Water Conservation Districts which serve the agricultural communities of northeast New Mexico. 

Partners for Conservation Visits Local Collaborations
PFC Executive Director Steve Jester and Board Secretary Dina Moore attended a tour of the Malpai Borderlands Group (MBG), a large scale collaboration focused on desert grassland conservation in southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico.  The MBG was formed in 1994 by ranchers who were concerned about threats to the sustainability of their operations and their way of life.  The group and their partners have been very successful in addressing restoration and conservation concerns in their landscape for close to 20 years! You can read more about the MBG at their website here.
Steve Jester also visited the Van Duzen watershed in Humboldt County, northern California in September.  The collaboration there has been ongoing since the late 1990’s through the Yager-Van Duzen Environmental Stewards (YES).  PFC board members Dina Moore and Dean Hunt are leaders in this collaboration, which was formed primarily to address water quality concerns from sedimentation.  Like the MBG, YES has been very successful in meeting their objectives with salmon runs returning to areas where they had been long absent. You can read more about the work of YES here.
Even though these two collaborations are in very different parts of the country, they are facing similar organizational challenges which are somewhat different for mature collaborations than for those faced by  newly initiated or emerging partnerships.  
Don Decker USDA-NRCS MBG  Coordinator speaks on
riparian restoration during field trip stop in Arizona.