July 2014 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation

Sustainable Beef in South Dakota

Partners for Conservation Executive Director Steve Jester and PFC Board Vice-Chair Jim Faulstich along with almost 50 others attended a Sustainable Beef Workshop in Rapid City, South Dakota during the second week of July.  The workshop was sponsored by the South Dakota Grasslands Coalition, World Wildlife Fund and companies  such as Walmart and Sam's Club.  Attendees included producers and individuals representing organizations from all along the beef supply chain from ranchers and feeders all the way through to retailers such as McDonald's. A number of conservation groups that see sustainability in the beef industry as key to their interests in conservation of wildlife and biodiversity were also in attendance. The event included a field trip, presentations and panels all focused on building relationships and understanding related to promoting and verifying sustainable practices within the beef industry, particularly at the intersection of beef production and grasslands. The discussions emphasized not just resource sustainability, but were also focused on the sustainable of the triple bottom line of economic, ecologic and sociologic sustainability which aligns with PFC's mission of promoting landscape-level collaboration in the management of landscapes for landowners, communities and nature.

Don't Forget Private Lands Partners Day, September 2014!
Please Register Soon if you are planning to attend Private Lands Partners Day 2014! Registration information can be downloaded below.
Save the Date!  Private Lands Partners Day 2014 September 23-25 Starkville, Mississippi

Registration Information for Private Lands Partners Day 2014 September 23-25, Starkville, Mississippi
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Rolls out New Incentive to Voluntarily Conserve Sensitive Species  

The Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today announced a new policy to provide incentives for landowners, businesses or federal agencies to voluntarily conserve species that may be listed as threatened or endangered.  The draft policy (found here) will be published next week in the Federal Register, would allow landowners and others to earn "credits" for conservation actions taken to benefit sensitive species. If that sensitive species is later listed under the Endangered Species Act, these "credits" could be used as mitigation for future activities that might adversely impact habitat. The policy also includes provision for selling these credits to another entity which may need to mitigate for species impacts.  To earn a credit, the policy as proposed requires that the offset (or habitat benefits) be in excess of actual impacts so the USFWS anticipates a net improvement in wildlife health from the implementation of the new policy.

House of Representatives Approves Measure Making Enhanced Conservation Easement Tax Incentives Permanent
On Thursday July 17th the House of Representatives by vote of 277-130 approved a bill making permanent certain tax incentives for the donation of conservation easements. The enhanced incentives, including those specifically benefitting working lands and agricultural producers have been in place temporarily since 2006.  Read more background on the incentives and their benefits to landowners here.