April 2014 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation

Partners for Conservation Board Member Terry Mansfield Provides Testimony to House Interior Appropriations Sub-Committee

In April, PFC board member and Washington landowner Terry Mansfield had the opportunity to testify to the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Interior, Environment and Other Related Agencies regarding fiscal year 2015 Interior Appropriations Bill.  Terry was able to testify as a part of the sub-committee's public witness day.  This subcommittee is one of the few that has a public witness day and the PFC board was very pleased that Terry was selected to testify and thankful that he was able to make the trip.  Terry testified on the importance of the Interior Department's collaborative work with private landowners  primarily through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, but also through such programs as the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, the Habitat Joint Ventures, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which can be used to purchase conservation easements from willing private landowners , and the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program which are federal grant programs administered by the state wildlife agencies and tribes respectively.  Thank you Terry for sharing your story and the story of PFC with the subcomittee!

Restoration Returns - Financial Impact of the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Coastal Programs - $15.70 for every $1 Spent

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a first-ever report analyzing the economic impact of two important programs devoted to innovative conservation partnerships with private landowners: the Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Coastal programs. The report entitled Restoration Returns concludes that these programs return over $15 for every program dollar put on the ground. With more than 73 percent of all land in the U.S. in private ownership - and more than 75 percent of fish and wildlife species dependent on private lands for their survival - it’s clear that working with private landowners is key to wildlife conservation. The mission of the Partners Program is to “efficiently achieve voluntary habitat restoration on private lands, through financial and technical assistance, for the benefit of Federal Trust Species.” Since the program began 25 years ago, more than 45,000 landowners and 3,000 organizations have completed 29,000 restoration projects resulting in the voluntary restoration of 3,176,000 upland acres, 939,000 wetland acres, and 8,712 riparian miles. With such a high return on investment, the Partners Program is clearly an economic driver for local communities. Not only does it annually return $15.70 for every $1 invested, the program also creates 3,500 jobs nationwide, resulting in a total economic stimulus of $292 million. An infographic summarizing the conservation and financial impacts can be found here.

PFC Board Member Recognized as 2014 Sand County Foundation Leopold Award Winner
PFC Board Member Pat O'Toole, his wife Sharon and two succeeding generations of the family were recognized in Cheyenne Wyoming this week as the 2014 Leopold Conservation Award winners for Wyoming.  The Leopold Conservation Award is a program of the Sand County Foundation which recognizes agricultural landowners who are actively committed to a land ethic.  The O'Toole's Ladder Ranch along the Wyoming-Colorado border in south central Wyoming  has been in continual operation by the family since the mid 1880's. The O'Toole's were recognized by  Wyoming Governor Matt Mead  who, while joined by the O'Toole family, marked the occasion by proclaiming July 10, 2014 as Environmental Stewardship Day in Wyoming.