July 2013 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation

PFC Hires Executive Director

A unique partnership between the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) and Partners for Conservation (PFC) has enabled the hiring of the first PFC executive director, Steve Jester.  This is a joint position supported by NWRA and PFC together to promote the successful tools, models, policy and programs that support collaborative conservation efforts involving private landowners and public agencies, and to build PFC’s capacity as an independent non-profit organization.  Prior to accepting the PFC executive director’s position, Steve was executive director of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, the first nationally accredited land trust in Texas. Prior to that, Steve was on the staff of The Nature Conservancy for almost a decade leading community-based conservation projects first in Texas and later in Wyoming. Additionally, he has worked with state fish and wildlife agencies in Florida and Texas. He has worked with private landowners throughout his career and has come to appreciate their critical importance in conserving working landscapes that provide some of the most important wildlife habitats in the United States. “Partners for Conservation is a great example of ground-up conversations that will link landowners, businesses and partners across the country. We are proud to be taking the next step with Steve to bring this landscape vision to a reality,” said Jim Stone, PFC Board Chair.
Steve earned a B.S. degree in Agriculture from Texas State University – San Marcos and a M.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University.  He lives in Edwards Plateau region of Texas with his wife Suzanne and daughters Shelby and Shae 

Private Lands Partners Day 2013
Over 100 landowners and partners from over a dozen states gathered June 18-20 in Baggs Wyoming for Private Lands Partners Day 2013.  Attendees spent the first day touring the Little Snake River Valley to view a small portion of the conservation and restoration projects completed by private landowners and in collaboration with a broad area of local, state, federal and nongovernmental partners.  The second day, participants were able to hear presentations from a diverse group of landowners and agency personnel on the collaborative work being accomplished through private-public collaborations across the nation. The local hosts for the three day event were landowners Pat and Sharon O'Toole, local USFWS-Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Staff and the Little Snake River Conservation District.  A more detailed report on the event will be featured in a longer newsletter in preparation and also an even more comprehensive report.  This was the six such event held since 2008.  The final report on Partners Day 2012 held in Northern California has just been completed and is available for download here.