September 2014 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation

Private Lands Partners Day 2014

Over 120 landowners, agency staff and other conservation partners from across the nation gathered in Starkville, Mississippi  September 23rd - 25th for Private Lands Partners Day 2014.  This was the seventh iteration of the annual gathering and the first east of the Mississippi River. The event set a new geographic record with landowners from almost half ot the states in attendance.  The agenda included presentations from landowners, agencies and nonprofit conservation partners on conservation collaboration and public-private partnerships.  Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum along with USDA-NRCS State Conservationist Kurt Readus and USFWS Deputy Director Steve Guertin welcomed the attendees to the meeting.  A number of presentations (found here) were provided in the classroom along with a field trip and ample opportunities for both structured and unstructured discussion.   The Partners for Conservation board also announced that PLPD 2015 will be held in Nebraska in cooperation with the Sandhills Task Force and the USFWS-Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

From left Kurt Readus, USDA-NRCS State Conservationist, Mississippi, Kirk Hanlin, Assistant Chief NRCS, Dr. Homer Wilkes, USDA representative Gulf Restoration Council, Jim Stone, Chair, PFC and James Cummins, Executive Director Wildlife Mississippi at Private Lands Partners Day 2014.

Partners for Conservation meets with USFWS Region 5 Staff in Massachusetts
During the last week in September, PFC Vice-Chair Jim Faulstich and Executive Director Steve Jester traveled to Hadley, Massachusetts to meet with staff from USFWS Region 5 which includes the northeastern United States.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide information on the mission and goals of Partners for Conservation to the region and to learn about the work of the USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program in the region.  In the morning Jim and Steve were able to speak to the leadership of the region and in the afternoon were able to learn about examples of projects that the PFW and Coastal Programs were accomplishing in Connecticut, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and Pennsylvania. Throughout the meeting were discussions on how Partners for Conservation could become more involved in the region.  Prior to the meeting, Steve Jester was able to visit a couple of landowners in western Connecticut where he saw examples of public-private conservation collaboration firsthand. 

Western Connecticut working landscape.  Land uses include forestry, dairy and beef cattle production and farming.