August 2019 Newsletter
PFC New Mexico Director’s Ute Creek Cattle Company recognized by National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – Environmental Stewardship Award

Partners for Conservation staff and board want to congratulate New Mexico director Tuda Libby-Crews and Jack for being one of the seven regional winners of the NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award!

Banner photo : New Mexico landscape.
Above: Tuda Libby-Crews, right, and her husband Jack
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN: Private Lands Partners Day, the premier annual national event for landowners and conservation partners in Ogden, Utah
September 24-26, 2019You

Registration for Private Lands Partners Day remains open with options for both full registration and conference-day only registration. Register here. For more details, view the draft agenda.

This year Private Lands Partners Day is coming to Ogden, Utah and will focus on aspects of public-private conservation partnerships and the key role private land plays in a state where the majority of the land is publicly-owned. Ogden will be the 12th annual meeting of what has become the premier annual national event for landowners and conservation partners working together to sustain our working landscapes. The agenda includes an opening reception, all day field trip and conference day as well as a benefit auction. Here is a report on last year's PLPD event.

Registration price includes reception on Tuesday night, field trip on Wednesday with lunch and dinner provided, and all day conference on Thursday with closing banquet dinner.
Do you want better insurance for your Rx fire?
Liability insurance has become one of the major barriers to prescribed fire. If private companies, contractors, land trusts, and non-profits cannot obtain sufficient insurance, they are unable to implement prescribed burning. These non-federal partners are essential for increasing the pace and scale of forest restoration.

The Forest Stewards Guild is currently conducting a survey to better understand the current insurance needs for private consultants and NGO prescribed fire practitioners . The information that they gather from this survey can help them work with other organizations and landowners to improve insurance products for prescribed burning. Please share this survey with any consultants or NGO practitioners that you think would be willing to participate. The survey will be open for a few weeks. 
Partner/Private Lands News
Ranching & Agriculture

'Cows are awesome': Working Grasslands Partnership uses managed cattle grazing to benefit habitat and wildlife on expired CRP lands in North Dakota.

Farm To Solar Field Transformations: in California’s San Joaquin Valley, farmers may need to take more than half a million acres out of production to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which will, ultimately, put restrictions on pumping. TNC says converting what had been farm to solar arrays could be key to meeting California’s climate action targets.

A great climate comes from happy soil. Could happy soil come from California?
The largest agricultural economy in the country is paying farmers to improve their lands' health.

Agricultural land best for solar, Oregon State study finds, at least when it comes to “agrivoltic systems.” This is where the shade from ground-mounted solar panels actually enhances the productivity of the land.

Wild bee die-offs at center of new research: Is there evidence of a spillover of viruses from honey bees to native bees, and are some native species more tolerant or resistant than others?

The United States has lost the equivalent of 9 Grand Canyon national parks (24 million acres of natural area) between 2001 and 2017 due to agriculture, energy development, housing sprawl and other human factors, making the country more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Conservation finds a home on the range:
DU Canada supports beef industry for environmental sustainability with Alberta Beef Producers.


River refuge: Public-private partnership works to restore silvery minnow habitat.

Encore Green Environmental announces by-product/produced water project in Permian Basin.

Wildlife, Recreation & Education

New duck and pheasant plans emphasize benefits beyond hunting.

Good news for America’s longest snake! 15 Eastern Indigo Snakes just released in year three of the North Florida recovery effort. Multiple partners collaborate to bring apex predator back to TNC's Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve.

Cyclists support land conservation at 11th annual Ride to the Barns in Wisconsin.

Good news to help celebrate Saskatchewan’s natural heritage: Over 1,660 hectares (4,127 acres) of native grasslands and wetlands receive conservation status, thanks to anonymous landowners.

Protect grasslands — and buy range-fed beef — says bird report. Two-thirds of birds that breed and winter in grasslands have been lost, says State of Canada’s Birds report.

Science based bird-friendly protocols were developed for beef production to promote holistic management of private lands, and farmers were at the forefront to help save our birds.


Longleaf Pine Alliance hosts educational program for land managers, private landowners in Florida.

Protecting a critical forest in Appalachia through community partnerships and the Forest Stewardship Council. This project will demonstrate the power of a nature-based economy through “sustainable forestry, solar energy development, carbon offset credits, land restoration and recreation revenues.”

Hello from a rapidly drying Texas! 

I hope your summer has been productive and that you are looking forward to fall. Partners for Conservation is also looking forward to the change in season with two events coming up next month. Our national meeting, Private Lands Partners Day , will be in Ogden, Utah September 24-26 and the week prior we will be in Denver hosting a session with conservation supervisors from around the West focusing on diverse conservation partnerships from a leadership perspective. 

Both meetings will include landowners sharing what they have learned about building partnerships that last. I am very thankful that these private landowners, including Partners for Conservation board directors, are willing to share their perspectives on partnership with the broader conservation community and with each other at these events and others throughout the year.

Yours in conservation,
Steve Jester
Executive Director
Our Amazing Grasslands

Learn about Bob and John Rittberger's ranch in Hermosa, South Dakota, made up of a combination of federal buffalo grassland and private land. "We depend on public land quite a bit, without it it’d be pretty tough to make it."
Playas Work for Kansas: All Sorts of Wildlife

Vance a nd Louise Ehmke are fourth generation farmers in Lane County, Kansas who love their playas after a rain: "The playas are full within 12 hours; you can literally go from dust to ducks overnight."

This week, meet Liz Graznak, owner and operator of Happy Hollow Farm in rural Moniteau County, Missouri. Her priorities are to run an organic, sustainable, and community-supported farm. This is just a way of life for Liz, and her lifelong passion for plants helped pave the way. 

Each Friday, meet diverse farmers, producers, and landowners through #FridaysOnTheFarm stories. Visit local farms, ranches, forests, and resource areas where USDA customers and partners do right and feed everyone. 
Nature's Good Neighbors

Meet South Carolina forester Scott Rhodes , who exemplifies the maxim of doing good by doing well. And, increasingly — particularly in the South where 85 percent of the land is privately owned — farmers, ranchers, foresters and other landowners hold the keys to conservation. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service launched Nature’s Good Neighbors in 2018, a series of stories showcasing conservationists across the nation, many of whom are private landowners with some on the PFC board!
Private Lands Conservation Events & Funding Announcements

Women farmers Conservation Learning Circle in Berks County, PA
The free event aims to connect women with resources and regenerative practices. American Farmland Trust and the Berks County Conservation District will host a conservation learning circle Oct. 22 at Willow Run Farm in Maidencreek Township, PA.

Silvopasture workshop in Becker, MN
The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota hosts an educational session Sep 18 on silvopasture, oak savanna restoration, grazing management, and how these techniques can boost farm profitability. The session will showcase a diverse grass-based farm that produces bison, beef cattle, and pastured pork and poultry.
Register for this and other workshops at the Sustainable Farming Association.

Partners for Conservation (PFC) is a private landowner-led organization which communicates and collaborates on conservation partnerships for working landscapes to benefit present and future generations. 
Consider Joining Partners for Conservation
Consider becoming a member of Partners for Conservation. Partners for Conservation works to support collaboration and public-private partnerships as the first choice for conserving our national working landscapes for people and nature. More information on membership can be found on our website. 
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