December 2018 Newsletter
We Succeed Together
A reflection on a career in landscape conservation by Michael Whitfield, former executive director of the Heart of the Rockies Initiative.


Banner photo Black Butte Ranch, OR-Bonnie Moreland
PFC Represented at the National Grazing Lands Conference

At the Seventh National Grazing Lands Conference held in Reno, NV Dec 2-5, PFC's board member, Gary Price, spoke to participants about his family’s stewardship efforts on their Texas ranch and why they are participating in the Noble Research Institute’s Land Stewardship Program. He told them, "It takes grass to grow grass.” The Noble Land Stewardship Program is designed to quantify the ecologic and economic benefits of managing land with a stewardship ethic as a focus.
The New Klamath Conflict Series

View the utterly absorbing film trailer for the new human conflict series about the Klamath Basin water conflict in Oregon. Nic Askew's series of human portraits will examine the immense depth of emotion and feeling, alongside the extraordinary possibility, that lies at the heart of this and all conflict.
New Funding Available Soon for Community Based Collaborations

Beginning in January 2019 a new regranting program will be administered by the Network for Landscape Conservation to support collaborative partners across the country. The  Network for Landscape Collaboration  administers the regranting program underwritten by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Community-grounded collaborations will be able to apply for funds for outreach, facilitation, science-based planning, and other needs critical to advancing community-grounded conservation at the landscape scale. Collaboratives that include tribes in a meaningful way will receive special attention. For more information, contact Emily Bateson at  emily@largelandscapes.org .
Partner/Private Lands News
Ranching & Agriculture

A study comparing insect communities in grazed, rested, and idled pastures in Montana found that the types of insects that provide a critical food source for sage grouse chicks and other shrub- and grassland-dependent birds were 13 percent more prevalent on managed versus idled rangelands.

Grazing systems are a haven for grassland birds.

The Skagit Land Trust has made climate change part of its conservation strategy that guides the trust on which lands to protect to provide the most benefit to the community and area wildlife.

How farmers’ business partners benefit from conservation.

How on-farm conservation can generate financial value: New study details how conservation benefits farmers, bankers and insurers.

Governor Cuomo announces $16.8 million to protect water quality across New York State: Funding provided to 27 county soil and water Conservation Districts for 54 agricultural water quality conservation projects.

“Precision Conservation” could provide economic benefits to farmers while creating a positive environmental impact.

Not farming some land increases profitability?

For the 11th year, a Wisconsin farmer has been singled out for utilizing conservation practices and a land ethic that fit with those established by one of the state’s revered conservationists — Aldo Leopold.

For a new generation of farmers, accessing land is the first step toward tackling consolidation.

Rural summit teaches land conservation lessons from Maryland.

Water

Wheeler County partners Restoring creeks to peaks, boosting rural economy. “This project has demonstrated that conservation creates and sustains jobs and brings economic activity to communities,” said Damon Brosnan, NRCS District Conservationist. It’s a win-win for people and for the land.”
Take a look at the 3-minute video that gives the perspectives of the landowners in the watershed

Partnership announced by Beneficial-Use Water Alliance and the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

Protecting the 'sponge': Preserving forests in Mississippi headwaters boosts water quality.

Wildlife, Recreation & Education

Audubon releases grasslands report for Chicago area on how land management practices are affecting birds.

BLM publishes new sage grouse plans, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership comments.

Vermont governor highlights Route 15 wildlife underpass project in Wolcott, which will include a wildlife shelf under the Route 15 bridge that encourages wildlife to pass safely under the bridge, in addition to tree plantings on the surrounding lands along the bridge that will allow wildlife to safely approach the underpass. 

Forests

Michigan made better choices on forest management: Good Neighbor Authority has proven to be a good choice.

USDA Forest Service purchases conservation wasement to protect environmentally sensitive lands on Jack’s Valley Ranch.

Unique agreement allows Santa Rosa County land to be preserved for timber harvesting.

Photo above " Cattle & Snow " by Larry Lamsa

Photo below " Petitcodiac River Sunrise " by James Mann
A NOTE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Hello from Western Montana,

Certainly looks and feels a lot like Christmas around Ovando; we’ve had plenty of the white stuff and cold temperatures aplenty. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and getting the weather you need. 

Partners for Conservation is finishing this year getting ready for next with several events already on the books for the first couple of months of 2019. The work of carrying the message of better conservation through public-private partnership and sharing what we have learned never stops. There always seems to be someone else that hasn’t heard about it just yet.

If you would like to help support us in our work, please consider including PFC in your year-end giving plans. You can find out how to make a donation here.

Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays, 
Jim Stone
Our Amazing Grasslands

Hear why Tracy Rosenberg's ranch has a permanent grassland easement, which protects her South Dakota sod from ever being “broken” or converted to agriculture. Tracy's passion for "an ecosystem that is by far probably the most important ecosystem we have in North America,” but disappearing at extraordinary rates is infectious.
Cooperative Conservation: Determinants of Landowner Engagement in Saving Endangered Species

Most endangered species rely on private land for their habitat, so working with private landowners is crucial to effectively conserving species. Surveys of private landowners help to better understand how to effectively engage them in conservation. Some key findings of this new study:
  • Landowners are interested in conservation and want to be known as good stewards of their land.
  • Incentive-based programs that reward landowners for helping species tend to work better than a punitive approach.
  • Local and non-regulatory groups have the highest levels of trust among landowners, suggesting a larger role for organizations like university-based extension.
  • A variety of innovative incentive-based programs is needed to effectively engage landowners in conserving endangered species.
Understanding Good Neighbor Authority: Case Studies From Across the West
View or download the new report from the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition about GNA, which expands limited federal capacity to implement and plan forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration projects by facilitating partnerships with state agencies.
Artifacts of epochs past: Rio Grande cutthroat trout benefit from private lands conservation
by Craig Springer | June 11, 2018

Read more about Vermejo Park Ranch in NM, one of the nation’s largest private ranches and top outdoor vacation destinations.

Nature’s Good Neighbors 
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.

Trading Business Suits for Overalls
Cindy Ayers-Elliott, Ph.D., left her career as a CEO and investment banker to become a Mississippi farmer. Read more about Foot Print Farms, where she raises goats for meat and grows vegetables to feed her local community in Jackson, Mississippi.

#FridaysOnTheFarm
Each Friday, meet those farmers, producers, and landowners through our #FridaysOnTheFarm stories. Visit local farms, ranches, forests, and resource areas where USDA customers and partners do right and feed everyone.
Private Lands Conservation Events & Positions
Sagebrush Collaboration Conservation Specialist
The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) is hiring a Sagebrush Collaborative Conservation Specialist to lead the IWJV’s “Partnering to Conserve Sagebrush Rangelands” initiative. The IWJV is looking for an individual that can identify opportunities and engage a diverse audience to develop conservation solutions.
Deadline to apply: December 28, 2018

Workshops dedicated to Women in Agriculture 
Scheduled by American Farmland Trust, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service of Ohio, and Hardin Soil Water Conservation District, several women-dedicated learning circle sessions in northern Ohio have been scheduled. On Dec. 12th: Improving Water Quality and in March 2019: Specialty Cropping Systems.  
ABOUT PARTNERS FOR CONSERVATION

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. 
Our Twitter account was established in 2018, please click and follow us if you have a Twitter account!
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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