February 2019 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation Elects New Board Directors in Atlanta

Partners for Conservation convened the 2019 annual meeting and January 2019 board meeting in Atlanta, Georgia January 23 and 24. A portion of the meeting was a discussion among directors facilitated by Group Solutions on strategic topics such as organizational growth, governance, funding, and priorities over the next five years. 

Read more to "meet" PFC's two new directors. 

Banner Photo: L to R, back: Reese Thomson, GA; Exe. Dir. Steve Jester, TX; Terry Mansfield, WA; Jim Faulstich, SD; Jim Bob Collins, OR; Burner Bob; Duane Coombs, NV; Tuda Libby Crews, NM; Russell Davis, CO; Gary Price, TX. 
Middle row: Tom McAvoy Jr., CT; Adm. Asst. Deb Dillree, MT; Bill Sproul, KS.
Kneeling: Jay Tanner, UT; Chrm. Jim Stone, MT; Shelly Kelly, NE; Warren Mickey , WV.
Above photo: Blue Ridge, Georgia by Olin Gilbert, Flickr CC
Private Lands Partners Day 2018 Report Released

Almost 200 people from over 30 states gathered October 2-4 in Springfield, Missouri for the 11 th annual Private Lands Partners Day. Attendees, including both landowners and conservation partners, spent two very full days together sharing stories of partnership and stewardship of our natural resources. Partners for Conservation has just released a comprehensive report on the event that can be downloaded here. A printed copy of the report will be available in the near future.


Partner/Private Lands News
Ranching & Agriculture

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $18.4 million in grant funding is available to help New York livestock farms implement water quality protection projects (Feb 8). The funding will be provided through the final round of the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Waste Storage and Transfer System Program.

An Oregon proposal to allow more dwellings in “rural residential” areas has perturbed farmland conservationists, despite assurances the bill won’t affect “exclusive farm use” zones.

The 2018 Farm Bill expands the public-private partnership to increase conservation initiatives with the goal of further improving water quality, wildlife habitats and populations, as well as protecting other natural resources. Today’s article reviews the major changes to the Conservation Reserve Program.

Big changes ahead in land ownership and farm operators? The first in a seven-part in-depth editorial series from AgriPulse, which takes a long look ahead at “Farm & Food 2040.” 

Soil Conservation: Farming is a way of life for the Maloneys in Ottawa.

“We were challenged by a local funder to raise money from the farm’s community to gauge the support for this project,” said a spokesman for the Upper Valley Land Trust in NH. “To help us do that, we were promised an extra gift of $5,000 if 100 households donated to the project.”

The next time you talk to a local farmer, thank them for all they do in the way of conservation. Houston County ranks No. 1 in Minnesota when it comes to the number of Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) contracts.

Texas soil is being covered with concrete at a rapidly growing rate, but one local family is working with the Texas Agricultural Land Trust taking steps to ensure its farmland will be preserved for future generations.

Wildlife, Recreation & Education

Colorado’s Open Space and Trails program gets the go-ahead to spend $11 million to acquire land or agreements that will limit development on two parcels with significant habitat for elk and other wildlife.

The Avangrid Foundation and NFWF Announce New Partnership to Conserve Imperiled Wildlife Across North America: $1 million committed by the Avangrid Foundation will support hibernating bats across North America, fish and migratory forest birds in the Northeast, and grassland-dependent birds and mammals in the West.

The Land Trust Alliance has joined Oregon Community Foundation, Seattle Foundation and Idaho Community Foundation to unveil the Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative.

Forests

New York’s state forest management programs have won national sustainable certification for the 11th year in a row.

The Call Before You Cut program is a free service offered by Minnesota Forestry Association to private landowners to help manage their woodlands to meet their individual goals. 
Photos: Pronghorn antelope (top) and scene from Utah (bottom)
A NOTE FROM THE CHAIR

Hello from Montana,

Winter is making itself felt in a big way in Montana, and I know that many in the northern states have had a tough time the last couple of weeks. Hope the weather is moderating for you if you have been dealing with sub-zero temperatures. 

I was certainly pleased to get away from the worst of it for a bit and see the rest of the Partners for Conservation board in Atlanta several weeks ago. We spent a pretty intense couple of days discussing the future of PFC, what we would like to do, how we would like to grow and how we can pay for it all. We also elected new directors from Oregon and Connecticut, welcome Jim Bob Collins and Tom McAvoy respectively. 

I’m very grateful for the existing, returning and new board directors and amazed at the creativity, leadership, and willingness to get the work done that the board puts on display every year. I’m also thankful that we keep finding like-minded landowners—committed to their land, their landscape, their community, and public-private partnerships—who are willing to stand up and share their stories with others striving to do great things!

Yours in Conservation,
Jim Stone
Ovando
Partners for Conservation Releases Two New Profiles in Partnering Short Films

Partners for Conservation (PFC) has released two new films in a series that we are calling Profiles in Partnering. Take a look at these two short films highlighting a few of the people and partnerships in working landscapes in the Great Plains (above) and the West

Check out other PFC short films at the PFC YouTube Channel.
The Grassland Stewardship Communications Project’s first video release of 2019: Hear Jody Brown explain how the 2013 winter storm Atlas pushed him to look at ranching in a new way.

2019 Grassland Stewardship Communications Project Partners: The Nature Conservancy, Pheasants Forever, South Dakota State University, World Wildlife Fund, Audubon Dakota, Ducks Unlimited, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, SD Game, Fish and Parks, SD Soil Health Coalition, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and SD Grassland Coalition.
Veteran Farmer Keeps Serving Others

In Milledgeville, Georgia, Jon Jackson – a former Army Ranger – is furthering his post-military mission of service through agriculture. Comfort Farms is the nation’s first Acute Veterans Crisis Agriculture Center and is “a healing farm for veterans."


#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.

Tied to the River
Eagles soar over family farm along the Rappahannock River. The Davis family signed a conservation-oriented easement in September 2017 with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to protect their farm and a special river.

Nature’s Good Neighbors 
The US Fish and Wildlife Service Nature’s Good Neighbors series from 2018 showcases conservationists across the nation, many of whom are private landowners.
Private Lands Conservation Events & Funding Announcements
FUNDING

Announcing the Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund
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. 
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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