January 2020 Newsletter
Partners for Conservation involved with upcoming voluntary conservation focused events

Partners for Conservation has assisted with the planning, is presenting or is otherwise involved with several voluntary conservation events focused on collaboration and partnerships scheduled for 2020. These include collaborations with the Western Collaborative Conservation Network and the North American Bird Conservation Initiative.

Photo credit above: PLPD 2019 by Jodi Stemler
New research finds ranchers consider diverse factors in managing their land

The diverse factors that influence how ranchers manage their land were the focus of a recent collaborative human dimensions study co-produced by a team from Virgina Tech, University of Montana, Partners for Conservation (PFC) and the Intermountain West Joint Venture, and funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Oregon and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mountain-Prairie Region. The research team hosted two landowner-listening workshops, a model developed by PFC, where landowners and conservation professionals were encouraged to dialogue, specifically on the topic of working wet meadows sustained by flood irrigation.

Natural Resources Trust Making Grassland Gains in ND

Across the state the NRT works with landowners, conservation groups, agricultural entities and oil and gas companies to find opportunities to create and restore grasslands and wetlands for the benefit of wildlife, water quality and the nearby populations dependent on clean soil and water.  

Our Amazing Grasslands

"Since we instituted some conservation practices, over 90% of the formerly bare clay pans areas have something growing on them. We are trying to improve this place for the next generations." - Chuck Anderson
Playas Work for Kansas: Making a Difference for Future Generations

Ray Smith and his daughter, Alicia Allen, are dryland farmers in Wallace and Greeley counties. Half of their playas are enrolled in a conservation program, with the largest one protected under a perpetual wetland reserve easement. “Stewardship is a core value of our farm; we consider how our daily decisions will affect future generations and the environment. The ability of the playas to recharge the aquifer, even though it might be a small effect, is a big deal to us. Conservation is important to us now because we know that it will affect future generations, and it will affect wildlife and the the whole environment.”
Partner/Private Lands News
Ranching & Agriculture

Ranching family in CA looks to past for future conservation

USDA opens enrollment as Conservation Reserve grows for first time since 2007; “general” sign-up runs until February 28.

What to Watch for in 2020

Kincaid bestowed LSU Outstanding Master Farmer award

Read the 2019 Farm Journal Report about America’s Conservation Ag Movement

Taking a look back at 2019 in Miami Co, KS

How to have conservation conversations: Farmers want to reduce nutrient runoff, nurture soil and protect water, but there’s a giant rock in the stream of communication between tenants and their non-operator landowners.

When USDA stops paying rent, idled land usually goes back into crops

Nominations are being sought for Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards

The 2018 Farm Bill, approved by Congress and signed into law December 2018, for the first time named prairie strips, or the strategic planting of small amounts of prairie within corn and soybean fields, as a conservation practice eligible to participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Report shows 20-year changes in Texas’ population, land values, size of operations

Public Attitudes about Farmers and Farming: A Golden Opportunity

Stranahan was ‘home’ on the range as reflected by announcement of more conserved land: Guest ranch developer valued working ranches, too

Saving Idaho farmland is going to take more than goodwill — but it may be too late


Encore Green Environmental Receives First-Ever Permit for Re-Purposing Produced Water for Ag and Conservation

The Ohio Agriculture Conservation Initiative & Council: an innovative, collaborative effort of the agricultural, conservation, environmental, and research communities in Ohio to improve water quality. 

Marin trust gets $1.1M to preserve ranch near Novato

Wildlife, Recreation & Education

Open Space Funding Bills Go to NJ Gov’s Desk


Easement project will save Francestown farm in NH

Storymap details significance of Nebraska shelterbelts “Wind breaks of the Great Plains”

Maine Woodland Owners achieves 10,000 acre forest conservation milestone

Bill Hull, founder of Hull Forest Products, Inc., is the 2019 recipient of the first New England Leopold Conservation Award

Who owns King County forestlands?

Happy New Year from Montana! Winter finally decided to make its presence known in these parts. We are getting much needed moisture along with the cold. I hope the winter is going well for you and yours.

Partners for Conservation is holding our winter board meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas this month where we will also be participating in the Southern Sustainable Working Group Conference, a large gathering of southern agricultural producers. Our participation in this event is a kick-off to a very busy first quarter for us that also includes participating in the Western Collaborative Conservation Confluence mentioned in the newsletter as well as a gathering of private lands biologists scheduled for late March in Kansas City, more on that coming soon.

Hoping that we will see a number of you soon.

Yours in Conservation
Jim Stone, Chairman

Meet Paul and Ingrid West of Misty Dawn Farm in Stoughton, Wisconsin. The couple purchased 50 acres of land in Vernon County over 20 years ago as a getaway space with the hope of creating more biodiversity, improving the watershed, offering water quality protection, and creating habitat and food for wildlife.

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. 
2019 Leopold Conservation Award® 
Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, these awards recognize farmers and foresters in many U.S. states who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land.

Dean and Rebecca Jackson own and operate the third-generation dairy farm located near Columbia Cross Roads in Bradford County. Mt-Glen Farms is known for protecting the environment while raising high-quality dairy cattle. The Jacksons use agricultural conservation practices that retain nutrients on the soil, while protecting water quality.

Nature's Good Neighbors

Home is where the heart, and investments are: in Salt Bayou. The largest coastal wetlands complex along the Texas Gulf Coast, it's a favorite destination for birders, fishermen, and hunters. It’s home to one of the nation’s most important waterways where migratory birds winter. The bayou is also the location of some of the most critical oil, gas, military, and manufacturing infrastructure in the world.

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

Western Collaborative Conservation Network and Partners for Conservation invite you to attend the Inaugural “Confluence 2020”

March 10-12, 2020 at Colorado State University. Registration is now OPEN. 

At The Confluence, members of community-based collaborative conservation groups and their partners will gather from across the West to: 
  • Connect and network with peers in interactive poster & open space sessions.
  • Convene in peer-to-peer & expert-led learning sessions to build collaboration skills and practice collaboration tools. 
  • Catalyze action in working sessions on critical regional capacity issues to build more support for on-the-ground conservation success.

Check out the upcoming Soil Health Academies to be held Feb through October 2020 in NM, MI, WI, CA, NE, Alberta, and AL.

Learn to Burn at Arkansas Fish & Game Commission's workshops in Jan and Feb.

Photo credit below: Utah ranch by Julie MacSwain

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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