March 2019 Newsletter
Film Featuring Partners for Conservation Board Director Honored at Two Film Festivals

A recent film commissioned by Partners for Conservation, produced by Jeremy Roberts and Conservation Media LLC, has been recognized as an Official Selection at two film festivals in March. The film profiles Partners for Conservation Director Reese Thompson of Georgia and is titled “The Tree Farmer.” The film will screen at a film festival organized by Nature Track Foundation March 23-35 in Los Olivos, California. The film also screened in Austin, TX as part of the South By South West (SXSW) Festival on March 10th where it won the Shorts category. Eleven films from 10 countries made the final selection, including the Partners for Conservation piece. 

A great honor for both Jeremy—for his awesome work on behalf of Partners for Conservation—as well as recognition of the commitment of Reese, his family, and conservation partners to natural resource stewardship and public-private partnership. The film about the Thompson’s longleaf pine management can be viewed on the Partners for Conservation YouTube channel.

SAVE THE DATE: Private Lands Partners Day Ogden, Utah—September 24-26, 2019

Please plan to join landowners and conservation partners from across the country at the 12th annual Private Lands Partners Day to be held September 24-26 in Ogden, Utah. This year’s event, themed Private Lands Partners Day in a Public Lands State, will highlight conservation partnerships that touch both public and private land in Utah and elsewhere in the Great Basin, as well as other public-private partnerships from around the country.  

The event typically draws 200 to 250 people from over 30 states that come together to learn more about the challenges and opportunities of public-private partnerships to sustain our national working landscapes. Over the last several years, the attendees have been roughly evenly split between landowners and non-landowners who have found ways to discover a shared vision and have implemented that vision on the ground. Registration for the event will be open soon. You can now view or download information on the PLPD 2019 event as well as sponsorship opportunities.
Partners for Conservation Texas Director Gary Price Honored as a McDonald’s Flagship Farmer 

PFC Texas Director Gary Price, his wife Sue and son Gary Lee were recently recognized as one of McDonald’s first Flagship Farmers in North America. The program, which has been active outside the United States for several years, honors producers who are committed to stewardship, sustainability, partnership and sharing what they have learned with other producers. Regarding his selection, Gary said “We are very honored and humbled to receive this award. This is a great opportunity to communicate the conservation message through partnerships.” Lyle and Garnet Perman, ranchers from South Dakota, who have attended and presented at PFC’s Private Lands Partners Day, have also been recognized as Flagship Famers. Take a look at Gary and Sue’s Flagship Farmer profile.]
Partner/Private Lands News
Ranching & Agriculture

Russ and Jani Jackson of Kiowa County have been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award®.

Woodland, CA now has a way to protect farmland from development: an ag land mitigation ordinance.

Maryland Department of Transportation asked to consider farmland among the impacts in the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study, which is exploring the feasibility of a third span across the Chesapeake Bay, because farmland is irreplaceable infrastructure we cannot afford to lose.

Maine Farmland Trust says “The pace of farmland protection increases every year,” Bishop said. “It’s definitely increasing in popularity.”

Agricultural Wetland Banking: An alternative for expiring Conservation Reserve Program in Minnesota.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust completed its 100th conservation easement project in February 2019, in partnership with The Conservation Fund.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust (WSGLT) has partnered with the Croonberg family to conserve the 6,650-acre Croonberg Ranch located west of Laramie. 

Water

Ohio’s governor and new director of the Department of Agriculture are keeping water quality a top priority across the state by promoting the establishment of year-round vegetative cover, through the Ohio Working Lands Program, and the development of nutrient management plans and new equipment designed to reduce nutrient loss.

Farming water: Two ranches set out to see if agriculture and conservation can co-exist facing a water-scarce future. They found that “Change is very disturbing for people who have husbanded the land for a hundred years,” and the two ranches seem destined for very different futures.

Preventing Water Pollution on Your Horse Farm: Resources to help compliance with the Kentucky Agricultural Water Quality Act of1994.

Doña Ana Soil and Water Conservation District (DASWCD) receives $50,000 NACD Urban Agriculture Grant to provide technical assistance and support establishment of an urban agriculture demonstration plot in a food desert in Las Cruces, NM.

Some north-central Montana ranch land is being conserved through a partnership between a conservation group and ranchers.

Wildlife, Recreation & Education

A Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute study concludes conservation easements are six times more efficient than non-land conservation strategies, providing economic value through agricultural production, water, and wildlife.

Doubling of overwintering monarchs encouraging; conservation efforts in Iowa contribute.

Could more private land conservation reverse bird declines?

Conservationists should support beef sector: grazing lands are a substantial portion of the habitat for many species, some at significant risk.

AR Game & Fish Commission, Arkansas Forestry Commission partner with local landowner to benefit habitat through prescribed fire.

Forests

Corporate landowners recognized in Georgia for stewardship: Georgia Power, Weyerhaeuser, CatchMark Timber Trust honored for land management practices.
Photos: Screenshots from the SD Grassland Coalition videos - Sage grouse display at the Dan & Cindi Conner Ranch (top); at work at Bart & Shannon Carmichael's ranch in SD (bottom).
A NOTE FROM THE CHAIR

Hello from Montana! 

I am ready for spring, and it certainly feels a long ways off for us and many of the northern states. Hopeful that we will have some water this summer with all the snow, however, and hopeful that by the time you read this the President has signed the lands bill, renamed the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, after its passage in both the Senate and the House. Among the many things this legislation does is reauthorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program through federal fiscal year 2022. 

It was heartening to see overwhelming bi-partisan support for the Partners Program as well as for a number of other important conservation programs. With everything that goes on around most federal legislation, seeing folks come together to support programs, like Partners, that help us craft solutions that serve landowners, landscapes, and the species that live there is something to celebrate.

Yours in Conservation
Jim Stone
Ovando
Holistic Ranch Management

Bart and Shannon Carmichael reflect on family and the impact of holistic management on their land. "Move cattle every 2-3 days, not more work because cattle come when they’re called." Another video from the SD Grassland Coalition.
Incredible Sage Grouse Habitat

Dan and Cindi Conner run cattle and sheep on their ranch in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Through intentional, rotational grazing they strive to improve the quality of their grasslands for livestock and wildlife, including their incredible sage grouse population.
Announcements from USDA

On March 14, the USDA joined the nation in celebrating National Ag Day, which highlights agriculture’s crucial role in everyday life, and honors the farmers, foresters, scientists, producers, and many others who contribute to America’s bountiful harvest. As part of this effort, USDA is launching a new Youth and Agriculture website to connect young people and youth-serving organizations with Department-wide resources that engage, empower, and educate the next generation of agricultural leaders. The site features three key components of agriculture-focused youth engagement – classroom studies, experiential learning, and leadership training.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking public input on its existing national conservation practice standards as part of implementing the 2018 Farm Bill. NRCS offers 150-plus conservation practices to America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to help them meet their business and natural resource needs on their working lands. The comment period ends April 25, 2019. More information can be found in the Federal Register.
Alliance Lauds Passage of Water and Power, WILD Act Provisions in Lands Package

The Family Farm Alliance and its members cheered recent passage by the House of Representatives of the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47), a broad package of more than 100 public lands, natural resources, and water bills considered in the 115th Congress.

This legislation is important to the Alliance, as it addresses title transfers, endangered fish recovery programs, the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, WaterSMART and Bureau of Reclamation transparency. It also includes the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act, which includes Alliance-supported provisions that emphasize funding for the Fish and Wildlife Service "Partners for Fish and Wildlife" program. Read more about the bill from Alliance.
Private Lands Conservation Events & Funding Announcements
POSITION: Land Trust Launch

Do you enjoy working with agricultural producers? Do you have a passion for natural resource conservation? If the answer is yes, then we have an opportunity for you! The SD Cattlemen’s Association, in partnership with the SD Farm Bureau Federation, the SD Grassland Coalition and the SD Association of Conservation Districts, is looking for an ambitious, self-starter to assist with the launch of the SD Agricultural Land Trust. 

This will be a part-time position to start, with the potential for future full time employment as the Land Trust evolves. Preference will be given to candidates that are able to work from the SDCA office in Pierre. To learn more, please visit the SD Cattlemen’s Association Facebook page (@SDCattlemen) or email Jodie Anderson, SDCA Executive Director, at executive@sdcattlemen.org.

FUNDING

Announcing the Landscape Conservation Catalyst Fund

EVENT

Private woodland owners can learn wildlife stewardship skills at this short course June 7-9 at Morgan-Monroe State Forest in Martinsville, Indiana
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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