May 2019 Newsletter
EARLY REGISTRATION ENDING SOON: Private Lands Partners Day Ogden, Utah
September 24-26, 2019

Register before June 1 for early bird pricing. The 12th annual Private Lands Partners Day will 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 planning team has been hard at work for months on agendas for the field trip in northeast Utah and the conference day at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center. A draft agenda will be available soon.

Register here. 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.

Banner Photo: Ogden Valley, Utah by dagordon
Partners for Conservation on YouTube

Meet PFC landowner Russell Davis, who tells the story of facing possible ramifications to his land and operation if the Mountain plover were listed as endangered. “We have a tendency to think the worst is going to happen, and in reality it's become something very special...We have addressed these challenges in our backyard, how do we take those lessons learned and move them forward nationally for the landowners in Florida or Arizona or Delaware?”

Partners for Conservation is a landowner-led organization where landowners can share the lessons learned from addressing challenges in their backyard, then take this wisdom to a national audience, whether Congress or landowners across the U.S. PFC works to help landowners “traverse the landmines and do good things in their backyard when it comes to dealing with threatened species. We’ve been there and done that. I’m excited … to have that conversation with another landowner that is just starting this journey.”
Folks in South Dakota are rocking the soil health...This is from a new video series: Profiles in Soil Health

“My goal was to produce more and improve natural resources at the same time. You can do either one of these easily, by overgrazing and producing more or under grazing and improving, but with mob grazing I can get more production and improve my natural resources at the same time.” -Charlie Totton
Partner/Private Lands News
Ranching & Agriculture

Building on Agriculture’s Culture of Stewardship: A recent Lancaster Farming (PA) poll showed that the majority of the farmers of its readership view Earth Day as an opportunity to reflect with pride on our work as stewards of our lands.

Sixth generation Land family of Florida recognized by County Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship (CARES), recognizing superior natural resource conservation and leadership by agricultural producers.

Throughout its 30-year history, one fact has remained constant: The work of the Land Trust, which recorded its 65th conservation easement on December 14, 2018, has always been committed to the protection of farmland here in Yolo County.

Could it be that land‐sharing (i.e. wildlife‐friendly farming systems) and land‐sparing (i.e. separation of high‐yielding agriculture and natural habitats) approaches to optimal land use are not mutually exclusive, but rather needed to balance management needs for the multifunctionality of agricultural landscapes??

Aspen Valley Land Trust looked to public input to help guide its future

Established in 1993 by walnut farmers Craig and Julie McNamara, the nonprofit Center for Land-Based Learning inspires, educates, and cultivates future generations of farmers agricultural leaders, and natural resource stewards. Now a $1.5 million gift from the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation has officially launched the Center’s campaign to build a new statewide headquarters and expand its programs and services.

Farming, conservation harmonize on northeast South Dakota farm. (No-till farming and cover crops were used for centuries before the rise of modern, chemical-based agriculture.)

Texas Land Conservation Assistance Network launches in May 2019

Soil health & conservation practices at center of sustainability

State governments across the nation are taking an increased interest in promoting soil health practices through legislation, all of which include incentives or collaboration with private landowners.

Water
Pecos Conservation Partnership with oil and natural gas companies and federal agencies announces second round of grants to conserve species and their habitats in the Pecos River Watershed of New Mexico and Texas.

The City of Newark pay-for-success transaction (PFS) is being conducted as a pilot program to examine whether investment in agricultural best management practices on farms can achieve cost-effective pollution reductions that meet regulatory compliance requirements under the Clean Water Act while also achieving watershed conservation goals.

Wildlife, Recreation & Education
Stunning Illinois prairie chicken dance could soon be a thing of the past. Only 200 remain, but one family is fighting to save the species.

There is social and financial value in farmland conservation practices

Retired dairy farmer hosts field day, concert to benefit grassland bird research in Iowa

Ask the expert, a new series on farmers.gov: If pollinator conservation is your goal when putting in a CRP grassland, then it is important to include a high percentage of wildflowers to provide nectar and pollen resources. Including host plant species like milkweed is also valuable for monarch butterflies and other specialist insects.

Forests
The Coastal Headwaters project in Florida’s panhandle is the largest single longleaf restoration effort on private land to date (3,719 acres), with the potential to protect up to 200,000 acres in Florida and Alabama through the collaboration of more than 30 public and private partners.

Local lawmakers push for conservation of largest urban forest in the state of Texas.

Women Managing Woodlands share expertise in Michigan.

While the Northwest has seen massive infernos in recent years, a new report shows its forests actually are experiencing a historical deficit of fires. That deficit could be fueling recent, dangerous wildfire seasons. 
A NOTE FROM THE CHAIR

Hello from Ovando!

What a difference a year makes. Many areas of the country that were dry last year have experienced flooding this late winter and spring. The national drought map has no red on it for the first time in a long time. I hope that if you had flooding that conditions are improving. Partners for Conservation is very pleased to be working with USDA-NRCS and Pheasants Forever on an invitation-only Western Working Lands for Wildlife workshop next month in Twin Falls, Idaho. This promises to be an excellent opportunity for landowners and private lands biologists from across the West to interact and share on issues of common concern. Look for a report on the event in a future newsletter.

Have a great rest of your spring!

Sincerely,
Jim Stone
Montana
Our Amazing Grasslands

We knew way back that what we were doing [raising cattle and sheep in about 4 very large pastures, one for each season] was not sustainable.” Then 10 years ago, the Limpert family of SD cross-fenced their entire ranch into 30 section-sized pastures (except for one 5000-acre calving pasture where the animals remain for April-June) to allow rotational grazing of a large buffalo herd. By hitting pastures hard for 5 to 7 days at a time, they have seen tremendous improvements. 
PFC’s Oregon director makes the news acting on behalf of the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program

Nearly 200 miles away from the hubbub of the State Capitol, Jim Bob Collins runs an 18,000+ acre cattle ranch near Mitchell, Oregon: the Table Mountain Cattle Company. But somehow, in addition to all his other activities, PFC director Jim Bob Collins recently found time to speak with state legislators about the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (OAHP) – a set of voluntary grant mechanisms that could help Oregon’s farmers and ranchers preserve their working landscapes.

#FridaysOnTheFarm 

Meet Mark and Lucy Doudlah, farmers in Cooksville, Wisconsin, who produce 20 different crops and raise free-range, grass-fed meat using one guiding principle – being regenerative.

“With news my dad had contracted cancer, I knew I wanted to make a healthy change on the farm,” said Mark. “When he passed away, I decided to transition 40 acres to organic in his honor. This was a paradigm shift for me; I wanted to be a part of the solution.” Mark hasn’t looked back. He and Lucy have grown their operation to 1,750 acres, all managed through organic standards.

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. 
Nature's Good Neighbors

In the jagged Allegheny Mountains that straddle West Virginia and Virginia, a stream rises and winds north over 100 miles to become the mighty Potomac River. As erosion over the years shrank her family’s family’s 345-acre farm, the Mitchell family began working with Trout Unlimited and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to fence cattle out and restore the streambed. 

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, most of whom are private landowners with some on the PFC board!
Private Lands Conservation Events & Funding Announcements
POSITION: South Dakota Agricultural Land Trust Executive Director

Executive Director needed - apply by COB June 1. Join a brand new statewide land trust as it launches. Responding to the interests of their members and the unmet needs of South Dakota farmers and ranchers, four well-established organizations — the South Dakota Grassland Coalition, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts, and the South Dakota Farm Bureau — cooperatively founded the South Dakota Agricultural Land Trust (SDALT)

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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