November 2019 Newsletter
Dedication of the Owen Preserve at Raccoon Creek Pinelands in Virginia

On October 25th, 2019 over 120 family members, neighbors, and conservation partners gathered to dedicate The Nature Conservancy’s Owen Preserve in Yale, Virginia (Sussex County). They were celebrating the protection and management of one of the highest priority longleaf restoration sites identified by the Longleaf Cooperators of the Virginia Longleaf Implementation Team.

Photo: "Thomas Jefferson" and Burner Bob, courtesy of Kurt Smith of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Reese Thompson & the Longleaf Alliance, respectively.
Partners for Conservation attends U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Meeting – Oregon

Partners for Conservation Oregon Director Jim Bob Collins, former California director Dina Moore and husband Mark Moore, along with executive director Steve Jester were honored to be able to attend and speak at a meeting of Partners for Fish and Wildlife biologists from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and the Pacific Islands including Hawaii at a November meeting in Corvallis, Oregon. Jim Bob and the Moores shared their stories of public-private conservation partnership challenges and accomplishments with the group while also learning more about challenges faced by USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife staff in delivering voluntary, partnership-based conservation.

The importance of developing trust and credibility as well as transparent and effective communication were stressed by both PFC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff throughout. Dina Moore, during her comments, thanked the biologists for including landowners in their meeting and observed, “We, both landowners and partners, have more in common than I realized” when it comes to managing through uncertainty and change. Partners for Conservation was very grateful to be able to participate in the meeting.  
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.

Jeff Lake is sentimental about conservation. He wants to preserve his “childhood luxury” of clean water to drink, swim and fish in. He’s a self-described borrower: Borrowing Mother Nature’s resources to make a living as a fifth-generation farmer, and borrowing his ancestors’ land in hopes his children will farm it someday.

Bill and Dana Milton are excellent examples of the diversity to be found among people who call themselves environmentalists. The Miltons have not only stood on both sides of that fence, but they’ve also spent much of their adult lives trying to build bridges across it.”

Know a South Dakota rancher, farmer or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2020 South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award®.

The finalists are: Half Circle Cross Ranch of Coalville in Summit County, Ferril and Dorothy Heaton Family LLC of Alton in Kane County, and JY Ferry & Son, Inc. of Corinne in Box Elder County.
Partner/Private Lands News
Ranching & Agriculture

Brown’s Ranch in North Dakota: Guided by the “divine”- after 4 straight years of crop losses, you would be too! How Gabe Brown discovered regenerative agriculture. 

The Roots of the General Mills Regenerative Agriculture Program: a game changer for food giants in America. 

Small farmers worldwide are vital to a sustainable future.

Owners in no rush to leave their Tricentennial Farm in PA, even after development has caught up with their easement.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Indian Affairs have signed a memorandum of understanding to improve tribes’ and tribal members’ access to farm conservation programs to advance conservation in Indian Country.

Geauga, OH SWCD reflects on 75 years of conservation! 

A farm that originally was given as part of the Homestead Act has an agricultural conservation easement that will ensure the land always remains a farm.


A five-year $9M grant to Minnesota ag water program is the second that the program has received since 2015 through a U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation partnership.

Moose Lake, MN farm works toward state water certification by collaborating with local conservation district to make numerous improvements that reduce runoff into Kettle River tributary.

Wildlife, Recreation & Education

New Ducks Unlimited CEO Adam Putnam brings extensive ag background to helm of conservation group.

Wetlands and cropland coexist: New demonstration farm shows ways to make it work.

Are we condemned to watch our birdlife disappear? No. Not as long as we’re willing to act. Help preserve bird life in Southern Maryland by protecting your own fields, forests, and farmland.

‘Little Arsonist Grasses’: Non-Native species making California wildfires more frequent, study finds.

Certified by the National Audubon Society’s Audubon Conservation Ranching program, Blue Nest Beef helps fix a broken food system with cattle as their tool and birds as their guide.


A diverse group of nine organizations announced today their commitment to prioritize, plan, and execute forest restoration on an unprecedented scale in the North Yuba River watershed, covering 275,000 acres of the northern Sierra Nevada.

There’s a new way for investors to turn a profit while helping California prevent fires. Forest Resilience Bond seeks to lower the risk of dangerous and destructive wildfires by shifting the heavy costs of forest restoration from the state’s forest service to private investors.

Rare Pacific Fisher is the focus of private, federal agreements on 2 million acres in Oregon.

Hello from Ovando,

I don’t know if it's fall or winter here in western Montana. We have had some of both the last six to eight weeks. Crazy weather and it's crazy that the year is almost done. 

I hope that your year is finishing up in a good way for you weather-wise and otherwise. I also want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you are able to spend it with family and friends, and if you are traveling that it goes safely and smoothly. 

Partners for Conservation is certainly thankful for all of you and all that you do for the natural resources and communities that are important to you and your partners -- as well as for the larger national conservation conversation!

Happy Thanksgiving from Montana,
Jim Stone
Our Amazing Grasslands

The Rohrbachs own a true family ranch where Jonathan Rohrbach's son is able to "go out and see nature and the creation, everything that works together as it was meant to." They own over 2000 acres of native grassland (“with 500 acres that’s been broke”) in the Prairie Pothole region of SD.
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 whole ecosystem.”

Meet Bill Renfroe, an Air Force veteran in Lovelock, Nevada, who can now add “beginning farmer” to his resume. While Bill had initially dreamt of retiring somewhere green, that vision enfolded into fields of green alfalfa in northwestern Nevada.

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. 
Nature's Good Neighbors

Building blinds, building lives:
Being in the outdoors is where Navy veteran Rick Spring finds peace. As a disabled veteran, he now crafts accessible hunting blinds for others.

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

Soil Health Summit
Through hands-on training from the world’s leading experts, Soil Health Academy participants learn how to increase profitability, build resiliency into the land, decrease input costs and improve nutrient density of food and agricultural products. 


Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
The Bird Conservancy is seeking a dynamic and forward-thinking leader to oversee the management, implementation, and strategic growth of our Stewardship program. The Stewardship Director, based in our Fort Collins, CO office, will lead two Stewardship Coordinators and 14 Private Land Wildlife Biologists (remotely-based) implementing on-the-ground conservation delivery.

Center for Collaborative Conservation Call for Fellows
Every 18-months to two years, the CCC funds a Fellows Program. Fellows explore new solutions to conservation issues by helping local communities use collaboration to build their livelihoods and conserve their landscapes in the United States and around the world.

CSU students and faculty, and practitioners outside of CSU, are invited to apply to our current fellowship opportunity. The topic for this cohort of fellows is People and Predator Relationships in the United States.

We are particularly interested in projects that relate to the potential need for wolf management in Colorado, should wolves arrive here. These projects may address the biological, social, economic, or political aspects of wolf management.

We are also particularly interested in involvement from CSU Extension employees, members of the Western Collaborative Conservation Network (WCCN), and Indigenous individuals or communities.
The deadline for applications is February 21, 2020. Get more information about the Fellows Program.


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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