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Partners for Conservation Hosts First Working Landscapes Regional Collaboration Workshop

Members of Partners for Conservation | Joe Milmoe USFWS
Members of Partners for Conservation | Joe Milmoe USFWS

Recently, Partners for Conservation along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program as well as the Intermountain West Joint Venture hosted the first “Working Landscapes Regional Collaboration Workshop” in Susanville, CA with the goal of bringing together private landowners, state, county and federal agency officials and others to discuss how best to create a regional collaborative network to achieve shared conservation goals.

Partners for Conservation embodies a grassroots movement of private landowners working with agencies, non-profit organizations, and policymakers to collaborate on conservation projects for present and future generations. It represents the voices of 21st century conservation and the collective effort to support working landscapes through voluntary, incentive-based public and private programs.

Landowners listening at Workshop | Joe Milmoe
Landowners listening at Working Landscapes Regional Collaboration Workshop | Joe Milmoe, USFWS

With about 80 people in attendance at the workshop, half were private landowners, and half were agency employees from the state, county, and federal governments and nongovernmental agencies. The day and a half workshop consisted of sharing stories of how to work collaboratively with public and private partners, networking, and relationship building. Most of the time was spent talking about what it takes to work together across the public and private divide.

Susanville, California was selected as the workshop location because it is surrounded by an area facing conservation challenges that need collaborative solutions. The region, known as Southern Oregon-Northeast California (SONEC) is one of the most important regions in the western United Stated for migratory waterfowl since it is crucial breeding grounds. More than 18 percent of the Pacific Flyway Population of mallards and redheads breed in this region as well as more than 20 percent of North America’s entire breeding population of Cinnamon Teal. Up to 70% of the Pacific Flyway’s migrating birds pass through this region.

This region is a compilation of private and public lands owned by different agencies making collaboration vital for the conservation and protection of this region. The region also supports greater sage grouse which are being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act and is also home to endangered fish. Click here for more information about the SONEC region.

The participants left armed with stories of successful partnerships, how to move through roadblocks, best practices to establishing a productive partnership, and a model on which to base their own local partnerships. If the participants decide to pursue a partnership and network modeled after Partners for Conservation, PFC will be there to support them through the process. Partners for Conservation would serve as a pool of expertise for the new network and could provide counsel when collaborations face challenges.

Partners for Conservation hopes to host more of these workshops in the future, continuing to help encourage public and private partnerships in the name of landscape conservation across the country. PFC will continue to bring private landowners together with public agencies to keep working lands working while also conserving sensitive land and species.

Click here to learn more about Partners for Conservation. 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2015/03/partners-for-conservation-hosts-first-working-landscapes-regional-collaboration-workshop/

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