Conserving Working Landscapes

Partners for Conservation members, as the name suggests, work with a broad range of individuals, organizations, and entities to conserve working landscapes.  The organization got its start as a local partnership between landowners and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, a program within the agency that works collaboratively with private landowners on projects to improve fish and wildlife habitat. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program remains a primary partner of the organization and the landscapes represented by its members but the list has grown much longer. Partners for Conservation and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service recently established a formal relationship to help bring landowners and agency staff together in support of the Working Lands for Wildlife partnership.

Landscape collaborations also involve all manner of local stakeholders such as neighbors and other landowners, community groups, and units of local government. Many collaborations also feature cooperative work with other federal agencies including the EPA. Partnerships with state wildlife agencies, departments of environmental quality, extension services, universities, and state water resource organizations are also common. Nonprofit conservation organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, and other similar organizations are also important members of a number of collaborations and have been supportive of the Partners for Conservation approach. The Sand County Foundation has been a key partner particularly in support and delivery of a number of the Private Lands Day events. Most recently, Partners for Conservation established a partnership with the National Wildlife Refuge Association which allowed the organization to hire its first executive director.