Partners for Conservation convened the 2019 annual meeting and January 2019 board meeting in Atlanta, Georgia January 23 and 24. A portion of the meeting was a discussion among directors facilitated by Group Solutions on strategic topics such as organizational growth, governance, funding, and priorities over the next five years.

Director and officer elections were part of the annual meeting. Directors re-elected to the board included Duane Coombs (NV), Shelly Kelly (NE), Pat O’Toole (WY), Jim Stone (MT), Jay Tanner (UT) and Reese Thompson (GA). The Executive Committee was also elected and includes Jim Stone, Chair; Terry Mansfield (WA), Vice Chair; Shelly Kelly, Secretary; Russell Davis (CO), Treasurer; Reese Thompson, Eastern Regional Representative; Jim Faulstich (SD), Central Regional Representative; and Jay Tanner, Western Regional Representative. Committees, committee chairs, and committee charters were also adopted.

The Partners for Conservation board also elected two new directors. Jim Bob Collins’ family has been ranching near Mitchell in central Oregon for over 140 years. The family has a long tradition of land stewardship, and since Jim Bob began making management decisions about 15 years ago the ranch has greatly expanded public-private partnerships including a major, multi-partner stream channel restoration project. Thomas (Tom) McAvoy Jr. is from Scotland, Connecticut. Tom has been in the banking industry for over 35 years, and he acquired an abandoned dairy farm about 11 years ago. In the process of restoring the property, he discovered that he had habitat for New England cottontail, a species of concern, which began his partnership and cooperative restoration efforts with a number of conservation partners. In addition to his work with New England cottontail, Tom’s property produces corn, soybeans, hay and Scottish Highland Cattle. Congratulations and welcome to Jim Bob and Tom!

Burner Bob, the well-traveled, feathered fan of prescribed fire also dropped by the meeting for a visit. Burner Bob promotes a message supporting the use of prescribed fire for maintaining fire-dependent ecosystems, such as longleaf pine, to benefit the plants and animals that live there. Application of prescribed fire on private lands is in many cases a real-life example of public-private partnership to achieve a shared vision, an approach that is right in line with PFC’s view of how work gets done.

Photo: L to R, back: Reese Thomson, GA; Exe. Dir. Steve Jester, TX; Terry Mansfield, WA; Jim Faulstich, SD; Jim Bob Collins, OR; Burner Bob; Duane Coombs, NV; Tuda Libby Crews, NM; Russell Davis, CO; Gary Price, TX.
Middle row: Tom McAvoy Jr., CT; Adm. Asst. Deb Dillree, MT; Bill Sproul, KS.
Kneeling: Jay Tanner, UT; Chrm. Jim Stone, MT; Shelly Kelly, NE; Warren Mickey , WV.