Partnerscapes,  staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service–Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, landowners, and other conservation partners gathered the week of January 15th at the National Conservation Training Center to learn from each other and share challenges, opportunities, lessons learned, and networking ideas related to conservation partnerships on private lands in the eastern United States.


The two-day event started off with extremely challenging travel with much of the country locked in a polar vortex including snow and ice in many locations. However the attendees that were able to make the trip spent two days building new relationships and learning that challenges and opportunities are largely similar across the East. Multi-perspective panels mixed in with highly facilitated activities took good advantage of broad experience gathered in the room.


This is the second in a series of regional forums that Partnerscapes and the Partners program are conducting across the country to find ways to effectively support voluntary conservation practitioners, landowners, and other partners who seek to deliver private lands conservation. A report from this forum will be developed and shared via this newsletter soon.


The first forum in the series in the West generated many great ideas and has already resulted in the launch of the Partnerscapes Conservation Network Facebook Group which has been opened to practitioners and landowners nationally. Similarly, the Eastern forum generated a lot of great ideas, and we will be looking for things that can be implemented immediately to help support voluntary conservation in the East and Southeast. Additionally, planning is rapidly ramping up for the Midwest Partnership Forum which will be held in Iowa in April. Thanks to all involved in the planning, and especially to those that braved bad weather and crazy travel to get to West Virginia!

(Photo of attendees above by Joe Milmoe)