In July 8th Partners for Conservation held its first virtual panel on conservation partnerships and the origins of Partners for Conservation using the Zoom platform. Those that know us well, know that we are first and foremost an in-person, ideally across-the-kitchen-table type of outfit! However using our tried and true method of sharing landowner knowledge and experience in public-private conservation partnerships has not been possible during the current pandemic. Different times call for different methods and after some discussions we decided to try something different and four of the founding landowner directors agreed to spend some time on Zoom with what we thought might be at best several dozen interested partners.

The interest was somewhat more than we expected! With just a bit of outreach primarily with and through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife – Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, over 100 biologists, landowners and voluntary conservation partners RSVPed for the event. Of those that RSVPed over 80% were able to attend, even during the height of the busiest season for many landowners and conservation partners across the country. Even with the ability to work in the field with partners still constrained in many areas due to pandemic restrictions, we were heartened and humbled by the interest.

The panel of four landowners spoke for about an hour and we reserved 30 minutes for questions and answers. Due to technical difficulties (read as operator error) the video of the event was not recorded which is unfortunate but an audio of the panel can be accessed here. Partners for Conservation plans to continue with these virtual conversations regularly at least through the end of the year or until interest wanes. Look elsewhere in the newsletter for a description of the next event!