For the first time in AMJV history, private landowners participated in our annual Capitol Hill visit. Mike and Laura Jackson from Pennsylvania, who used NRCS’ Working Lands for Wildlife to enhance young forest habitat on their property for Golden-winged Warblers and other wildlife, went to Washington D.C. with AMJV Coordinator Todd Fearer. During their time in the capital, the Jacksons visited with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leadership as well as some of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation to highlight the benefits of such conservation programs for both enhancing the value of their lands and providing critical habitat that will prevent listings of imperiled species.
Kyle Aldinger, the AMJV Cerulean Warbler RCPP Coordinator for West Virginia, also traveled to D.C. and accompanied Todd on visits with members of the West Virginia congressional delegation. Kyle, who is employed by the National Wild Turkey Federation, highlighted the contributions of the many partners involved in the RCPP in West Virginia to create opportunities for private landowners to proactively manage their lands for habitat that not only benefits Cerulean Warblers, but also a variety of game and nongame species while also improving overall forest health.
In addition to these meetings, Todd along with staff and partners from other JVs held productive sessions with U.S. Department of Agricultural undersecretary Robert Bonnie as well as Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller to highlight conservation successes that have resulted from JV-NRCS partnerships and discuss additional opportunities for future collaboration.