AMJV Science Coordinator Becky Keller recently attended a one-day meeting in Portland, ME that explored opportunities to work together with forest landowners and industry to conserve at-risk and listed species on private working forests. The meeting brought together private forest landowners and representatives from the National Alliance of Forest Owners, forest industry, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Region V. In Region V, approximately 9 of every 10 forested acres are privately held, making private and public sector cooperation an important goal for effective conservation. Those in attendance recognized the need to share conservation investment in at-risk species and the importance of building trust between private landowners and the USFWS.
This meeting was similar to one that took place between a large number of private landowners, forest industry representatives, the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI), and USFWS Region IV approximately three years ago. That meeting resulted in the implementation of two pilot projects that focused on species that require aquatic habitats and species that require early succession and open canopy habitats. Through such pilot projects, these initiatives in both Region IV and V have identified opportunities and challenges to working cooperatively for species conservation, and are continuing to build stronger foundations of trust.