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Coordinator's Corner - "Share the Story"

This past August, the PPJV co-hosted a Grasslands Policy Tour with the North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition in Bismarck, North Dakota. The tour showcased agricultural operations that focus on soil health and successfully integrate grassland conservation, annual cropping and wildlife conservation into their business models. A wide range of stakeholders participated in the tour, including agricultural producers, state legislators, public service commissioners, members of conservation groups, and congressional representatives. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum energetically engaged with the tour group the entire day.

I encourage you to read the stories in this enewsletter edition highlighting the event and the participants. A key take-home message from the tour and subsequent discussion panel was to “Share the Story,” a critical communications and outreach activity for any successful Migratory Bird Joint Venture.

Indeed, communications and outreach are very much in line with the priorities of the PPJV. The 2017 Implementation Plan calls for increased communications to share the partnership’s success stories with all stakeholders. The PPJV must advertise its successes and market its programs to the public to further gain its support and involvement. Since the Implementation Plan was published, the PPJV has organized a standing Communications Committee to guide the partnership’s outreach efforts and revitalize the actions articulated in our 5-year Communications Plan. We rely on field tours and demonstration projects as strategies to get the message out to local landowners, one of our priority constituencies. We have recently bolstered our web page content and rely on quarterly email newsletters, such as this one, to share the story beyond local stakeholders.

The collective voice of the PPJV is arguably one of the most powerful aspects of our partnership. How well we leverage unified messages to gain conservation success depends on the strength of our solidarity. By focusing on issues that affect all partners, we can use that collective voice to share the story of the PPJV not only for the benefit our priority wildlife resources, but also for the private landowners and rural communities who are the stewards of resources in the public trust. We must continue to build upon our communication and outreach successes.

In this issue of Pulse of the Prairies, you will read about the Grasslands Policy Tour and follow up panel discussion, the North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition, and an initiative to map the remaining grasslands throughout the North American Great Plains.

Let’s keep talking and share the PPJV story!

--Sean Fields, Acting PPJV Coordinator