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Photo Credit: Kurt Forman

Welcome New Staff and Partners to the PPJV

The end of 2020 is in sight. In an unprecedented year of pandemic and social unrest, the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture (PPJV) partnership continues to persevere, albeit from our home offices with ever-present Zoom meetings. Our partnership, as well as all Migratory Bird Joint Ventures, were born of challenges, and we have found many opportunities therein. I believe it is ever more important to celebrate and reflect on successes in these uncertain times and reaffirm our ability to find opportunity in the greatest of challenges.

The PPJV partnership has experienced many changes over the last year and a half. In those 18 months, I took the reins as the new coordinator, Josh Vest has assumed the role of Science Coordinator, and Lucinda Morris is now the PPJV Communications Specialist. Do you remember how difficult it was to make a significant life change by accepting a new job and uprooting your family to live in a different location? Or successfully completing a graduate degree then immediately launching your career? Now imagine doing that during a pandemic. Josh and Lucinda did just that. And the PPJV is stronger for their efforts.

Additionally, the PPJV Management Board welcomed Lewis Heaton and Johann Walker in early 2020. Lewis is a farmer and rancher in the area around Bismarck, North Dakota and will be representing the North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition. Lewis joins Jim Faulstich as our two agricultural producers on the Management Board who provide valuable conservation perspectives. Johann Walker has worked for Ducks Unlimited, Inc. in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region since 2004. He recently assumed the Director of Operations position for Ducks Unlimited’s 7-state Great Plains Region and his insightful perspective is a welcome addition to the Board.

From investing in conservation and research programs in Minnesota and Iowa to fostering a new NRCS partnership in Montana, we continue to focus and rebuild partnerships that are too valuable to let languish in these times. As we continue to face challenges and opportunities in the PPJV, these new perspectives and engaged partners strengthen our foundation of collaborative conservation.

In this eNewsletter edition you will meet the new PPJV staff and read about our new partnership with Montana NRCS . As a relatively new coordinator to Migratory Bird Joint Ventures, I am extremely fortunate to work for a team of partners with an impressive track record in conservation. These partnerships embody the Joint Venture concept that we can accomplish much more together than we can alone.

Sean Fields, PPJV Coordinator