With the New Year around the corner, I hope each of you will have more positive reflections than negative about the year 2015. Not only do individuals reflect on their past, but so do organizations and partnerships. In doing so, they hope to recognize their foundation and gain wisdom from both successes and failures, allowing for thoughtful direction for the future. Learn more about the PPJV's and the Migratory Bird Joint Venture Coordinators' visions.
Despite functioning as individual self-directed partnerships, joint ventures hold dear an unwritten rule – “we rise and fall together.” With a partnership attitude and community success approach, the JV coordinators examined current challenges, ongoing strengths, and our future direction at a recent meeting in Chicago. The discussion and debate resulted in a group statement on where JVs have been and where they are going.
Good stewardship of private lands is critical for conservation of at-risk wildlife populations in the Prairie Potholes Region and beyond. In response, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service teamed up with The Nature Conservancy of Montana to develop a tool that will remove or reduce threats to species on privately owned ranching and agricultural lands while giving assurances to landowners against further regulatory responsibilities in the event any of the species included in an agreement are listed under the ESA in the future.
The whooping crane is a federally endangered species that relies on land in North and South Dakota to help meet its energy needs during migration and reproduction. Working with researchers from the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, members of the Habitat and Population Evaluation Team office used whooping crane observations, landscape data, and a model-based approach to identify habitat for whooping cranes migrating through the Dakotas.
Much of the Bakken Formation of Montana and North Dakota overlaps with important breeding waterfowl, shorebird, and waterbird habitat in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region. In 2014, PPJV partners initiated a collaborative effort to investigate the potential impact of oil development and extraction in this area on breeding ducks. We describe the results of the effort in 2014 and 2015.