Jimmy Bullock, Sr. Vice President, Forest Sustainability, Resource Management Service, LLC
Wendi Weber, Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Americans value land for the ecological, social and economic benefits to our communities, the recreational experiences it affords, the well-being it provides our families, the support for our ways of life, and for the wildlife it sustains. Land and wildlife unite us and enhance our quality of life. Our collective desire is to pass these tremendous benefits and our outdoor experiences on to successive generations. Conservation without Conflict is both an approach and a coalition to achieve collaboration. Members have diverse goals and values, but we all come together around common conservation interests and a sense of responsible land stewardship. Our goal is to demonstrate to policy makers, funders, conservation groups, and the public and private sectors that investments in collaborative conservation pay for themselves many times over by conserving wildlife, habitat, and the values we ascribe to it.
In meeting the responsibility to ensure the future of wildlife, federal and state governments often use regulations to protect and manage species. And while regulations have an important role in our history of conserving the abundance and diversity of our nation’s fish and wildlife resources, regulatory action often does not promote collaboration, which is necessary to achieve the level of conservation required to ensure the future of wildlife. Indeed, regulatory inflexibility can create a counterproductive and adversarial tension as landowners try to balance their individual priority needs with public expectations for conserving fish and wildlife.
Working collaboratively toward conservation goals can conserve wildlife species and help support all our shared values and ownership objectives on private lands.
A collaborative approach, along with appropriate and effective incentives that recognize the benefits landowners provide to America’s fish and wildlife, can help landowners keep working lands working. This approach realizes the economic and cultural benefits of working landscapes, allows recreational opportunities, and contributes to the enhancement of important habitats. Collaboration that promotes this essential balance of mutual gain among partners is more successful in providing conservation at the scales needed and will be more sustainable than a relationship relying on regulatory approaches alone or at all. This is the essence of Conservation without Conflict.
Session speakers will include a subset of active members of the coalition (over 38 member organizations total representing federal, state, private, industry, academia, and NGOs) who will share their success stories and lessons learned in applying this approach. Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage with speakers in a panel discussion.