Transforming Conservation in America: Insights from the 2024 Annual Coalition Summit

Transforming Conservation in America: Insights from the 2024 Annual Coalition Summit

In the heart of Arlington, VA, from February 20th to 22nd, the Conservation Without Conflict Coalition held its Annual Summit, a gathering that could very well shape the future of wildlife conservation across the United States. With a focus on collaboration and voluntary action, the event marked a significant shift toward actionable conservation strategies on America's working lands.

Conservation Without Conflict Summit attendees

In the upcoming weeks the Coalition will be publishing a full report of this Summit. This report will serve as a blueprint to how the Conservation without Conflict Coalition will move forward and expand its role in furthering collaborative conservation while keeping working lands working across the nation. In the meantime, here's a closer look at the Summit that's setting the stage for a future where collaborative conservation is the default implementation model across the nation.

The Conservation Without Conflict coalition has set its sights on a future where conservation efforts are built on the foundation of voluntary collaboration. The Coalition’s mission is ambitious yet simple: to build a culture of trust and partnership across various sectors, ensuring the conservation of wildlife while keeping lands productive and enhancing the quality of life for communities and landowners.

This year's Summit was more than just a meeting; it was a clarion call to pivot from the planning stages to tangible action. With a robust foundation already laid out, the initiative is now focused on building capacity and expanding its reach to foster greater collaborative conservation efforts across the nation.

The Summit kicked off with an evening of welcome remarks and keynote speeches, notably from Tony Wasley, President of the Wildlife Management Institute and Executive Committee Chair for the Coalition, who emphasized the need for a future rooted in conservation without conflict. This set the tone for the days ahead—one of inspiration, collaboration, and readiness for change. During this evening, we honored two outstanding leaders of Conservation without Conflict, Cindy Dohner and Jimmy Bullock.

Day two was a whirlwind of activity, featuring in-depth presentations and panel discussions. Key themes included the roadmap for future conservation initiatives, the critical role of private lands in conservation efforts, and the sharing of success stories that underscore the power of collaborative conservation. Each session underscored the importance of innovative approaches and the role of science, private landowners, states agencies, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations in driving conservation forward.

The final day of the Summit was dedicated to envisioning the future and planning actionable steps. Discussions focused on how to scale the Conservation Without Conflict framework and culminated in breakout sessions to define specific actions for achieving short, mid, and long-term goals. These will soon be shared in the upcoming Summit report.

The 2024 Annual Coalition Summit was not just a meeting; it was a moment of transformation for conservation efforts in America. The event laid out a clear path forward, emphasizing the need for actionable strategies and a united effort to bring about meaningful change. As the Summit concluded, it was evident that the Conservation Without Conflict initiative is on the brink of something truly impactful, with a network of committed stakeholders ready to advance the cause of collaborative conservation across the nation.

The Summit underscored the importance of engagement and collaboration. As the coalition moves forward, the collective effort of all stakeholders will be crucial in realizing the vision of a future where conservation actions are proactive, collaborative, voluntary, and conflict-free. The journey ahead is promising, and with the insights and strategies garnered from the Summit, the Conservation Without Conflict Coalition is poised to make a significant impact on wildlife conservation in America.

As we look ahead, the principles of Conservation Without Conflict are more than just guidelines; they are beacons of hope for a world where conservation and productivity go hand in hand, ensuring a better future for our lands, wildlife, and communities.

Photo Credit
Conservation Without Conflict
March 15, 2024