Building strong collaborative relationships for conservation is one of the IWJV’s core values. We spend countless hours cultivating and building partnerships with an increasingly diverse network of people who care about the future of conservation in the West.
Our north star is finding common ground to move the needle on two of the most relevant concerns of our 11-state region – the future of water and sagebrush rangelands.
That’s why we make it an annual priority to take a team to Washington, D.C. to meet with agency decision-makers, members of Congress, and D.C.-based partners to build stronger relationships and discuss ways to work together. In the context of today’s increasingly complex world, the challenges we face, and political climate, it’s a strategy that bears significant fruit.
In late February 2020, the IWJV connected with Partners for Conservation (PFC) to conduct over 40 meetings with agency leadership from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The team also met with the Office of Management and Budget and Congressional offices representing eight states. These conversations, in addition to partnership meetings with colleagues like the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Public Lands Council, National Association of Conservation Districts, Environmental Policy Innovation Center, and more, demonstrated the power of working closely with champions for conservation in Washington, D.C.
Sharing our stories of common-ground conservation for sage grouse, public lands ranchers, waterfowl, agricultural irrigators, native trout, mule deer, and community-based conservation from Burns, Oregon to Tremonton, Utah to the Little Snake River Valley of Wyoming created a powerful energy in each room our team visited. Our message was simple – “together, we accomplish what no single entity can do alone.”
We look forward to sharing more from these conversations over the coming months. Here are four simple ways you can help build momentum for the conservation movement championed in D.C.: