By Published On: May 26, 2016

Business Leader’s Conservation Contributions Recognized with Prestigious Award

Carey Farmer of ConocoPhillips Company is one of the strongest champions for strategic, landscape-scale bird habitat conservation in the Intermountain West today. Farmer’s contributions have shaped the direction, operations, and business model of the IWJV, and we were thrilled to present him with our 2016 John E. Nagel Award at our Spring 2016 Management Board meeting in Bend, Oregon. This special award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the IWJV and efforts to conserve habitat through building public and private partnerships. It is named in honor of the IWJV’s first Management Board Chairman.

The Sage Grouse Initiative Strategic Watershed Action Team stands out as one of the most successful conservation endeavors the IWJV’s been a part of in its 22-year history. In 2011, Farmer was at the ground floor of the team’s development, offering ConocoPhillips Company’s support to leverage 24 new wildlife biologist and range conservationist positions. That field capacity doubled the amount of sagebrush habitat that the Natural Resources Conservation Service was able to conserve through this program. The company’s initial funding commitment through Farmer was the first partner funding on the table and spurred contributions by non-governmental conservation organizations, state fish and wildlife agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and conservation districts.

Carey Farmer accepted the 2016 IWJV Nagel Award, which is presented in the form of a swan decoy with an engraved plate noting the recipient and date of the award.

Farmer’s bird conservation achievements also include supporting the IWJV’s work to incorporate sagebrush-obligate migratory birds into habitat conservation efforts focused on sage grouse, and championing the IWJV in the development of new sagebrush conservation partnerships. His guidance and the company’s support enabled the IWJV to broker exciting new partnerships with the Bureau of Land Management and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies that will support proactive, science-based, landscape-scale sagebrush conservation across land ownership and jurisdictional boundaries long into the future.

These achievements are noteworthy, but they pale in comparison to his enormous contributions in shaping the IWJV’s business model and enterprise. Farmer’s engagement with and support of the IWJV has been highly aligned with this forward-looking view.

“The fish and wildlife management community is undergoing an awakening that wildlife populations can only be sustained at desired levels in the future if conservation is relevant to society,” said Dave Smith, the IWJV’s Coordinator. “Carey Farmer is a business leader, not a biologist, so he brings an altogether different, and incredibly valuable, skill set and perspective to the Joint Venture table.”

Farmer’s perspective is grounded in global demand, risk management, and business solutions. At first glance, these areas seem distant from the IWJV’s bird habitat conservation mission. However, Farmer has demonstrated that conservation aligned with societal relevance is extremely powerful and can enable achievements otherwise unattainable.

Farmer’s vision will color the IWJV’s approach and operations for many years to come and will ultimately result in greater conservation accomplishments. Beyond his tremendous business savvy, Farmer deeply cares about the natural environment and is constantly seeking pragmatic win-win solutions for wildlife and people. We extend sincere thanks to Carey Farmer for his massive contributions to the work of the IWJV partnership.