Partners for Conservation

In 2006,the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Montana Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program was granted an Innovations in American Government Award for community-based conservation in partnership with the Blackfoot Challenge, a watershed group in the Blackfoot watershed of western Montana.

The $100,000 award from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government was used to transfer the model of cooperative conservation, build trust and partnerships between private landowners and public agency managers, provide consensus-based solutions to natural resource issues and recommend ways to improve cooperative conservation at local, regional and national scales.

In 2008 and 2009, meetings were held in Montana and Colorado with representatives from eleven western states to share information, experiences, challenges and solutions to private land conservation.

Partners for Conservation (PFC) developed from these discussions and represents the private landowners and partners that are practicing innovative, measurable and effective conservation practices on the ground for the long-term health and productivity of working landscapes and rural communities across the United States. Current representatives include landowners from California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Learn more about PFC and join us in the conversation.

The eight strategies of Partners for Conservation:

  • Keep working landscapes intact for the next generation of land stewards—with biological, social and economic indicators of success.
  • Promote public and private partnerships through building trust and relationships between private landowners and managers, public agencies, non-profit conservation groups, foundations, corporations, policymakers, and academic institutions for the benefit of working landscapes across the country.
  • Communicate, educate and share on-the-ground challenges and successes experienced by private landowners with congressional and agency decision-makers. As part of this strategy, advocate for stronger, more accessible relationships with representatives in Washington, D.C.
  • Support voluntary, incentive-based programs that are flexible, predictable, emphasize the value of people and partnership, and have measurable outcomes.
  • Transfer experiences, expertise and lessons learned about cooperative conservation and holistic land management tools, funding, and technical resources.
  • Increase and leverage funding for efforts that promote cooperative conservation.
  • Support local, watershed and/or place-based conservation efforts by providing an umbrella group to effect change at the regional and national conservation scale.
  • Promote the 80-20 rule for conservation: Work on the 80% held in common, instead of the 20% that divides.


Contact Partners for Conservation

Steve Jester
Executive Director
c/o MBDG
503 Main Street, Ste. 740
Pueblo, Colorado  81003
Phone: (512) 663-7596


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator
Related Success Stories for Partners for Conservation

America’s Private Lands Conservation Partnership
Conservation Districts carry out natural resource management programs at the local level and work with more than 2.5 million cooperating landowners on nearly 98 percent of U.S. private lands.

Headwaters Corner Interpretive Center
Community partners and conservation agencies collaborate to bring environmental education of regional significance to the general public of southern California.