Formation of New Rangeland Partnership in Idaho

The following article is contributed by Brenda Richards, Idaho Rangeland Conservation Partnership Coordinator – a position and partnership supported in part by the Partnering to Conserve Sagebrush Rangelands effort between the Bureau of Land Management and Intermountain West Joint Venture.

It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the formation of the Idaho Rangeland Conservation Partnership (IRCP). Organizations in Idaho have a strong record of working together to accomplish rangeland goals. Stakeholders formed the IRCP to formalize collaboration among existing land management entities, private land owners, livestock producers, conservation organizations, and other committed partners to foster positive results on rangelands. IRCP will assist in a more coordinated effort and unified vision to have conversations and address Idaho rangelands across the landscape and management.

Duane Coombs, Outcome-based Grazing Program Coordinator, and Brenda Richards, IRCP Coordinator, talk about fire and invasives while on a tour of the Soda Fire burn scar.

Duane Coombs, Outcome-based Grazing Program Coordinator, and Brenda Richards, IRCP Coordinator, talk about fire and invasives while on a tour of the Soda Fire burn scar.

The IRCP Charter Mission Statement Reads: “to bring together ranchers, conservationists, agencies, recreationists, scientists and other rangeland stakeholders to conserve and enhance the social, ecologic and economic values that rangelands provide through shared learning and action.” A copy of the IRCP Charter of which can be viewed and downloaded by going to

As this effort will require leadership, experience, and networking capabilities, I am honored and excited to have been hired as the Coordinator for this initial three-year adventure! I have a degree in business accounting and almost 30 years of experience working in policy and rangeland management. I recently retired from an elected position where for the past 12 years I served as the Owyhee County Treasurer. In this position I worked closely with the county commissioners and natural resource committee to develop and work with land use policy. I was the president of the Public Lands Council from 2014-2016 and continue to serve as the chairman of the Owyhee Initiative, Inc., which is a collaborative that works to resolve decades of conflict in this unique region that has over 75% federal lands. My husband and I continue our ranching business and have three grown boys who work in ranching and natural resources.

A great way to learn more about the IRCP is by joining us for our first meeting in Bosie, Idaho this January 15-16, 2019. We will be continuing rangeland conversations and focusing on Outcome-based Land Management.

Funding has been secured for three years for the IRCP and the Coordinator position through a grant awarded from Intermountain West Joint Venture and Bureau of Land Management’s Partnering to Conserve Sagebrush Rangeland’s initiative. Oversight and direction on this partnership’s activities comes from a Steering Committee, which elected Don Kemner, Idaho Fish and Game, as the Chair, and Gretchen Hyde, Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission, as the Vice Chair. Other members of the Steering Committee include Lou Lunte, The Nature Conservancy; Karen Launchbaugh, University of Idaho Rangeland Center; Jason Pyron, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Josh Uriarte, Governor’s Office of Species Conservation; Brendan Brazee, USDA-NRCS; Brooke Jacobson, Range Program Manager ISDA; Cameron Mulrony, ICA and Idaho Public Lands Council; Diane French, Idaho Department of Lands; and Leah Quesenberry, Idaho BLM.

Again, it is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I share about the launch of the Idaho Rangeland Conservation Partnership. Please stay tuned for more information on our future work and don’t hesitate to contact me at