This first year of implementation marked a critical year to build the foundation of the BLM-IWJV Partnering to Conserve Sagebrush Rangelands effort with noteworthy accomplishments. The vision ahead is to attract more partners, leverage funding, and make conservation happen on the ground to meet the objectives of the MOU and this partnership. The BLM will be recognized for its public-private collaboration across the states and communities in the West. To realize this vision in 2018, the IWJV and its partners will focus its efforts on addressing bottlenecks and building field capacity in three additional landscapes where partners have a shared vision to implement sagebrush habitat conservation across jurisdictional boundaries. These landscapes will represent the priorities of the BLM and its partners, especially as they seek to advance the Integrated Program of Work in each state.
Additionally, new relationships with BLM communications staff combined with the skills and resources of the IWJV will result in positive, good-news stories about the work of the BLM and its partners. These stories will be shared with broad and diverse audiences reinforcing the value of proactive, voluntary sagebrush habitat conservation through partnership.
The science partnership with NRCS SGI will feature new advancements related to sagebrush obligates; mesic area function and resistance to drought; and, rangeland Net Primary Productivity. Decision support tools will be accessible via the Interactive Web App, and new efforts will be made to transfer actionable science to BLM managers and partners.
This agreement represents one of the primary ways that the BLM is meeting the objectives of the MOU among the BLM, NRCS, and USFS through coordination of science, communications, and targeted conservation practices. The strong relationship between BLM and NRCS SGI is evident, as referenced by the numerous joint projects and accomplishments highlighted above. This work will continue, and in 2018 the IWJV will also reach out to strengthen relationships with the USFS to share in these efforts.
Finally, the IWJV will continue its efforts to leverage funds and bring in new partners to sagebrush habitat conservation as part of this potent partnership with BLM and cross-jurisdictional efforts among the states, communities, federal agencies, and non-governmental partners. Through targeted investments in the right places with the right people, the IWJV will support the BLM in building a culture of partnership and collaboration to conserve communities, lands and wildlife in the sagebrush range.