Community-based approach to large landscape conservation

Posted by Renee Magyar on May 20, 2013

Gary Burnett, a participant since 2009, with thoughts on partnership with the RVCC.

RVCC participants at the 2012 Annual Policy Meeting

By guest blogger Gary Burnett, Executive Director at the Blackfoot Challenge in western Montana

My first association with RVCC was at their Annual Policy Meeting in 2009 where what seemed like over one hundred partners participated from all over the Northwest. RVCC's networking efforts have been around for over a decade, and brought together close to 200 at last year's meeting. These meetings are a powerful way to begin and build on the policy conversation with so many voices face-to-face. And RVCC's follow up efforts though regular conference calls among the various working groups focused that discussion in policy papers that we carried this week to decision-makers in Washington, DC.

One of our messages was strong support for stewardship authorities, and a recommendation to consider the balance of harm when reviewing assessments and impacts. Public and private collaboration following a community-based approach is gaining acceptance as a solution to natural resource conservation in the next century, and the collaborative effort needs some measure of weight.

Writing this blog back home in the Blackfoot, I am hopeful the time to build relationships will make a difference. Our challenge is how to sustain these relationships and the ones at home, and keep on working together for our communities and resources.