The last couple of weeks of the WCC leadership class have been centered around the idea of conservation as a multi-stakeholder/agency effort that is propped up by a complex network of interrelated laws. These sorts of discussions might not give you the pure adrenal percussion grenade of starting up a STIHL 362 sporting an 18″ bar with freshly sharpened skip chain, but these discussions are important, nonetheless.
With Easter weekend directly in our rearview mirror, I like the analogy of our fieldwork as our “good works” and our classroom sessions as a weekly sermon. One, we know to be a moral good that requires effort and dedication. The other, provides that intellectual inspiration that carries us through the tough times when field work is cold, muddy, and thankless.
Back to this idea of collaborative conservation.
Landscapes are fractured. Welcome to the anthropocene. The forest service owns a little here, the BLM some checkerboard patterns there. Over there, that’s a smidgen of Wyoming Game and Fish lands, and then there’s the smattering of state parks throughout. Not to mention a ton of private land (unless you live in Nevada or Alaska). Look at any map, and you must agree that our landscape is a melange of ownership. If you have any background in wildlife habitat conservation, you know that some of our most important resources don’t necessarily adhere to our human boundaries.
That’s why its important for all of these various land ‘owners’ to work together on conservation efforts. If landowner A is implementing a ton of great conservation measures, and his adjacent landowner, B, isn’t – all of landowner A’s efforts are wasted. We have to work together and across imaginary boundaries to protect a landscape that we share.
The WCC is part of the stitching that binds the landscapes of our state together. We are contracted out to various federal, state, and private land managers, working on projects intended to have a large-scale impacts across the west. The WCC isn’t exclusive in its services offered. If you need conservation work done, we are there to help. Some folks might see federal land agencies, regional conservation non-profits, and international energy companies as incongruous. We do not. We serve all of these stakeholders, and thus, we serve something greater than all of us combined.
One Stretch of Buck and Rail at a Time, Partner,