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March 2012 Newsletter

 All new Private Landowner Network listings now include the geographic service area, to show each provider’s coverage area, whether national, regional, or specific counties. With over 23,000 resources in our database, please help our researchers by checking your listing! If your service area isn’t listed yet, please click the “To request additions . . .” link at the bottom of your listing page to tell us what area you serve and provide any other updates.

Also, because updating our rapidly expanding database is a time-devouring task, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Resources First Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and our Private Landowner Network. At this time of sharp budget cuts for both federal and state conservation programs, your donation will go straight to work supporting current private lands conservation efforts and launching new initiatives. Note that in addition to our portfolio of national conservation information resources, we operate state portals for Arkansas, California, Maine and Mississippi and a regional database for Houston, Texas. Pending full funding, our next projects will include Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Texas.

To read my February speech to the Allegheny Society of American Foresters, click on “The Challenge of Maintaining Working Forests in 21st Century America.” My bottom line was that after a century of comparative analysis and high-fire-risk mistakes, it’s clear that “Pinchot was right! John Muir was wrong! Forests need management, not saving.” Forests also need what we’re doing at PLN – promoting forest success stories to educate the American public about the immense benefits of proper forest management as exemplified by foresters like Bob Williams.


White House Conservation Conference March 2nd
If you’re not in DC to attend the White House’s March 2nd Conservation Conference, then log into the forum live starting noon Eastern time at Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy will “explore the link between conservation and strong local economies through tourism, outdoor recreation, and healthy lands, waters and wildlife.”


California Forest Success Story

Our PLN blog on “Roseburg - a Conservation Easement with Timber Rights” celebrates the fact that family-owned Roseburg Forest Products, headquartered in Oregon, is committed to promoting healthy forestry practices. Working with the Pacific Forest Trust (PFT), Roseburg has concluded a $7.8 million, 8,230 acre conservation easement for the Bear Creek tract on the slopes of Mt. Shasta in California. The Bear Creek project keeps the land as a working forest and prevents conversion of the forest to residential and other uses, keeping the tract from being broken up into smaller parcels.

PFT co-CEO Connie Best calls the Bear Creek working forest conservation easement “emblematic of the landscape-scale conservation progress we can make in this key watershed region.” Acknowledging the support provided by California's Wildlife Conservation Board, the Bella Vista, Morgan Family, S.J. Bechtel and National Fish and Wildlife foundations, and Mary A. Crocker Trust, Best says Bear Creek worked because “Public-private partnerships are making it possible."


PLN Survey: Tell us what you think of  Ecosystem Services Markets  
Ecosystem services are the benefits which nature provides, and they can be increased through proper or improved land management over a sustained time period. Markets are one mechanism increasingly being used to compensate landowners for the ecosystem services generated on their land. The oldest and most familiar ecosystem markets are wetland mitigation banks.

Please take a few minutes to complete our latest PLN survey. Your answers will be completely anonymous. Click here to complete our  brief survey.


Dow Chemical Commits to Ecosystem Services Study
The January 2012 Dow-TNC Collaboration Report on a $10 million Dow initiative explains that: “In January 2011, Dow and The Nature Conservancy announced a breakthrough collaboration to help Dow and the business community recognize, value and incorporate nature into global business goals, decisions and strategies. . .  There are many ways that nature benefits people – often called ecosystem services – like providing fresh water and buffering floods and storms. . ."

“By finding ways for companies to account for nature’s services on their bottom line, this collaboration will deliver new practices that lead to solutions that benefit both business and conservation. . . . Over the course of five years, Dow and The Nature Conservancy are working together to implement and refine ecosystem services and biodiversity assessment models at three Dow sites around the globe. These sites will serve as 'living laboratories' for developing, testing and implementing scientific and economic methods that can be used by Dow and other companies to improve business practices through conservation. As more companies use these methods and tools, it will likely lead to greater investment in conservation because it makes good business sense.”

Dow Chemical notes that ecosystem services include “fresh, flowing water necessary for manufacturing processes and waste treatment, as well as for providing habitat for many species; coastal marshes that buffer floods and hurricanes while providing habitat and nurseries; and forests that clean the air and support the health of people and nature in the surrounding region.”


Environmental Services Conference
The economic nuts and bolts of paying farmers, ranchers and other landowners for providing environmental services will be examined at a Washington, DC conference April 17 and 18. The conference program and a link to register are on the Farm Foundation website.

The joint Farm Foundation/Resources for the Future/USDA Economic Research Service conference aims to “examine ways to improve the efficacy of current and proposed approaches for providing environmental payment, toward the goal of increasing the environmental value of the investments while maximizing scarce budget resources. Among the approaches to be discussed are payments provided by government; private entities responding to government mandates, such as offsets trading; and voluntary efforts by private entities with environmental  objectives.”


Send Us Your Comments

To contribute items for our national conservation database or offer your comments, please email: We welcome your insights and we're especially seeking:

  • Success stories about farmers, ranchers and forest owners who are actively engaged in “keeping working lands working.”

  • Success stories such as David Bamberger’s Texas Ranch that Brought Water from Stone.

We need your support to continue providing PLN’s unique resources

Landowners must make critical land management choices. Making a wise choice when it comes to conservation easements, good land stewardship or legacy land requires in-depth research on a very complicated subject. Access to a single, comprehensive, on-line database offers a valuable time saver for every landowner interested in good land stewardship.

Resources First Foundation ’s web-based products database, Private Landowner Network, provides every private landowner direct access to experts across the board. Need a certified forester? Want land conservation tax advice? In our constantly expanding portfolio you will find experts in all fields of conservation, from tax and estate planners and advisers to alternative energy, green building, land trusts, and technical resources.

At a time when state and federal conservation funds are being cut, please consider supporting PLN with your tax-deductible donation today

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