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RWBJV and PLJV Receive National Conservation Award

Grand Island – The Rainwater Basin Joint Venture is a recipient of the 2015 Wings Across the Americas Award for habitat conservation partnerships. The national award, given by the U.S. Forest Service, recognizes a USFS partner whose work benefits a species or group of species through significant habitat improvements.

The Joint Venture, or RWBJV, was nominated by the U.S. Forest Service’s Jeff S. Abegglen, Acting Regional Wildlife Program Leader for the Rocky Mountain Region, who highlighted the partnership’s use of Geographic Information Systems and decision support tools to strategically plan and implement conservation projects and monitor their outcomes. The RWBJV implemented habitat improvements and conservation measures on a record 10,200 acres in 2014.

Abegglen also noted the RWBJV’s collaboration with the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, co-recipient of this year’s award, which operates in portions of six central and southern plains states, including western Nebraska. “In so many ways, these joint ventures typify the kind of partnership and collaboration that is necessary to ensure conservation of our grassland birds and their habitats in the central and southern Great Plains,” he wrote in his nomination.

RWBJV Coordinator Andy Bishop said, “This award stems from the commitment of our partners, which include conservation agencies and organizations as well as individual agriculture producers and landowners. Their dedication is what makes this partnership work.”

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, March 11, at the 2015 North American Natural Resources Conference in Omaha.