When Rural Voices for Conservation first started, we knew policies at the national level needed to shift. Members advocated for collaboration to become the norm in decision making on public lands, for example. They helped find solutions like stewardship contracting that recognized the importance of local workforce benefit and ecologically intact communities. This trip to Washington DC finds us with fewer policy fixes, and more inquiries about using the hard won authorities to truly make a difference on the ground. Because, believe it or not, change doesn’t happen overnight. I had the pleasure of talking with several Forest Service leaders today. They recognize that groups like RVCC can not only help the communities find new ways to engage, but we can also help agency personnel adapt to what amounts to an exciting cultural shift. We are all in this together.
Astor Boozer, regional conservationist for the West
At the end of the day (after 2 fire drills that evacuated Senate and Agriculture buildings!), I met the charismatic Astor Boozer of the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Mr. Boozer is the NRCS regional conservationist for the West. His job is to help landowners put conservation practices in place. My best takeaway from this exchange is the enthusiasm NRCS shares with Salmon Valley Stewardship and our partners about protecting pollinators and monarch butterflies. I promised to keep them posted as we kick off the Pollinator Project later this month!
Click here for Day 1
Click here for Day 2
Click here for Day 3
Click here for Day 5