Getting to the Goal- Spring 2016 Longleaf Partnership Council Meeting
Another successful Longleaf Partnership Council meeting has been completed! Members and friends of the America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative convened in St. Simons Island, Georgia on April 11-12, 2016 in conjunction with the 13th Annual Stewardship Partners Meeting co-hosted by Georgia Power, Southern Company and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The Longleaf Partnership Council convenes meetings twice a year to promote broader understanding, coordination of, and participation in ongoing activities for longleaf pine restoration. During this latest gathering in St. Simons Island, partners discussed a variety of topics. A few examples were the 2015 range-wide accomplishments report, new perspectives on Longleaf trends, policy and outreach, federal program updates, resource mapping, communications, and engagement with private landowners. The theme of this specific meeting was “Getting to the Goal” of the Range-wide Conservation Implementation Plan.
Following the Council meeting, many partners stayed in St. Simons Island to attend the 2016 Stewardship Partners Meeting. Georgia Power, Southern Company and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation did a tremendous job as usual, bringing partners from across the United States to discuss shared conservation goals, enhance personal relationships, and foster a more open, effective dialogue on environmental issues in general. The event highlighted pressing conservation issues and on-the-ground activities in the Southeast region. Presentations included topics such as at-risk species conservation, coastal bird conservation, resource mapping, private lands strategies, community engagement, and cultivating the next generation of conservation practitioners. Guests enjoyed a welcome reception at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, and were even treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. An exciting tour of the Altama Plantation Wildlife Management Area concluded the meeting where many guests were able to see longleaf pine forests and tidal wetlands up close.
For longleaf fans and conservation professionals alike, the Spring 2016 gathering turned out to be a fun and productive way to network with peers and promote conservation in the Southeast. We look forward to having another successful Longleaf Partnership Council meeting on November 1, 2016 in Savannah, Georgia.