Annual Meeting Notes & Video
Thanks to all who joined us for BRCA’s annual meeting. It was great “seeing” everyone and learning from each other and our presenter. We’re looking forward to following up soon to create the next steps for putting the information and our ideas into collaborative action. If you were unable to attend – you were missed and we hope to see you at future meetings and as a part of our conversations as we work together to increase conservation in the region. And please watch the video presentation (below) by Bill Labich.
Annual Meeting Video Presentation by Bill Labich, Senior Conservationist at the Highstead Foundation
During the annual meeting, we learned how to establish, create, and maintain an effective Regional Conservation Partnership, and heard tried and true experiences and examples of initiatives that served as drivers for other RCP’s. Our presenter was Bill Labich, Senior Conservationist at the Highstead Foundation, based in Connecticut, and author of The Regional Conservation Partnership Handbook: Ten Steps to Effective and Enduring Collaborative Conservation at Scale. Bill coordinates the RCP Network and the Northeast Forest Network and co-coordinates the Northern Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership — all three of which he co-founded; he has been a great and thoughtful resource for local RCP’s such as BRCA and the Heart of Maryland.
Bill’s presentation resulted in engaging break-out conversations in which attendees (individuals who, for the most part, represented BRCA partners) identified landscape-size conservation opportunities that can only be accomplished through broad collaboration . . . and they offered ways that the organizations they represent could contribute. After identifying a desired conservation outcome, the breakout groups worked on developing a simple statement to provide clarity and focus. For example, one breakout group came up with the statement, “Protecting land and headwaters ensures the integrity of water quality and wildlife corridors while preserving access to the outdoors.” with the intent to protect the headwaters of the BRCA region. Each person/organization would have something to offer to the initiative, such as holding conservation easements, developing maps, engaging the public, educating about conservation and outdoor recreation, managing forests and wildlife habitat, etc. The second breakout group explored the idea of responding to threats to the mountain and developing a conservation corridor on the Blue Ridge by acquiring additional conservation easements, securing migratory corridors for raptors, as well as safeguarding water quality and other conservation values on the mountain. This type of thinking — identifying a compelling conservation need/opportunity that all entities can have a role in accomplishing — is key to determining a successful initiative in which all partners have a stake and experience a benefit.
BRCA is looking forward to sustaining the momentum from our annual meeting as we continue to focus and shape our collective action going forward.
Please join us and share these upcoming BRCA virtual events:
- December 8, 2020 5:30pm-7:30pm: Intro to Conservation Easements
- December 14, 2020, 3 pm–5 pm: BRCA Steering Committee Meeting