THE US FOREST SERVICE AND HABITAT JOINT VENTURES
What is a Joint Venture? A Joint Venture is a self-directed partnership of agencies, organizations, corporations, tribes, or individuals that has formally accepted the responsibility of implementing national or international bird conservation plans within a specific geographic area or for a specific taxonomic group, and has received general acceptance in the bird conservation community for such responsibility.
What do Joint Ventures do?
Working both collectively and independently, Joint Venture partners conduct activities in support of bird conservation goals cooperatively developed by the partnership. These activities include
- biological planning, conservation design, and prioritization,
- project development and implementation,
- monitoring, evaluation, and applied research activities,
- communications and outreach, and
- fund-raising for projects and activities.
How are Joint Ventures staffed? A Joint Venture should be staffed by a full-time Joint Venture coordinator and other staff as may be necessary to carry out the mission of the Joint Venture. Technical capabilities, which may include biological staff, GIS support, access to research scientists, etc., are required to ensure that the Joint Venture is guided by sound science. A technical committee(s) will usually be organized to assist the management board in biological planning, conservation design, and evaluation issues. Other committees, steering groups, focus groups, geographic or taxonomic groups, or other structures should be developed and are encouraged where they will assist the management board in accomplishing the mission of the Joint Venture.
What role can the Forest Service have in a Joint Venture? Forest Service has played a significant role in the development and implementation of several Joint Ventures. Forest Service has provided start up funds, provided staff to represent Forest Service on Management Boards and on technical committees, served as a partner on numerous habitat management partnership projects, and provided leadership in the development of Joint Venture Implementation Plans and integrated bird management plans. The Joint Venture program is over 20 years old and has evolved from a waterfowl focus to an integrated bird approach. With this change has come a greater role for the Forest Service. Forest Service representatives are sought by a number of Joint Ventures to assist in eco-regional scale conservation strategy development, provide leadership in areas such as carbon sequestration and the development of ecosystem markets, and assist in developing international linkages for migratory bird conservation.