One of Point Blue’s strategies for improving conservation action on the ground is to place “partner biologists” in communities to work hand in hand with local landowners.  A partner biologist works with producers to inventory resources and concerns, identify suitable conservation practices, evaluate them from a wildlife perspective, and identify funding programs that provide conservation cost-share dollars to incentivize landscape enhancement activities.

This collaborative conservation model is highly-effective.  With partner biologists living within and becoming members of the communities they work in, opportunities are generated for learning and sharing that highlight the interdependent nature of working landscapes in providing food, fiber, and habitat, along with other ecosystem services.  The partner biologist approach is helping ensure that California’s private working lands-- 50% of the state’s area – are part of the conservation equation, supporting birds, habitats and functioning landscapes into the future.

Point Blue’s network of partner biologists throughout much of the state has allowed us to implement the Rangeland Monitoring Network.  A coordinated effort to collect information on birds, vegetation, soil parameters, and water infiltration across rangeland regions of California to better understand the relationships between management activities and landscape function.  The information collected is provided back to landowners for decision making through adaptive management. 

We are currently applying the partner biologist approach to the following programs:

Re-watering California’s rangelands

In California’s vast rangelands, we are working with ranchers to implement regenerative practices to increase natural water storage, sequester soil carbon, and bring back year-round creek flows, creating a buffer against extended drought, while enhancing ranchers’ bottom lines.  Partner biologists are shared positions with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Point Blue. 

For more information contact Wendell Gilgert and read more about our Rangeland Watershed Program.

Meet our Rangeland Watershed Initiative Partner Biologists: