It’s been more than four months since our last steering committee meeting, and the guidance from the Department of the Interior regarding boards and commission meetings is still in effect. That doesn’t mean, however, that your cooperative staff aren’t working hard to continue accomplishments for conservation. Notably, the finishing touches are being applied to Conservation Blueprint Version 2.2, and there’s a new mobile application of the Blueprint simple viewer in the works. We’re also supporting new uses of the Blueprint to enhance conservation action, and a high-level Blueprint implementation strategy is ready for your evaluation and comment. Despite the continuing budgetary uncertainty, these are definitely exciting times for your cooperative.

Your staff have also taken advantage of opportunities for in-depth discussions with partners concerning the future of collaborative conservation. In particular, during August I had the pleasure of meeting with four state fish and wildlife agency directors to review the accomplishments of the South Atlantic LCC, and to discuss challenges and opportunities for the future of conservation in the southeast. These “check-in” conversations are extremely informative and provide valuable feedback that complements steering committee guidance on your LCC’s strategic direction. I look forward to continuing these conversations with other partners in the coming months.