RCP Network Priority Activities 2018-2019

Resulting Priority Actions for RCPs and the RCP Network by Draft Goal

The goals (e.g., Advance the pace and practice of landscape conservation) and objectives (e.g., Region-wide media campaign...) listed below were the result of a strategic planning process at the 2015 RCP Coordinators Meeting. The activities (e.g., LI Sound Watershed RCP Program) listed under most objectives are efforts that are or will be advanced by RCPs and the RCP Network in 2018-2019.

The RCP Network Steering Committee is working to advance the bolded items in 2018. Which of these, interest you?

  • Advance the pace and practice of landscape conservation and stewardship.
    • Work to increase funding and improve the process of federal and state funding programs.
      • LI Sound Watershed RCP Program (LISW-RCPP) demonstrates how RCPs can use both the Healthy Forest Reserve Program and the Ag Conservation Easement Program to access $Ms in federal funding for conservation easements.
      • Northeast Pooled Match Inventory aggregates value associated with easements to support individual RCPP efforts at collecting match for federal funding.
      • Connect the Connecticut RCPP: Originally the subject of a workshop and discussion at the 2016 RCP Network Gathering, this is now an RCPP-funded initiative ($4.8M) of the Friends of the Silvio O. Conte NFWR and regional land trusts in the CT River Watershed.
    • Region-wide media campaign to promote conservation to landowners and towns.
      • Northeast Shared Media Campaign, a potential initiative of the New England Forestry Policy Group (NEFPG), could be a way for RCPs to collaborate with this larger effort to advance messages in support of land conservation. More on this after the spring 2018 NEFPG meeting
    • Develop shared ecological priorities across the region and RCPs.
      • Nature's Network is a conservation design for the entire North Atlantic Eco-Region. We can use this as an overlay to inform all our strategic conservation planning maps.
      • Northeast Bird Habitat Conservation Initiative is a set of ideas in very early design phases that would combine the resources, tools, and expertise of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with the RCP Network and all of its bird conservation partners to focus messaging, conservation, and stewardship to move the needle on 2-3 bird species' habitat and populations.
    • Engage non-traditional audiences with the most return on investment (e.g. ski areas).
    • Promote working forest and farmlands as a revenue source alternative to development.
  • Strengthen the effectiveness of RCPs.
    • Set up a mentoring program
      • RCP Network Peer Exchange Program provides small grants to RCPs interested in enlisting the assistance of one or more RCPs. RCPs leaders can help each other overcome roadblocks by providing a deeper understanding of the challenges and potential solutions.
      • RCP Leadership Program is in the planning stages for 2018/2019. With assistance from LTA, Rand Wentworth and others, RCP Network staff are working to develop a multi-day, six-month program so that RCP leaders can get what they need to advance their partnerships most effectively.
    • Create an RCP list-serv (calendar of training, info-sharing).
      • RCP Network.org gives RCP members and network staff the opportunity to share information about their activities and to seek input from other network members.
    • Create RCP-focused pitch material for funders.
      • RCP Innovations on WildandsandWoodlands.org contains new content describing the results and impact of the Jessie B. Cox Trust RCP Innovation Grant Program as an example of how this network can fulfill the mission of conservation-minded philanthropic foundation.
      • RCP Innovations video is ready to be viewed and shared network-wide!
      • RCP Results Report is in the early planning stages and will serve as a solid case for continued investment in RCPs.
    • Share ideas for funding (e.g. for coordination).
      • 2018 Webinars on information in demand and opportunities to access new funding all provided in response to the 2017 RCP Coordinators Survey results.
      • 2018 Coordinators Calls every First Friday from 10AM – 11AM
  • Facilitate investment in RCPs and their activities by regional partners.
    • Create synergy with the business community and involve them in RCPs.
    • Engage with public organizations on climate change issues.
    • Involve water suppliers in strategic planning and on the ground conservation projects.
      • CT Source Water Collaborative – Highstead will be joining this group on behalf of the RCP Network in order to strengthen links between our two communities.
    • RCPs reach out to local land use commissions.
      • Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs) – Video Conference for RPAs – will explore the potential for greater coordination between RPAs and RCPs.
    • Identify and create alliances with regional/state level agencies
    • ALPINE Network provides institutional and subject expertise to RCPs.
      • Northern AT Landscape Partnership – is an RCP of 14+ RCPs plus the AT Conservancy, National Park Service, ALPINE, and other conservation NGOs. ALPINE is coordinating the involvement of the Harvard College Conservation Society in developing a potential partner database and researching the use of conservation easements for federal funding and match.
      • 2019 Massachusetts RCP-ALPINE Conservation Forum will follow the model of the 2017 Maine RCP-ALPINE Conservation Forum and take place at a location in Boston to encourage new members to be involved in ALPINE and to bring RCPs to a new audience. One result of the Maine RCP-ALPINE Conservation Forum is Colby College is now helping High Peaks Initiative with an economic impact assessment of the natural and cultural land-based resources of their region.

 

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