ROOM: RSCC, Hall 5
Private lands are 60% of the United States and are increasingly recognized as important for wildlife conservation. Settlement patterns often resulted in the most fertile and productive lands being privately owned. Eighty percent of endangered species in the United States have at least part of their distribution on private land. Large and mobile animals may use areas larger than typical reserve sizes, making private land important for conservation of such wide-ranging species. This session describes wildlife and habitat conservation projects that have been successful because private land and private landowners were explicitly included. The session also highlights how the economic interests of private landowners can be channeled to support wildlife conservation. Attendees will come away with ideas on how to harness the passion of private landowners to meet wildlife conservation goals.
Director, Texas Native Seeds Program
The Texas Native Seeds Program (TNS) is a native seed development and habitat restoration program of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. Forrest has worked on native plant restoration initiatives at CKWRI for the last 18 years, and currently leads the statewide TNS effort comprised of six regional projects. TNS and its predecessor, the South Texas Natives Project, have developed and commercialized over 40 native seed products in cooperation with landowners, industry, agencies, and NGOs resulting in many thousands of acres of native wildlife habitat restoration in Texas over the past 2 decades. Much of the success of TNS is a result of the engagement, support, and participation of private landowners in the program.
Panther Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Shindle has over 25 years of professional research and management experience involving imperiled cat populations that depend on habitat provided by private lands for their long-term persistence. Shindle, a native Texan, has worked as a Florida panther biologist (State, Federal, and NGO) since 1998, first trailing pumas as the panther capture team leader for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Shindle currently serves as the Panther Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, leading recovery efforts for this federally-listed large carnivore that require collaborative partnerships with private landowners. Prior to his translocation to Florida, Shindle conducted ocelot research for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Shindle is a Certified Wildlife Biologist ® and member of the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group.
Catherine E. Semcer
Research Fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center
Semcer’s work with PERC focuses on rights and market based solutions to policy challenges in environmental security, conservation finance and sustainability. Formerly, she was responsible for leading the opening of projects in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Ethiopia as the COO of Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants, and advanced Department of Defense conservation programs as senior representative for the Sierra Club in Washington D.C. and was recognized by the USDA-NRCS for “outstanding contributions” to sage grouse conservation. Her research has appeared in the International Journal of Environmental Studies, The Hill, and other publications.