A successful partnership is similar to constructing a building. You first must lay the foundation, and it is from that platform that a building gains its strength and stability. This concept is practiced among the Migratory Bird Joint Ventures across North America and the cement that binds our foundations is the State and Provincial Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

From the beginning, some twenty-five years ago, State Fish and Wildlife Agencies have served as foundational members of Joint Ventures. Today, with Joint Ventures essentially covering the entire United States and Canada, State Fish and Wildlife Agencies and their Canadian counterparts serve on every Joint Venture Management Board. The same can be said for their participation on Joint Venture Technical Committees – the States are there!

Their commitment, expertise, and unflappable support are in large part responsible for the achievements of the Joint Ventures over the past 25 years. As anyone who participates in a successful partnership can attest, the key to success is active engagement by the individual partners. Similar to most professions, the conservation community typically has more work than can be addressed in an individual career. If you magnify this fact on a State level, it is a wonder the extraordinary employees in State agencies can find time to commit to “other” activities.

But with Joint Ventures, this is exactly what these individuals have done. Through their active participation, they increased value of Joint Venture activities; accomplished conservation that no single entity or individual could have done alone; and ensured that Joint Ventures became the “gold standard” for approaching landscape-scale conservation throughout our continent.

As the representative of States and Provinces across our continent, we proudly recognize the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies with the 2012 North American Migratory Bird Joint Venture Conservation Champion Award. This recognition is both for the larger agencies that the Association represents, but also for every State or Provincial employee who has graciously shared their time and talent with the Joint Ventures.