2014 Partnership Meeting

Hosted by Southern Company, Mississippi Power and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the 11th annual Stewardship Partners Meeting welcomed ~150 participants from April 8-10 to Biloxi, Mississippi. Below you can find handouts and other information from the event.

General Information

Meeting Agenda

Speaker Biographies


Keynote Address: Mississippi’s Natural Heritage

Enjoy highlights of the high quality habitats and diverse wildlife the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer. These natural resources serve as key driving forces that support and sustain economic development throughout the region.

Mark LaSalle - Director, Pascagoula River Audubon Center  

America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative

Case Study 1: DeSoto National Forest/Camp Shelby SGA 

Panelists discuss what makes the region a Significant Geographic Area (SGA), reasons to invest in longleaf pine restoration, and how partnering with area stakeholders to develop a strategic plan helps achieve their goals and advance conservation across the landscape.

Clay Ware - Longleaf Pine Recovery Coordinator, USFWS [Moderator]

Becky Stowe - Manager, Terrestrial Program, The Nature Conservancy

Maj. Kenneth Bradley - Director, Environmental Programs, MS Army National Guard Ben Battle - District Ranger, DeSoto National Forest

Glenn Hughes - Extension Forestry Professor, MSU Extension Service  

Case Study 2: The Coastal Headwaters Project

[Presentation unavailable: for more information, contact jbullock@resourcemgt.com

Resource Management Service, LLC and The Conservation Fund have partnered to develop a first-of-its-kind opportunity to engage a major commercial timberland owner in converting a commercial slash/loblolly pine forest into a vibrant longleaf pine working forest ecosystem. This session provides an overview of the project and outlines how it may serve as a model for large forest landowners to play a significant role in longleaf restoration.

Jimmy Bullock - Senior VP, Forest Sustainability, Resource Management Services, LLC 

Protecting our Coastal Birds

Part I: Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund Update

Following consultation with state and federal resource agencies, NFWF announced initial projects to receive funding through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) in November 2013. More than $112 million was obligated for 22 projects designed to protect, restore and enhance natural and living resources across the Gulf Coast. This presentation provides an update on the GEBF.

Mike Sharp - Director, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, NFWF 

Part II: Coastal Bird Conservation Panel Discussion

Panelists discuss strategies being implemented and further efforts required to address the conservation needs identified to protect and enhance coastal bird populations. 

EJ Williams - Chief, Migratory Bird Program, Southeast Region, USFWS [Moderator]

Julie Wraithmell - Director, Wildlife Conservation, Audubon Florida

Margo Zdravkovic - Co-founder and President, Conservian

Kacy Ray - Manager, Gulf Conservation Program, American Bird Conservancy 

Mark Woodrey - Senior Research Associate, MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center  

Special Luncheon Presentations: Health of the Gulf Three Years after Deepwater Horizon Spill 

Ben Scaggs - Director, U.S. EPA Gulf of Mexico Program

Dr. Homer Wilkes - Director, Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Team, NRCS 

Concurrent Session A: Building a Good Map - SGA Planning for Longleaf Restoration and Management

Panelists share examples of current mapping and data collection efforts that identify where longleaf pine exists and its condition across the landscape. Discussion focuses on how these efforts and other models might support the development of a mapping framework that could facilitate longleaf restoration strategic planning and tracking accomplishments across SGAs.

Troy Ettel - Director, Forest Conservation, The Nature Conservancy [Moderator]

Carl Petrick - Ecosystems Staff Officer, The Nature Conservancy

Colette DeGarady - Senior Conservation Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy-SC 

Session B: Private Landowner Assistance - Networking and Coordination 

This session will highlight the development of a range-wide database for longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and management to assist individuals conducting outreach and providing technical assistance to private landowners. Discussion focuses on how this information can best be used to facilitate networking and coordination of private landowner outreach and assistance efforts. One example highlights the Alabama ALERT Team as a potential model for other states and local implementation teams across the range.

Glen Gaines - Regional Longleaf Restoration Coordinator, USFS [Moderator]

Robert Abernethy - President, The Longleaf Alliance

Tim Albritton - Alabama State Staff Forester, NRCS 

Southern Company Power of Flight Project Updates

Native Warm Season Grass Establishment and Capacity Building

Claude Jenkins - Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Wildlife Federation

Southeastern American Kestrel Strategic Plan and Management

Ken Meyer - Executive Director, Avian Research and Conservation Institute

Whooping Crane Reintroduction to the Southeastern U.S. 

Joe Duff - CEO and Pilot, Operation Migration