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An occasional feature of BLM California's News.bytes

Spotlight on Partners: The National Conservation System Foundation

Long-time partners are wonderful, but it is quite exciting when a new partner arrives on the scene—especially one that holds such promise for the public lands in California cared for by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The "new kid on the block" is the National Conservation System Foundation which was founded in 2007 to help BLM advance the conservation mission of the National Landscape Conservation System.  The System was created administratively in 2000 but has been given permanence by the recent passage of a Federal law (Public Law 111-11, Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009) giving the Conservation System recognition by Congress, the President, and the American people.  The Foundation's mission is to "protect, restore and expand the Conservation System through education, advocacy, and partnerships." (text continues below)

NCSF California program director Kevin McNernan stands with Soda Lake in the background, at Carrizo Plain National Monument
Kevin McKernan, the National Conservation System Foundation's California Program Director, stands on the Carrrizo Plain National Monument, with Soda Lake in the background.

Buford Crites
The Foundation will support existing Friends groups. Buford Crites, former mayor of Palm Desert, is a volunteer with the Friends of the Desert Mountains. Here he looks over the landscape in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

Here in California, we are fortunate to have more units of the Conservation System than any other State and also fortunate to have a newly established California Program Office of the Foundation, headed by Kevin McKernan.  Kevin and the Foundation are already laying a solid foundation to support existing Friends groups, create new groups where they are needed, advocate for the resources needed by BLM to protect the System and build awareness of and appreciation for the newest system of protected public lands.

Looking to the future, BLM's partnership with the Foundation holds great promise for the Conservation System units in California, from the 19 acres of the Piedras Blancas Light Station's Outstanding Natural Area on the scenic California coast, to the millions of acres of Wilderness Areas spread throughout the State.  These units are the "crown jewels" of the public lands under BLM's care in California and working together with partners like the National Conservation System Foundation will ensure they will always receive the attention they deserve.

National Conservation System Foundation website: www.OurConservationLegacy.org.

The Foundation is awarding its first grant to the Piedras Blancas Light Station Association, for the development of a history program targeted at youth.
Piedras Blancas Light Station

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 381

Last updated: 05-06-2009