Keeping with President Gary Potts’ theme of expanding partnerships for wildlife conservation, this year’s Annual Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, will open on Sunday morning with Partnerships Across the Spectrum of Wildlife Governance, a plenary during which Shane Mahoney and John Beck will address the need for partnerships to overcome contemporary challenges in conservation.
Shane Patrick Mahoney is the President and CEO of Conservation Visions Inc. Mahoney has over 30 years of experience working primarily as a scientist, wildlife manager, policy innovator and strategic advisor; but also as a filmmaker, writer, narrator, television and radio personality, and lecturer – all within the scope of the greater conservation world, encompassing both the scientific and professional wildlife communities, as well as NGOs and the hunting and non-hunting public.
John Beck is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Resources & Labor Relations at Michigan State University. He previously served as associate director of the School, primarily in charge of two of the School’s outreach units. John holds degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, and has taught organizational behavior courses and facilitated myriad partnerships for more than 25 years.
An ability to sustain effective partnerships will have important implications for the ability of natural resource agencies to meet contemporary challenges in conservation. Although partnerships vary widely in definition and practice, they generally are arrangements where sharing of power, risks, and responsibilities occurs between two or more participating actors, normally to achieve a common goal or mutual interest. Partnerships can arise between public (local, state, and federal government), civil society (e.g., individuals, community groups, and non-governmental organizations), or private (e.g., firms, businesses, and corporations) sectors. Multi-sector partnerships represent the potentially powerful intersection of government, society, and for-profit interests. In an era of declining resources from traditional sources and subsequent declines in agency capacity to achieve the conservation goals, partnerships are an act of good governance to achieve desirable future outcomes. Consistent with principles of good governance, agencies can seize opportunities to foster partnerships that create synergy between statutory or public trust obligations of government and the desire of other organizations/institutions to participate in wildlife conservation. Nonetheless, partnerships have potential to threaten or infringe on state authority over public trust resources and stretch limits of public participation. This session will discuss the need for thoughtful partnerships across the spectrum of interests in conservation and explore organizational changes that may increase the probability of successful arrangements in the future.