Without Telling our Story, It’s Just a Bunch of Work

February 19, 2019

This post is from Tim Griffiths, West Working Lands for Wildlife Coordinator. Tim wanted to take a moment to formally introduce Brianna Randall and Greg M. Peters, two members of the Working Lands for Wildlife team focused on communications.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Working Lands for Wildlife conservation effort focuses on getting strategically targeted conservation on the ground, working directly with private landowners to make lands and habitats more productive across the country. In the West, much of our work focuses on conserving the working sagebrush rangelands of the Intermountain West and the productive prairies of the southern Great Plains. Although sage grouse and lesser prairie-chicken benefit greatly from this work, so do hundreds of other species, including people.

We are proud of the landscape-scale conservation work accomplished in these landscapes over the past decade, work that’s good for the bird and good for the herd. Can you believe that these Working Lands for Wildlife partnerships (through the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) and Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative (LPCI)) have teamed up with more than 2,650 ranches to conserve 8.6 million acres? That’s simply incredible! Perhaps even more impressive however are the personal and unique stories behind those statistics.

Without a solid communications program that captures and shares these amazing success stories, the numbers are just that – numbers. We need to continually share the personal side of these win-win stories and highlight the innovative new science that’s helping us be both more efficient and effective at delivering conservation. Through this sustained outreach, we’ll continually increase conservation of working western landscapes.

This amazing ARC-GIS storymap is just one of the engaging story-telling products Brianna Randall has helped produce (she wrote the text). Click on the image to read the storymap.

Over the years, we’ve had a few different folks helping our Natural Resources Conservation Service public affairs professionals with communications for both SGI and LPCI. This year, we’re excited to introduce a team of communicators who will help take Working Lands for Wildlife, and especially SGI and LPCI, communications to a new level.

Brianna Randall may be familiar to folks who have followed SGI over the past several years. She’s been the communications coordinator for SGI since 2015. In that time, she’s helped highlight our successful science-based conservation work in sagebrush country by writing and publishing stories about incredible ranchers and partnerships who have stepped up to make a difference for working lands and wildlife. She’s also helped capture and share the resulting benefits for the wildlife.

Brianna Randall behind the camera at the Gunnison, Colorado SGI workshop circa 2017.

Fortunately, Brianna is continuing to work on with the Working Lands for Wildlife team as a writer, producing the same compelling content she’s been generating for years. Only now, her geography has expanded to include the landscapes of the southern Great Plains. We’re thrilled to have Brianna continue writing about proactive conservation on western rangelands.

We’re equally excited to introduce a new addition to the team. Please help us in welcoming Greg M. Peters as our new Working Lands for Wildlife communications coordinator. Greg will be taking over much of the day-to-day communications for SGI and LPCI and will manage our website, social media accounts, and develop content in coordination with Brianna and all our excellent NRCS public affairs leads. Greg will be re-energizing our communications as well by developing and sharing new stories. Stay tuned for more content in the coming weeks as Greg gets fully up to speed.

Greg Peters is the new WLFW communications coordinator focused on SGI and LPCI communications.

Please join us in welcoming Greg and Brianna in their new roles. They are both excited to continue sharing news about the partners, landowners, and science-based conservation practices that are helping improve the Great Plains and sagebrush country. If you have ideas or opportunities, please let us know!

You can reach Brianna Randall at .

You can reach Greg Peters at .

The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.