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Place-Based Conservation Finds Its Voice

Place-Based Conservation Finds Its Voice

A Case Study of The Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition

(p.101) 6 Place-Based Conservation Finds Its Voice
Stitching the West Back Together
Maia EnzerMartin Goebel
University of Chicago Press

Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition (RVCC) formed in the early 2000s as a network of rural organizations that collectively advocate for environmental and economic policy changes to foster better management of ecosystems and protect biodiversity. RVCC represents rural communities at discussions previously dominated by agencies, industry, and environmental groups. It focuses on ensuring that policy decisions are made with consideration of rural interests and that they support collaboration, community capacity building, and other aspects that protect local economies and resources. RVCC prepares policy issue papers that are presented annually in Washington to agency, administration, congressional, and interest group leaders, where they have had measurable impact. RVCC also educates members about best management practices, policy impacts, and rural leadership. As it grows larger, RVCC faces challenges of how to prioritize new issues while maintaining focus on select core issues, recognizing its success lies in presenting a broad-based, well-prepared, and unified voice.

Keywords:   place-based conservation, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, policy changes, community capacity building, rural leadership, collaboration

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