Jim Stone speaks at the Conserving the Future Conference


Uploaded by americaswildlife on 07.09.2011

Transcript:
WE'RE LUCKY TO HAVE JIM STONE WITH US THIS MORNING TO DISCUSS
HIS PERSPECTIVES ON SEVERAL DIFFERENT IMPORTANT THEMES
CONTAINED IN THIS VISION DOCUMENT, THE IMPORTANCE OF
WORKING WITH OTHERS FOR CONSERVING ENTIRE LANDSCAPES FOR
THE BENEFIT OF BOTH WILDLIFE AND FOR PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES.
JIM IS A NATIVE MONTANAAN, GRADUATED FROM MONTANA STATE
UNIVERSITY IN 1983 AND TOOK OVER HIS FAMILY'S RANCH IN 1984.
HE IS THE ESSENTIAL RURAL COMMUNITY LEADER AND THOSE OF
YOU WHO LIVE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES YOU KNOW THAT MEANS
HE'S ON THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, HE'S ON THE SCHOOL BOARD, THE
COUNTY PLANNING BOARDS, AND WEED BOARDS, BUT HE'S ALSO A FOUNDING
MEMBER AND CURRENT CHAIR OF THE WELL-KNOWN BLACKFOOT CHALLENGE
OF THE BLACKFOOT OF MONTANA. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T KNOW
ANYTHING ABOUT THE BLACKFOOT CHALLENGE IT'S A CONSENSUS-BASED
PUBLIC-PRIVATE BASED ORGANIZATION THAT DEVELOPS
SOLUTIONS TO RESOURCE CHALLENGES IN THE VALLEY AND THESE ARE
SOLUTIONS THAT ARE SUSTAINABLE BECAUSE THEY'RE DEVELOPED BY
PEOPLE WHO BOTH LIVE AND WORK THERE.
JIM HAS WORKED FOR 18 YEARS ON HIS RANCH TO HELP RESTORE THE
WHITE CREEK IN THE VALLEY AND BUILD CASS CAPACITY FOR
COOPERATIVE CONSERVATION AND BEGAN WORKING WITH SERVICE
PARTNERS FOR FISH & WILDLIFE PROGRAM ON RESOURCE ISSUES THAT
COULD PROVIDE BENEFITS TO HIS RANCH AND WILDLIFE AND OVER THE
YEARS TRUST HAS BEEN BUILT WORKING ACROSS THE TABLE.
TODAY THE CHALLENGE IS AN EXPANDING MODEL OF CONSERVATION
IN THE WEST AND WIDELY TOUTED AS A NATIONAL MODEL IN LARGE PART
DUE TO JIM STONE'S VISION, LEADERSHIP AND HARD WORK.
PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING JIM STONE TO THE STAGE.
[ APPLAUSE ] >> THANK YOU.
HOLY COW. THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE HERE.
GOOD AFTERNOON, GOOD MORNING, WHERE WHEREVER WE'RE AT THIS
MORNING. HOW IS EVERYBODY DOING?
I KIND MUCH FEEL LIKE THE MONTY HALL ON THE PRICE IS RIGHT.
JIM STONE COME ON DOWN. NOT SURE WHAT I'M HERE FOR BUT
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. THESE CAMERAMEN WILL HAVE A
TOUGH TIME. I LIKE TO WALK AROUND A LOT.
I ALWAYS START OUT WITH A LITTLE BIT OF A STORY.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS ALWAYS UP FOR TRYING CREATIVE THINGS AND
ONE OF THE THINGS THEY TALKED ABOUT IS HOW THE HUMAN MIND
WOULD WORK PUT UNDER EXTREME PRESSURE KIND OF LIKE A RANCHER
IS. -- HOW CAN THEY FUNCTION.
THEY RENTED THIS LARGE WAREHOUSE, PUT THESE HUGE
WRECKING BALLS INSIDE THIS WAREHOUSE.
DOGGONE IT, THOSE GERMAN ENGINEERS, THEY'RE SHARP.
WE'LL GET A COUPLE OF THEM. THEY BROUGHT THEM OVER.
WE'RE GOING TO PUT YOU IN THIS WAREHOUSE FOR A COUPLE WEEKS AND
COME BACK AND SEE HOW YOU DID. I TALK FAST BECAUSE I SEE ALL
THE GREEN, RED LIGHTS IS GOING TO KILL ME.
I'LL BE OUT OF TIME. THEY GO, COME OWN THE DOOR.
HERE ARE THE TWO GERMAN ENGINEERS, SITTING ON THIS
LUXURY AUTOMOBILE SWINGING THEIR FEET GOING, MAN, THIS THING JUST
ROCKS. THIS THINGS WILL GO 90 MILES AN
HOUR. IT'S GOT ALL THE BELLS AND
WHISTLES. THAT'S PRETTY GOOD.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THEY CAN'T JUST DO ONE PART OF A
STUDY. THEY GOT TO DO MORE THAN THAT.
LET'S GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL. JAPANESE GUYS, THEY'RE SHARP.
BROUGHT A COUPLE JAPANESE ENGINEERS.
SAME THING, TWO WEEKS, CAME BACK, OPENED THE DOOR, THEY HAD
THIS TINY COMPUTER AND THEY'RE LIKE WE'VE SOLVED ALL THE HEALTH
ISSUES. WHAT DO YOU NEED?
CONSERVATION? WE KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS.
SAME THING. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THAT'S LIKE
A TWO-LEGGED STOOL. NOBODY CAN SIT ON THAT.
WE NEED A THIRD LEG. WHAT THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO DO
ABOUT THAT? THOSE RANCHER TYPES.
THEY'RE PRETTY SHARP. SO THEY COME TO AND THEY GO, A
COUPLE YOU GUYS JUMP IN THAT ROOM AND WE'LL SEE HOW YOU DO.
COME BACK TWO WEEKS LATER, DANG IF THOSE RANCHERS DIDN'T LOSE
ONE OF THOSE WRECKING BALLS AND BROKE THE OTHER ONE.
THAT'S WHY THEY GIVE YOU ONE OF THESE GUYS.
I'M NOT A POWERPOINT GUY BUT IT'S ONLY GOT ONE BUTTON.
IT'S GREEN. YOU CAN DO THIS.
WE ARE HERE TO TALK ABOUT CONSERVATION.
CONSERVATION WASN'T SEXY IN THE '70S, NOT THAT I REMEMBER REAL
WELL ABOUT THAT THAT. I KNOW AS MY FOLKS WERE IN THE
RANCHING BUSINESS, THEY HAD ALL KINDS OF ISSUES COMING THEIR
WAY. RESOURCE ISSUES THAT WERE
PUTTING PRESSURE ON THEM. THEY HAD TO STEP UP AND SAY, WE
NEED TO SOLVE THESE ISSUES OR WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE IN THIS
RANCHING BUSINESS AT ALL. IT WAS REALLY THE FIRST TIME IN
MONTANA AND IN THE BLACKFOOT WHERE LANDOWNERS SAID, YOU KNOW,
WE DON'T ALWAYS LIKE THESE GUYS THEY CALL AGENCY FOLKS BUT WE'RE
GOING TO HAVE TO BRING THEM IN HERE TO SOLVE SOME OF THESE
RESOURCE ISSUES AND THEY DID THAT.
THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF WHAT I THINK ALL OF YOU ARE HERE -- THE
REASON I'M HERE IS BUILDING TRUST AND CREDIBILITY.
ALL OF YOU ARE AN AMAZING RESOURCE TO US AS LANDOWNERS
ACROSS THIS COUNTRY BUT WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO TRUST IN YOU AND
YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO TRUST AND ASSURE CREDIBILITY WE'RE GOING
TO DO THE RIGHT THING ON THE GROUND.
A VERY SPECIAL STORY FOR ME, MY FOLKS IN '85, I GET OUT OF
COLLEGE AND, OF COURSE, I KNOW EVERYTHING, I'M NOT GOING TO
TALK ABOUT MY DEGREE BECAUSE THAT WILL COMPROMISE ME UP HERE,
BUT MY FOLKS ARE VERY UNIQUE. IF YOU'VE BEEN IN THE
AGRICULTURE BUSINESS A LOT SOMETIMES THERE'S THIRD, FOURTH
GENERATIONS STILL ON THE SAME RANCH TRYING TO COMPETE, JOCKEY
FOR POSITION. MY FOLKS WALKED ON, AND I HADN'T
BEEN OUT OF SCHOOL A MONTH AND MY FATHER WALKED UP AND SAID,
THE GENTLEMAN'S RANCH IS RETIRING.
DO YOU WANT THE RANCH? BEING THE SMART INDIVIDUAL THAT
I THOUGHT I WAS I SAID, YOU BET, DAD.
YOU BET. AND I SEE AFTER THAT THAT IT WAS
THE SCARIEST SIX YEARS OF MY LIFE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW I
WAS GOING TO DO THAT. THE POINT THERE IS THAT THEY
GAVE ME AN AMAZING VALUABLE RESOURCE.
AND AT THAT TIME I WAS A COW GUY.
SMART, ALL THAT STUFF COMING ON. DID I CARE ABOUT FISH?
DID I CARE ABOUT WILDLIFE? MAYBE.
WE HUNDREDTH A LITTLE BIT. DIDN'T LIKE WATER, SO I DON'T
FISH. SO WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THAT?
I WAS WORRIED ABOUT MY COWS. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT
TRANSCRIBED INTO WHAT WE'RE DOING IN MANAGEMENT ON THE
RANCH? TODAY WE RUN OUR RANCH AS A
PARTNERSHIP WITH 160-PLUS PARTNERS THAT COME HELP US WORK.
DO YOU KNOW HOW WE MANAGE OUR RANCH TODAY?
WE BASE OUR GRAZING STRUCTURE, WEIGHT OF OUR COWS, CAVS ON
FISH. THEY ARE THE INDICATOR OF HOW
WE'RE MANAGING OUR RANCH. I DON'T KNOW, WHAT'S THAT, 25
YEARS, SOMETHING -- SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT CHANGED MY LIFE IN THAT?
WHAT BROUGHT ME TO THAT? THERE'S SOME PROGRAM YOU GUYS
HAVE CALLED PARTNERS FOR FISH & WILDLIFE.
IT SAVED OUR RANCH. ABSOLUTELY CHANGED MY LIFE.
I GOT AN 11-YEAR-OLD SON THAT'S CUTTING HAY TODAY IN A SMALL
LITTLE PIECE, GOT HIM PRETTY WELL CORRALLED, I THINK.
THAT'S WHAT'S GOING TO KEEP HIM ON THAT LANDSCAPE, GUYS.
THAT'S VERY SPECIAL IN MY LIFE. AND IT SHOULD BE REALLY SPECIAL
TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE HELPED US DO THAT.
SO WHAT WE'RE HERE TO TALK ABOUT TODAY A LITTLE BIT IS THE
BLACKFOOT CHALLENGE. WE HAD TO COME UP WITH SOME WAY
FOR US TO COMMUNICATE, BUILD, EXCHANGE THIS TRUST.
WE HAVE BEEN BLAMING YOU ALL FOR ALL OUR PROBLEMS FOR MANY YEARS.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT OUR PROBLEM HAS BEEN?
LANDOWNERS DON'T LIKE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER EITHER.
WE'RE THE ONES THAT HAVE NOT BEEN DOING OUR JOB.
THIS GROUP HERE IS ABOUT CONSERVING, PROTECTING THE
NATURAL RESOURCES AND RURAL WAY OF LIFE IN MONTANA IN THE
BLACKFOOT. WE'RE GETTING THE JOB DONE
BECAUSE WE'RE -- WE'RE CONSENSUS BUILDING, WE DO THINGS, WE SHOW
SUCCESS ON THE GROUND AND WE INCLUDE EVERYONE.
MY FOLKS TOLD ME ONCE, YOU BETTER HAVE EVERYBODY AT THE
TABLE, JIM OR YOU'RE GOING TO GET BURNED.
THAT'S A LESSON WE TAKE VERY SERIOUSLY TODAY, TO MAKE SURE
EVERYONE IN THIS PART IS INVOLVED IN THIS.
WHEN YOU DO THAT, SUCCESS IS UNBELIEVABLE.
SO WE GOT A FEW LITTLE PROJECTS. WE JUST GOT A COUPLE WE'VE BEEN
WORKING ON. SO THIS IS -- AS A LOT OF PEOPLE
TALK ABOUT, THE CROWN OF THE CONTINENT, THE BLACK OUTLINE IS
THE BLACKFOOT VALLEY, MILLION AND A HALF ACRES, VERY DIVERSE,
ABOUT 65% PUBLIC OWNERSHIP, LITTLE LESS THAN 20% CORPORATE
TIMBER, THE REST -- BALANCE BEING PRIVATE LANDOWNERS.
NOTICE THE RED BLOCKS IN THERE? THOSE ARE CONSERVATION
EASEMENTS. THIS IS 1983.
-- 1993. MAYBE 10, 20,000 ACRES PROBABLY
DOESN'T ADD UP TO THAT. WE'RE JUST GOING TO BLIP ON.
2011. YEAH.
GIVE YOURSELF A HAND! [ APPLAUSE ]
DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED HERE? THIS IS WHAT THEY DID IN THE
'70S. THIS WAS THIS TRUST, CREDIBILITY
BUILDING. THIS IS ABOUT LANDOWNERS ROUND
UP TAKING AN INTEREST IN THEIR FUTURE, THAT IS WORKING WITH
PEOPLE LIKE YOURSELVES IN THIS ROOM WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT WHAT
YOU WEAR. I WAS SCARE TO DO, I THOUGHT I
HADN'T GOTTEN THE MEMO ABOUT WEARING A TIE.
YOU GUYS ARE WEARING SHORTS. I'M THINKING THEY WOULD HAVE
LIKED TO HAVE SEEN ME IN SHORTS UP HERE.
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A SCARY DEAL. THIS IS A COMPLEX THING TO TALK
ABOUT. I'M GOING TO RUN THROUGH IT
FAST. WE'RE TALKING IN THOSE RED
AREAS, 250,000 ACRES. THAT'S AMAZING.
IT IS OUTSIDE THAT BLACK LINE. THAT'S TELLING US WE'RE
EXPANDING, WE'RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT JUST OUR BACKYARD.
WE'RE WORRIED ABOUT PEOPLE IN THE EAST FRONT, WORRIED ABOUT
PEOPLE IN THE SWAN VALLEY TO THE NORTH, EVEN WORRIED ABOUT OUR
GREAT NEIGHBORS IN CANADA. HOW DO WE MELD ALL OF THIS
TOGETHER. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE.
THIS IS A PROJECT THAT STARTED FROM THE GROUND UP ABOUT ASKING
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY, PLUM CREEK TIMBER TO COME TOGETHER
AND HOW COULD WE BUY 89,000 ACRES.
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY WAS A BANK.
AT THE END OF THE DAY THEY WILL NOT OWN AN ACRE OF LAND.
IT WENT TO PUBLIC, PRIVATE, ALL DONE THROUGH A COMMUNITY
PROCESS. THE COMMUNITIES, THE EIGHT
DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES IN THIS VALLEY, SAID, THIS IS WHAT WE
WANT. YEAH, FOREST SERVICE GREAT
PARTNER. BLM, WE WOULD LIKE THEM TO HAVE
THAT. WE NEED THESE ACCESSES.
WE NEED THESE RECREATIONAL VALUES.
WE NEED GRAZING PERMITS. WE NEED TO MAINTAIN THE
INTEGRITY OF THIS RURAL LANDSCAPE.
THAT'S WHAT WE GOT DONE. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE.
GUYS KNOW THIS CHARACTER? WELL, COUPLE RANCHERS.
CONRAD BYRNES. SOME OF YOU GO, I DON'T KNOW
ABOUT THAT GUY, JIM. I SAID SAME THING.
BUT HE TALKS ABOUT HOW ADVANCED WE'RE BECOMING IN WORKING IN
YOUR PROCESS, WORKING WITH PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON D.C.
WE ARE NOT CAPABLE OF SITTING ON OUR HANDS IN MONTANA WHINING
ABOUT WHAT WE CAN AND CANNOT DO. WE HAVE TO BE OUT THERE SOLVING
THESE ISSUES. THE POLITICAL SYSTEM WORKS
EXTREMELY WELL WHEN WE TELL THE STORY.
YOU ALL -- YOU GIVE ME THE EDUCATION.
I'M NOT SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THIS STUFF.
BUT WITH YOU AS A POTTER IN BEHIND ME AND WE GO TOGETHER,
YOU TALK ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY OF THESE CONSERVATION PROGRAMS,
PARTNERS FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE, WHATEVER IT IS, IT'S TIED, WE'RE
ALL TIED TOGETHER. CONRAD BYRNES SAT ON MY PORCH
AND SEND, HE'S AN OLD COW BUYER, AUCTIONEER, ALL THE PARTNERS
WERE THERE, HE SAID, I DON'T LIKE THAT FOREST SERVICE GUYS, I
DON'T LIKE THEM. FISH & WILDLIFE DON'T LIKE THEM
A WHOLE LOT BETTER EITHER. BLM, NOW, THEY KIND OF WORK WITH
YOU BOYS, DON'T THEY, GRAZING LEASES.
YEP, CONRAD, THEY SURE DID. WELL, GOOD.
AT THE END OF THE DAY HE TOOK OUT HIS PENCIL AND SAID, BOYS,
WHAT'S THIS GOING TO COST ME? WE SAID, I DON'T KNOW, GARY, 73
MILLION OR SOMETHING. WE'RE ALL LIKE 73 MILLION.
HE WROTE IT DOWN AND PUT IT BACK.
THE WORDS I'LL NEVER MISS IS THAT HE SAID, YOU KNOW, IF THIS
THING IS HOME GROWN, I'LL SUPPORT IT.
WE GOT TO TAKE THAT MESSAGE HOME.
EVERY ONE OF YOU CAN DO THAT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
NOW, I'VE BEEN KICKING DIRT AND COW MANURE AND WHATEVER ELSE,
FINGERS DIRTY THINKING THAT THE RESOURCE IS WHERE I'M AT, THAT'S
MY FUTURE, RIGHT? FIVE, SIX YEARS AGO, GOT BLINDED
BY A LIGHTNING BOLT OR WHATEVER, YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS, THE
TRANSFERABILITY? IT'S PEOPLE.
THESE LANDSCAPES ARE FRAGILE BUT WE HAVE TO HAVE THE PEOPLE THAT
HAVE THE PASSION, THE HEART TO CHANGE, MAKE CHANGE, DO THESE
THINGS, KEEP WORKING RANCHES ON THE LAND.
THAT'S WHAT WE NEED. THESE GUYS HAVE SOLVED THAT.
WE HAVE TO GET INVOLVED. IT'S TOTALLY INCREDIBLE HOW THIS
CHANGES. THIS IS -- ISN'T THAT A
PERFECT -- WE'RE FENCE-BUILDERS, RIGHT?
YOU GOT TO DO IT ONE STEP AT A TIME.
I'M GOING TO OFFER UP -- I'M NOT VERY GOOD AT THE ENGLISH
LANGUAGE. WE TALK LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION.
I DON'T KNOW IF -- IF SOMEBODY WENT, JIM, WOULD YOU WRITE THAT
DOWN ON A PIECE OF PAPER WHAT THAT DEFINITION MEANS?
PROBABLY EVERYBODY IN THIS ROOM WOULD COME UP WITH A DIFFERENT
ONE. I JUST HAVE ABOUT 10 WORDS
SPELLED WRONG. NOBODY WOULD UNDERSTAND WHAT I
SAID. I'LL TELL YOU WHAT I THINK IS
DIFFERENT IS WHY WE HAVE EXAMPLES LIKE THIS ACROSS THE
COUNTRY, AND IT'S NOT UNIQUE TO THE BLACKFOOT, WE'RE JUST REAL
PROUD TO SAY WE'RE A PART OF THAT, I THINK WE SHOULD TERM IT
LANDSCAPE CONVERSATION BECAUSE YOU CANNOT GET TO LANDSCAPE
CONSERVATION WITHOUT THIS, AND IF IT'S THE ONLY THING I LEAVE
YOU WITH IS THAT WE'VE HAD AMAZING PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE
SERVICE, WITH A WHOLE HOST OF FOLKS THAT HAVE ALLOWED US TO
HAVE THAT CONVERSATION. WE HAVE WHAT WE CALL THE 80/20
RULE. IT'S REALLY CREATED BY A FIFTH,
SIXTH GENERATION RANCH IN MONTANA, BIG CATTLE RANCH, 2500
COWS, VERY THOUGHTFUL INDIVIDUAL.
HE SAID, THIS 80/20 RULE. WHAT THE HECK WOULD THAT MEAN?
SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT BLACKFOOT CHALLENGE, CONSENSUS WILLEDDING,
WE -- BUILDING, WE SIT DOWN ONCE A MONTH AND TALK.
WE SAY WE'RE GOING TO LEAVE THIS -- JIM STONE ONLY -- HAS
THAT EGO AND CHIP ON HIS SHOULDER.
WE'LL KNOCK THAT OFFER AT THE DOORWAY.
BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO BELIEVE THAT
WE'RE GOING TO AGREE ON THE 80%. YOU KNOW WHAT HUMAN NATURE IS?
I SEE THIS GENTLEMAN GOING, JIM, I DON'T LIKE COWS.
OOH. YOU'RE A BAD DUDE.
WE'LL GET HUNG UP ON THAT 20% AND WE LEAVE THE ROOM.
YOU COME TO THE BLACKFOOT IT'S NOT ABOUT LAWYERS.
IT'S NOT ABOUT ANY OF THAT STUFF.
YOU LEAVE THAT BAGGAGE AT THE DOOR AND WE TALK ISSUES.
THAT GETS US THROUGH THAT WE ACTUALLY SEE STUFF HAPPEN ON THE
GROUND. WHEN YOU GET STUFF MOVING ON THE
GROUND, SHOW THOSE SUCCESSES, YOU'LL GET LANDOWNERS POPPING AN
EYELID GOING, HOW DID YOU DO THAT?
THAT'S A GOOD DEAL. SO OUR MOTTO IS WE'RE ALWAYS
GOING TO WORK TOWARDS THAT 20%, GUARANTEED, BUT IT'S SO
IMPORTANT THAT WE SIT DOWN AND TALK TO EACH OTHER.
I'M GOING TO GO BACK -- TIM AND I WERE HAVING A CONVERSATION
LAST NIGHT AND SHE WOULD ALWAYS SAY AGENCIES HAVE TO CHANGE.
WELL, I'M GOING TO BE A HARD CASE RANCHER AND TELL YOU I'M
NOT SO WORRIED ABOUT YOU ALL. I'M PRETTY WORRIED ABOUT US.
WE NEED TO CHANGE. AND IF WE DON'T DO IT PRETTY
QUICK, WE'RE ALL GOING TO BE IN TROUBLE.
THEN YOU ALL ARE IN TROUBLE. SO WE NEED TO QUIT WHINING ABOUT
WHY WE CAN'T DO THINGS AND FIND REASONS WHY WE CAN.
AND THANKS TO THE SERVICE, 2006 WE WERE AWARDED $100,000 THROUGH
THE HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL, INNOVATIONS IN AMERICAN
GOVERNMENT. NOW, WHEN YOU PUT RANCHERS IN A
ROOM AND TALK INNOVATION, IT'S A STRETCH, BELIEVE ME.
WE HAD TO REALLY FIGHT THAT. GARY HAD TO COME UP AND SAVE ME
A COUPLE TIMES ON THAT. BUT WHAT OUR INNOVATION WAS...
TRANSFERABILITY. IF WE STICK OUR HEAD IN THE SAND
IN THE BLACKFOOT AND SAY WE'RE FENCE BUILDERS IN THE BLACKFOOT.
WE'RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE GUYS ON THE EAST SIDE OR CALIFORNIA.
WE'RE IN TROUBLE. THIS PROGRAM IS ABOUT BRINGING
LANDOWNERS FROM ACROSS THIS COUNTRY TOGETHER.
WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE 2006.
WE'VE GOT ABOUT 20 LANDOWNERS. OUR GOAL, I HOPE IN THE NEXT
YEAR OR TWO, IS TO GET LANDOWNERS FROM EACH STATE THAT
WILL COME TOGETHER ONCE OR TWICE A YEAR.
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THIS PRIVATE LANDS NETWORK THAT WHEN WE GO
OUT AND WE GET A CALL FROM RICK IN DENVER, D.C., WE NEED HELP
WITH A PROGRAM, IT ISN'T JUST JIM STONE SPOUTING THIS STUFF
HOW GREAT WE ARE IN THE BLACKFOOT.
WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO TARGET AND SAY IT COMES FROM THE HEART
OF ALL THE FOLKS ON THE GROUND AND THE ONE THING THAT'S AMAZING
TO ME IS THAT IF I'VE MET THOSE 20 DIFFERENT LANDOWNERS, WE HAVE
SO MUCH IN COMMON. THE TALL GRASS PRAIRIE TO THE
BLACKFOOT IS NOT THAT MUCH DIFFERENT.
CALIFORNIA, MY GOD, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SAY THAT.
THEY HAVE A LOT OF STUFF GOING -- SOMETHING -- RED TODAY
SOMETHING, LIZARD, SOMETHING -- ANYWAY, THERE IS SO MUCH MORE.
IT'S THAT 80/20 RULE. WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE IN COMMON,
AND I THINK WE CAN HELP ALL OF YOU AND IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME
THAT LANDOWNERS HAVE COME TO HELP ALL OF YOU.
SO I'M PLEDGING TODAY AND THANK YOU SO MUCH.
IT'S AN HONOR TO BE HERE AMONGST GREAT FRIENDS I'VE MET AND
THEN -- THAT I'VE KNOWN A NUMBER OF YEARS.
YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING CONSERVATIONISTS.
DON'T ASK ME TO SPELL IT. BUT TAKE AWAY THIS WEEK.
I APOLOGIZE, I GOT -- HAVE TO CALL UP HOME TO MAKE SURE MY SON
ISN'T CUTTING THE WHOLE PLACE DOWN TONIGHT AND TAKE WITH THE
FACT LANDOWNERS FROM MONTANA ACROSS THIS COUNTRY ARE LOOKING
AT YOU FOR ANSWERS. AND WHEN YOU DO THAT, WE'RE
GOING TO DO OUR VERY, VERY BEST TO DO THE BEST WE CAN ON THE
GROUND. SO IT'S A YELLOW LIGHT.
I CAN STILL RUN. SO THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH.
ENJOY YOUR -- YOU'RE AN AMAZING GROUP OF PEOPLE.
THANK YOU SO MUCH. [ APPLAUSE ]