Joint Ventures

721 FW 6
FWM Number
661 FW 3, FWM #280, 12/16/96; and Director’s Order No. 146, 09/12/02
Originating Office
Division of Bird Habitat Conservation
6.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes policy and provides guidance for the establishment and organization of joint ventures receiving administrative funding through the Service.
6.2 What are the authorities for this program?
A. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712) authorizes appropriations to carry out the provisions and to accomplish the purposes of the migratory bird conventions with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the Soviet Union.
B. The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4401-4412) finds that the protection of migratory birds and their habitats require the coordinated action of governments, private organizations, landowners, and other citizens. It also encourages partnership among public agencies and other interests.
C. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 2901-2911) authorizes financial and technical assistance to the States for the development, revision, and implementation of conservation plans and programs for nongame fish and wildlife.
6.3 What is a migratory bird joint venture? A joint venture is a self-directed partnership of agencies, organizations, corporations, tribes, or individuals that has formally accepted the responsibility of implementing national or international bird conservation plans within a specific geographic area or for a specific taxonomic group, and has received general acceptance in the bird conservation community for such responsibility.
6.4 What does a migratory bird joint venture do? Working both together and independently, joint venture partners conduct activities in support of bird conservation goals that the joint venture partnership developed. These activities include:
A. Biological planning and prioritization.
B. Project development and implementation.
C. Monitoring, evaluation, and applied research activities.
D. Communications and outreach.
E. Fund raising for projects and other activities.
6.5 What are the responsibilities of joint ventures?
A. A joint venture should accept the responsibility for delivery of national or international bird conservation plans. Joint ventures should work to develop the capacity to become the delivery agents for all migratory bird habitat conservation priorities in their geographic areas.  
B. A joint venture management board should direct joint venture activities. The board should be comprised of a broad spectrum of representatives from public and private organizations, tribes, institutions, and interests vested in conservation of fish and wildlife habitat within the geographic area of the joint venture.
C. An implementation plan, which the management board develops or adopts, guides joint venture conservation actions. The management board identifies the biological planning, conservation implementation, and evaluation process that will guide the work of the joint venture.
D. Joint ventures should be able to implement conservation actions identified in the implementation plan, including the design, funding, and tracking of conservation projects.
E. Joint ventures should develop an evaluation strategy to guide monitoring and assessment activities. By evaluating activities, joint ventures can analyze the effectiveness of conservation actions, test the biological assumptions that underlay their strategies, and guide future conservation planning.
6.6 What is the role of joint venture management boards? Joint venture management boards are comprised of representatives of the participating agencies and organizations. The management boards are responsible for maintaining commitment and support to achieve the goals and objectives of the joint venture. The management boards determine priorities for all aspects of joint venture activities.
6.7 What role does the Service play on joint venture management boards? Regional Directors, or their designees, are members of joint venture management boards and are responsible for our commitment to meet joint venture objectives.
6.8 What is the role of Joint Venture Coordinators? Joint Venture Coordinators (JVC's):
A. Are responsible for disseminating information and guidance and coordinating and facilitating actions and projects within a joint venture.
B. Should coordinate implementation of Plan activities with the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation and other Service personnel in their Regions and across Regions where appropriate.
C. Assist joint venture management boards by:
(1) Coordinating meetings;
(2) Serving as intermediaries for communication among board members and agencies; and
(3) Coordinating activities required for conservation planning, development, and implementation of joint venture projects, tracking accomplishments, and evaluating the process and results.
D. Solicit information on accomplishments from joint venture partners, and organize and submit the information to the appropriate managers of national databases.
E. Generate external support for and participation in joint ventures. JVC’s operate with considerable latitude across traditional boundaries due to the unique nature of joint venture activities. JVC's are not necessarily Service employees. They may be members of any partner organization.
6.9 How are joint ventures established, and how does the Service determine whether or not to become involved? At any time, Federal, State, tribal, or private parties may suggest establishing new joint ventures.
A. The initiating agency or organization coordinates with potential partners to produce a scoping document or concept plan. They circulate this document for review and comment to interested agencies, organizations, and individuals.
B. Based on the review of the scoping document, the initiating agency or organization makes a decision whether or not to proceed with the formation of a joint venture and management board and develop an implementation plan.
C. If they decide to proceed, the initiating agency or organization submits the draft implementation plan to our Division of Bird Habitat Conservation. The Division of Bird Habitat Conservation coordinates review of the plan within the Service, with appropriate Flyway Council(s), with the national or international councils that oversee the various bird conservation initiatives, and other interested parties.
D. Based on this review of the implementation plan, the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation will determine whether or not to make a recommendation to the Director for the Service to support the proposed joint venture.
6.10 How does the Service support joint ventures? For those joint ventures that the Service recognizes, we will seek support for a full-time JVC and associated costs for basic program infrastructure. We do not fund all facets of joint venture work, but we encourage other Federal and State agencies, conservation organizations, and private interests to contribute. We will direct new funding to the joint venture activities that need it most. Following are the priorities:
A. Providing a JVC in each recognized joint venture.
B. Establishing base capability for biological planning, implementation, and evaluation.
C. Supporting joint ventures that address the full spectrum of bird conservation as defined by the international and national bird plans.
D. Assisting new joint ventures with initial planning and organization.