Conserving habitat for birds like this Red-naped Sapsucker isn’t easy. It requires knowledge, respect, and partnerships. Jim Brown, who was instrumental in establishing an Audubon Important Bird Area along 25 miles of the Clark Fork River in Montana, explains: “Most landowners are quite interested to know what birds occur on their land,” he says. “It’s easy to develop a conversation if you begin with the birds and their habitat and what’s there . . . Conservation is largely about building relationships and trust.”
Trust and Partnerships Help Birds in Montana
Featuring Jim Brown of the Clark Fork River – Grass Valley Important Bird Area
Interview and story by Todd Peterson
This is BirdNote.
[Call of Lewis’s Woodpecker]
Conserving habitat for birds is not easy. It requires knowing what you’re talking about and building partnerships. Jim Brown, who was instrumental in establishing an Audubon Important Bird Area along 25 miles of the Clark Fork River in Montana, explains:
“Well one thing that’s grown out of our attention to the Important Bird Area is the county planners respect what we are telling them and we stick to our guns and we talk about the birds that we know exist there and the science behind what they require to live. So we’ve been asked now to review all subdivision proposals in Missoula County, which we do. And in many cases, testify at county commissioner hearings.”
[Song of the Indigo Bunting]
“The land developers now have taken on a new respect for the bird resource. And we’ve had several occasions where they’ve called us ahead of time…to talk about the impacts on the birds. That’s the best way to deal with it, is up front before the proposal is ever submitted to the county.”
[Drumming of the Red-naped Sapsucker]
“Most landowners are quite interested to know what birds occur on their land…It’s easy to develop a conversation if you begin with the birds and their habitat and what’s there.”
[Call of Willow Flycatcher]
“Conservation’s largely about building relationships and trust.”
To find out more about Audubon’s Important Bird Area program, begin at birdnote.org.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Call of Lewis’s Woodpecker  recorded by G.A. Keller; song of Indigo Bunting  by G.A. Keller; drumming of Red-naped Sapsucker  by D. Herr; song of Willow Flycatcher  M.J. Anderson.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org July 2018 Narrator: Michael SteinMarantz V Tracks 150 and 146
ID# iba-04-2013-07-12 iba-04