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Public Lands Partnership Program Restructuring following Government Cutbacks

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avatar Public Lands Partnership Program Restructuring following Government Cutbacks
August 19, 2011 05:16PM
Public Lands Partnership Program Restructuring following Government Cutbacks
Release Date: Aug 19, 2011 Bishop, CA
Contact(s): Nancy Upham, Debbe Eilts

The Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association announced today a restructuring effort of its Public Lands Partnership Program. The new program, which was launched in February 2010 in partnership with the Inyo National Forest and the Bishop Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, will lose its federal funding at the end of this month and discontinue its day-to-day operations.

ESIA and government agency partners are working to establish an agreed upon strategic direction for the future of the program, including a secured funding mechanism. In the meantime, the partners have committed to continuing to provide an annual partnership forum following the success of the first two held in the spring and fall of 2010.

The Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association was recognized last winter by Inyo National Forest as “the public lands partner of the year” due to its efforts coordinating the Partnership Program which was originally financed by the Inyo National Forest with the intent to provide seed money for the first three years to help establish the effort. The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office also committed financial support. However, with recent federal budget cutbacks, the funding was allocated to other key areas and the Partnership Program became one of the many casualties of the shrinking federal budget.

Program Coordinator, Lisa Isaacs, is somewhat philosophical about the cut back. “Given what we are up against, it appeared inevitable. However, there are many great programs underway on our public lands and we all believe an organized partnership program can bring even greater value to these efforts.”

For more information, contact Debbe Eilts, ESIA Executive Director at 760-873-2411 or Nancy Upham, Inyo National Forest Public Affairs Officer at 760-873-2427.
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