By John D Alexander, KBO Executive Director
Partners In Flight (PIF) is a cooperative effort involving federal, state, and local government agencies, philanthropic foundations, professional organizations, conservation groups, industry, the academic community, and private individuals to conserve bird populations in this hemisphere. KBO grew from Partners In Flight research and monitoring efforts that were designed to inform conservation in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion. In 1992, as CJ Ralph and Kim Hollinger, with the US Forest Service Redwood Sciences Laboratory in Arcata, California, were forming the Klamath Demographic Monitoring Network, I had the fortune, under the guidance of Sam Cuenca, Kathy Granillo and Bill Maynard, to lead a comprehensive bird censusing effort on the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County, California. As inspired Steve Herman students from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, my wife Taylor and I came to northern California with a passion for using science to advance conservation along with a love for mist netting birds. With support from CJ and Kim, who shared our passion, we expanded The Network eastward by establishing mist netting stations across the Klamath National Forest as a volunteer effort. Our bird monitoring efforts in northern California were focused on gathering information to be used for integrating bird conservation objectives with land management programs. Our efforts informed a variety of land management projects including: the Goose Nest Adaptive Management Area, Marble Mountains range management, and late successional reserve management. From the beginning our efforts were coordinated with California’s PIF chapter, and we expanded our participation with PIF by presenting our efforts at the 1994 International PIF Meeting in Cape May, New Jersey, and participating with CJ, Borja Mila (UCLA Center for Tropical Research) and many others in training and program development efforts for the Neotropics. While attending a PIF Western Working Group meeting in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Geoff Guepel (PRBO Conservation Science), CJ, and I wrote a songbird monitoring plan for the Upper Klamath Basin. This set the stage for realizing a comprehensive bioregional conservation program that would cross land management jurisdiction lines, not to mention the Oregon-California state line.