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In the west, producers often find themselves working with a federal agency in some sort of partnership. In public land areas, the most common relationship revolves around United States Forest Service (USFS) or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) grazing permits. However, there are many producers, far removed from USFS or BLM lands, who are involved in some sort of relationship with governmental agencies. The Natural Resource Conservation Service springs to mind as an agency which many producers partner with. Others include Farm Service Agency, state wildlife management agencies, state lands agencies, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, to name the more prominent.
There is no question that there is a wide range in the quality and complexity of the relationships that producers may have with any one agency. In fact, it is quite probable that producer opinions of the various agencies they may have an arrangement with will vary across the spectrum. The list of reasons for differences in the quality of those relationships can be lengthy. Nonetheless, it should be heartening to know that thoughtful management of those relationships can yield positive results. It is the task of this paper to provide insight to building Win/Win programs with federal agencies.