Problem 1 


How to increase sign ups for the Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE) Program among landowners in the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley?


Increase awareness and motivate behavior.

Develop and implement a communications strategy based on the latest social science research targeting our audience (landowners/farmers of the Southeast).  Key findings:

  • emphasize peer-to-peer communications

  • emphasize financial as well as wildlife benefits

Interview current program participants to obtain their stories, shared photos, motivations, and use of language in referring to the WRE program.

Design and create state-specific mailers with updated WRE information, landowner photos, and quotes.


  • Outreach increased program awareness: landowners walked into NRCS offices holding mailers and asking about the program.

  • Outreach more than doubled application submissions in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana in 2017.

Problem 2

How to use communications to increase awareness  and understanding about nongame wildlife and plant conservation in Tennessee, both among practitioners and among the interested public?


Share good news, explain conservation programs, recognize partners widely.

Develop and implement a communications strategy based on recommendations in the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan for Tennessee:

  • develop a newsletter for SWAP partners and participants

  • highlight nongame conservation successes; projects of all partners across the state are eligible

  • regularly explain programs, such as State Wildlife Grants, giving examples

  • fold dormant Facebook pages into a single page; develop and follow best practices for type and frequency of posting to reach the public


  • quarterly newsletters highlight at least 4 successes quarterly

  • newslist increases by >30% over 1.5 years

  • Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife Facebook page analytics (including total impressions, impressions per month, total reach among unique users, and engaged users) all increase by a factor of >30 over one year (see banner graphic)

  • engaging content boosts page interactions and shares:

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Post that went “viral” in fall 2018.