About Us

The Central Hardwoods Joint Venture (CHJV) is a partnership of state, federal, and non-for-profit wildlife conservation agencies and organizations that work together to insure the long-term viability of native bird populations across the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region. Management Board consisting of representatives of each partner agency or organization provides the overall vision and guidance for the partnership; CHJV staff rovide the day-to-day coordination and technical capacity needed to implement the CHJV vision.  The CHJV also involves staff from partner agencies and organizations via technical committees such as the Upland and Wetland Science Teams to establish biological objectives for planning and conservation design. In addition to the CHJV, there are 17 other bird habitat Joint Ventures across the United States.


Although the work of the CHJV is directly focused on efforts to sustain viable bird populations in the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region, many of our breeding birds leave for the winter and also need high-quality habitat while away. The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is known to be important migration corridor and wintering grounds for many species of Neotropical migrants, and the CHJV enjoys an informal partnership with The Alianza Ambiental para la Península de Yucatán (AAPY) to help conserve the Yucatan’s native habitat for the sake of our shared birds. AAPY, a group comprised of six key conservation institutions in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico (Reserva Ecológica del Edén, Niños y Crías, Pronatura Peninsula de Yucatan, The Nature Conservancy, the National Commission for Protected Areas – CONANP, and Amigos de Sian Ka’an), is using a combination of targeted acquisition, environmental education, private lands incentive programs, ecoservices payments, etc. as conservation tools in a effort to protect a large forested corridor in the state of Quintana Roo from conversion to pasture or urban growth not only for the conservation of migrant and resident birds, but also for jaguars, crocodiles, and other wildlife species of conservation concern.

CHJV Management Board Agencies and Organizations:

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
American Bird Conservancy
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Missouri Department of Conservation
National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
U.S.D.A. Forest Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

CHJV Staff bios:

Jane Fitzgerald, CHJV Coordinator. Jane oversees the day-to-day operations of the Joint Venture and is responsible for carrying out the vision and direction of the Management Board. Jane sits on the Partners in Flight Steering Committee, the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozark Landscape Conservation Cooperative Advisory Council, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ Southeast Migratory Bird Leadership Group, and is Interim Chair of the Interior Highlands Shortleaf Pine Restoration Initiative. Jane holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Arkansas, and formerly was the Midwest Regional Coordinator for Partners in Flight.

Todd Jones-Farrand, CHJV Science Coordinator. Todd is responsible for developing & improving the scientific foundation of the Joint Venture’s conservation work.  Todd chairs the Joint Venture Upland and Wetland Science Teams and coordinates research projects with university cooperators.  He also represents the Joint Venture on regional and national committees that help coordinate and advance bird conservation.  These committees include the Partners in Flight International Science Committee (PIF SCI), the North American Waterfowl Management Plan’s Science Support Team (NSST), the Tri-Initiative Science Team (TriST), the Northern Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC), the Midwest Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership, and the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s Adaptive Management Science Team.  Todd holds a Ph. D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Larry Heggemann, CHJV Delivery Coordinator. Larry is responsible for promoting habitat management, land protection and policies and programs beneficial for birds of conservation concern in the CHBCR. Larry works closely with state and federal agencies, NGOs and other partners to seek opportunities to increase restoration and management of natural communities and other habitats critical to priority bird needs on both public and private lands. The primary focus is to get the right habitat in the right places utilizing the conservation tools and science developed by the CHJV.  He represents the Joint Venture on numerous state and regional committees and is actively engaged in several multi-state programs and initiatives to insure priority birds are considered. These committees and programs include the Shortleaf Pine Initiative, the MO St. Francois Glades and Woodland CCPI Planning Committee, the MO, AR, KY and TN Prescribed Fire Councils, the National Bobwhite Technical Committee and the MO, KY and TN NRCS State Technical Committees. Larry has a BS in Wildlife Management from the University of Missouri, Columbia and over thirty years of experience in public and private land management.