Policy opportunities vary dramatically across the Northwest and reflect each place’s political environment, conservation history, and local conservation community.

Our strategy invests in two or three critical organizations in each state (or province) that demonstrate the leadership, capacity, and track record to enact, implement, enforce, and defend strong conservation policies.

Measures of success

By the time the foundation sunsets in 2020, we aim to see:

  • Effective collaboration among organizations to achieve policy goals.
  • Conservation organizations with improved credibility and influence among community and policy leaders.
  • A broader base of stakeholders engaged in conservation advocacy.
  • More public officials and policy-makers who champion conservation priorities.

The East Gallatin River in autumn.
The East Gallatin River in autumn. Photo by Sharlyn Izurieta via Greater Gallatin Watershed Council

Successes in conservation policy

Yellowstone grizzly protections restored

Photo by Angela Milani via Round River Conservation Studies

Yellowstone grizzly protections restored

Federal protections have been restored to a population of grizzly bears living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, effectively calling off grizzly hunts in Wyoming and Idaho. The U.S. District Court ruling identified the isolation of the Yellowstone grizzlies as a key factor, labeling the Trump administration's analysis of future threats to the population as "arbitrary and capricious."

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Canadian court revokes approval of Trans Mountain Pipeline for Orcas.

Killer Whales by Skeeze via Pixabay / Pixabay license, cropped

Canadian court revokes approval of Trans Mountain Pipeline for Orcas.

Canada's National Energy Board had approved expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, claiming the acknowledged likely negative impact on critically endangered southern-resident killer whales was beyond it's scope. The national Court of Appeals disagrees, revoking approval of the project, a ruling hailed on both sides of the border by First Nations, U.S. tribes, environmental advocates.

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Community Groups force EPA to end delay of Chemical Disaster Rule

Shaw AFB firefighters by Airman 1st Class Daniel Phelps via Shaw AFB

Community Groups force EPA to end delay of Chemical Disaster Rule

Community groups, represented by Earthjustice, won key protections that safeguard the public and first responders from chemical disasters. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) delay of implementation of EPA's Chemical Disaster Rule was unlawful. Industry will now need to implement the life-saving protections of that rule.

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Read about more grantee successes »

Typical conservation policy grantees

  • Organizations serving as lead advocates on statewide conservation policies
  • Issue-based organizations leading collaborative efforts on strategic policy priorities
  • Organizations advancing voter education and civic engagement efforts for the conservation community
  • Legal groups providing environmental law expertise and policy counsel

Photo by Steve Chase via USFWS

Meet some of our grantees in conservation policy

Meet more of our grantees »

Conservation policy grants typically range from $25,000 to $60,000. Grants are awarded at one of three board meetings held each year. Proposals are accepted by invitation only.

Learn more about eligibility »