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.

Photo via the Dogwood Initiative

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.

Photo via Alaska Conservation Foundation

Successes in conservation policy

Supreme Court won't hear challenge to Oregon's Low Carbon fuel standard

Photo by Mahkeo via Unsplash

Supreme Court won't hear challenge to Oregon's Low Carbon fuel standard

Oregon's low-carbon fuel standard stands, as the U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition to review an oil industry challenge to the law. Implemented in 2016, the clean-transportation policy aims to help Oregon address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks by 10% over the course of a decade. In its first two years, the policy reduced Oregon's climate pollution by more than 1.7 million tons, the equivalent of taking 360,000 cars off the road.

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Washington State takes big steps to save orcas

Killer Whales by Skeeze via Pixabay / Pixabay license, cropped

Washington State takes big steps to save orcas

Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed new legislation to protect orca whales and the salmon they eat. Scientists have said orcas don't have enough to eat, so the state is taking steps to protect the Chinook salmon population, their main food source. Workers also plan to reduce pollution by regulating toxic chemicals and using tugs to escort oil tankers and barges in Rosario Strait.

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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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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

Gallatin Stream Teams, taking samples from Thompson Creek.
Gallatin Stream Teams, taking samples from Thompson Creek. Photo by Tammy Crone via Gallatin Local Water Quality District

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 »