There is a powerful connection between people and the critical landscapes that nourish the Northwest’s ecosystems and communities. Our investments in this program serve the larger goal of engaging citizens and communicating their conservation interests to decision-makers.

Priorities for funding are grounded in the science of conservation biology, as well as the social and political sciences. These grants address the pressing challenge of maintaining the ecological viability of our regional landscapes.

Photo via Alaska Center for the Environment

Focus areas Our three priority landscapes

Central Oregon

Resting at the crossroads between the Rockies and the Cascades, connecting forested and shrub-steppe ecosystems. This fast-growing region is home to a diverse and active population with increasing influence on statewide policies.

Crown of the Continent

A key north-south wildlife corridor stretching from the Canadian Central Rockies to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The landscape ranges from rolling prairies to steep mountain walls to wide glaciated valleys.

The High Divide

A rare east-west linkage zone between the Yellowstone and Salmon-Selway ecoregions, spanning low elevation wetlands and high alpine terrain. This region is tremendously important to the continued viability of many species and faces increasing pressures from irresponsible development.

Measures of success

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

  • Conservation groups with improved credibility among community and policy leaders.
  • An increased diversity of voices within the conservation advocacy community.
  • Effective engagement of community stakeholders.
  • Protection of key landscapes guided by a lens of conservation biology.
  • Concrete steps toward development, adoption, implementation, enforcement, and defense of conservation policies at the local, state, or federal level.

Alpine Lake in the Sawtooths.
Alpine Lake in the Sawtooths. Photo by Lauren McLean

Successes in place-based conservation

Jumbo Valley to stay wild

The Jumbo Valley in the Purcell Mountains of southeast British Columbia. via Wildsight

Jumbo Valley to stay wild

The Ktunaxa Nation Council has received approval from Environment and Climate Change Canada for funding to develop an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area more than 2-1/2 times the size of New York City in the Qat'muk area of the central Purcell Mountain range, including the Jumbo Valley, one of North America's most important wildlife corridors.

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Peel Watershed Protected

High on a ridge above the Hart River, in the Peel Watershed. by Juri Peepre via Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0, cropped

Peel Watershed Protected

In the Yukon, the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan was signed by all parties. New protections will now affect an area more than six times the size of Yellowstone National Park, in all, about 17% of the Yukon Territory. The Yukon Government and the Peel First Nations will implement the land use plan together.

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Federal court ruling protects lands in Bitterroot National Forest

Federal court ruling protects lands in Bitterroot National Forest

A U.S. District Court judge recently upheld the U.S. Forest Service’s 2016 Bitterroot National Forest Travel Plan, which protects some of the wildest landscapes in the continental United States from a rising tide of motorized and mechanized backcountry use.

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Read about more grantee successes »

Typical place-based conservation grantees

  • Community and stakeholder organizations
  • Issue-based organizations leading collaborative efforts on strategic policy priorities
  • State, regional, or national groups promoting effective stewardship and policies in one or more of the program's priority landscapes
  • Service providers bolstering the effectiveness of place-based grantees

LightHawk-donated flights, like this one along Big Sur, have helped establish Marine Protect Areas off the coast of California.
LightHawk-donated flights, like this one along Big Sur, have helped establish Marine Protect Areas off the coast of California. Photo by Erin Kunke via LightHawk

Meet some of our grantees in place-based conservation

Meet more of our grantees »

Place-based conservation grants range from $25,000 to $50,000. Grants are awarded at one of three board meetings held each year. Proposals are accepted by invitation only.

Learn more about eligibility »