Topic: Indigenous Rights

News & Insights

Documentary Spotlights Dam Removal Partnerships

To celebrate its first five years of work, Open Rivers Fund—a program of Resources Legacy Fund, launched in November 2016 with a 10-year, $50-million investment from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation—worked with film director Jason Jaacks to produce a documentary highlighting several dynamic dam removal projects and partnerships that are reshaping waterways across the American West. The 15-minute documentary, “Restoring Our Rivers: Communities Taking Action,” premiered on Thursday, March 23 at the Washington, DC Environmental Film Festival. The film takes a look at aging dams and the problems they cause, answering a question made increasingly urgent by climate change: How…

News & Insights

Indigenous-led Conservation in the International Spotlight

The last few years have brought a cascade of stories about the decline of the natural world. Yet amid the grim news, a bright spot shines through. Lands managed by Indigenous Peoples tend to be healthier and more vibrant than other areas, according to several major studies. In fact, 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity is on lands cared for by Indigenous Peoples.  The power of Indigenous-led conservation took center stage at the UN Biodiversity Summit in Montreal in December. Known as COP15, the summit was a once-in-a-decade negotiation aimed at reversing the perilous decline of animals, plants, and…

Programs

California 30×30 Initiative

The California 30x30 Initiative (C3I) advances a public-private partnership between RLF and the California Natural Resources Agency to support the state’s implementation of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-82-20, which commits the state to protect 30 percent of the state’s lands and coastal waters by 2030 (30x30). RLF is supporting California Tribes and organizations from underserved communities to enable their active participation in implementing this directive. RLF is also undertaking communications and public education activities designed to build public and decision maker support for achieving 30x30. Related News: Dam removal supports California’s 30×30 goals, by Julie Turrini, November 7, 2023 (op-ed…

Programs

Wildfire Strategies Program

Our Wildfire Strategies program aims to achieve a more wildfire-resilient California and Western United States by 2030 through better policy and significantly increased funding for forest management, community resilience and home hardening, Tribal leadership on forest stewardship and fire management, and public health measures that protect people from the impacts of smoke. The program supports research, coalition-building, budget advocacy, and tests innovative proofs of concept for broader adoption. Related News: We need federal leadership on wildfire and smoke safety, by Laura Tam and Jennee Kuang, July 19, 2023

News & Insights

Ocean Advocates Speak Passion to Policy

California Ocean Day was back on March 29, 2022, for its 17th year, and second year as a virtual event. Over 300 advocates convened to hear from speakers and panelists and meet with more than 100 state elected officials to bring more awareness and urgency to a wide range of issues facing California’s coast and ocean. Hosted by Resources Legacy Fund partners Azul, Environmental California, and the Surfrider Foundation, each year Ocean Day brings together individuals and organizations from around the state to share their concerns and offer ideas for improved ocean protection.   As a changing climate continues to…

News & Insights

Thoughts of Gratitude and Hope

As Avi Garbow prepares to take over as the new president of Resources Legacy Fund, I find myself filled with confidence in his leadership, excitement for the future, and a profound sense of gratitude for all the people I have been privileged to work with: my RLF colleagues and board members and our partners, funders, and grantees. Without these relationships RLF’s significant impact and impressive evolution over the years simply would not have been possible. I have learned over and again from you. I am grateful for the vision of the Packard Foundation that led to RLF’s creation more than…

Programs

Campaign for Nature

This initiative is focused on implementing the global goal of protecting and  conserving at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030, enhancing international finance for biodiversity conservation, and advancing the rights and conservation approaches of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Campaign for Nature staff work closely with leaders around the world to ensure that conservation targets established under the Convention on Biological Diversity are met. The “30×30” conservation target is based in science and is designed as a rights-based approach to conservation to help reduce mass species extinctions and the devasting impacts of climate change as well…

Programs

Boreal Strategic Advisors

Boreal Strategic Advisors (BSA) was created in 2017 to provide strategic direction, campaign management, and fundraising support for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign (IBCC). The IBCC, launched in 2000, has been working to conserve and sustainably manage at least one billion acres of intact boreal forest in Canada by the end of 2022.  At the heart of this campaign is collaboration with and support for First Nations leading the effort to manage protected areas. Benefits of this work include: biological diversity, carbon sequestration, clean water and air, healthy communities, and sustainable economic development. Website: www.borealconservation.org Related News: Indigenous-led Conservation in…

Programs

Hawai‘i Marine Planning

The Hawai‘i Marine Planning program is a partnership with the State of Hawai’i and local philanthropy to support Hawai‘i’s Holomua Marine Initiative, which calls for effectively managing Hawai‘i’s nearshore marine waters. The Initiative focuses on place-based planning, promoting sustainable or pono use of marine resources, scientific and community-based monitoring, reducing land-based pollution impacts, and restoration of nearshore coral reefs. Related News: Leading by Listening: Bold Steps Forward for Hawai‘i’s Ocean, by Jocelyn Garovoy Herbert | June 22, 2021 Recovery with Resilience: Public Investments for a Sustainable, Equitable Future, by Laura Tam and Shiva Polefka | August 21, 2020

Programs

Western Communications Hub

RLF established the Western Communications Hub in 2018, in partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, to strategically support conservation organizations across the West to develop communications capacities, messages, and tools that enhance the effectiveness of their programs and outcomes. Grantees help protect priority fish and wildlife corridors, advance conservation policy and funding, and build diverse coalitions protecting natural resources. The Western Communications Hub awards targeted grants that support community-driven organizations in honing their storytelling skills and raising their voices to reach historically marginalized groups, motivate people to act, and move levers of power. Related News: Amplifying Voices, Empowering…

Programs

Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Project

The coalition was established to support robust community and tribal involvement and promote sustainable use and enjoyment of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, providing Tribal governments and local community organizations with resources to help manage the monument and to ensure that meaningful on-the-ground projects are resourced properly. The five member Tribes (Hopi, Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah Ouray, and Zuni Tribe) are currently working with the Biden administration to re-establish the Bears Ears Commission with the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management after the restoration of the Monument to…

Programs

Open Rivers Fund

The Open Rivers Fund supports local community efforts to remove obsolete dams, modernize water infrastructure, and restore rivers across the American West. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation supported the Fund’s launch in 2016 with a 10-year, $50 million grant aimed at removing barriers that impair river function and pose challenges, costs, or risks to communities. In addition to creating significant environmental and economic benefits, the Fund also seeks to build technical knowledge, organizational wherewithal, and public awareness in order to enable future projects. More information at openriversfund.org Related News: World Water Day 2024: peacebuilding through dam removal, by Briana…

Programs

Land-Sea Connection

The Land-Sea Connection (LSC) program, launched in 2017, works  to advance the long-term health and resilience of California watersheds by promoting more effective local and state policies and conservation programs; supporting high-value, on-the-ground conservation efforts; and helping secure equitable and sustained public funding to support community needs. The LSC program, funded by the Campbell Foundation, seeks to improve stewardship and reduce impacts to watershed health across a range of issues, with focused investments related to cannabis cultivation, agricultural practices, and urban runoff/stormwater. Related News: Climate Change Necessitates Stronger Safety Net for Farmworkers, by Liz Parissenti and Laura Tam, March 31,…

News & Insights

Partnership and Vision Restoring Abundance to Tomorrow’s Rivers

In the last few years, we’ve witnessed what is becoming a profound change across the American West. Obsolete dams are coming down. Streams are being restored. Tribes are reconnecting with the fish runs of their ancestors. Irrigation diversions are easier to manage. And water is cleaner.   If one follows the water through our nation’s rivers, the removal of these dams might look like isolated incidents. But the individual acts are adding up to a significant whole, and momentum is growing. Change like this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes careful planning, prudent investment, smart partnerships, and effective tools.   Thanks to…