Topic: Land Conservation

News & Insights

Dos Rios—Much-Needed, Long-Awaited Park for the San Joaquin Valley

California officials recently announced the creation of the first new state park since 2009: Dos Rios Ranch, at the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers, near the San Joaquin National Wildlife Refuge. The announcement was remarkable, but not only because of the long interval since the last park opening in a state whose park system is the largest in the nation (with its 279 state park units, over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, 5,200 miles of trails, 3,195 historic buildings and more than 11,000 known prehistoric and historic archaeological sites).…

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.

Programs

Campaign for Nature

This initiative is focused on establishing a new global goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and ocean in a natural state by 2030. Campaign for Nature staff work closely with leaders around the world to develop more ambitious international conservation targets through the Convention on Biological Diversity, increase financing for biodiversity conservation, and advance rights for Indigenous Peoples. 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 as decrease the risk and…

Programs

Northwest Mexico Land Conservation

Since 2008, under this program RLF implements a coordinated, adaptive framework to concentrate conservation investments in coastal priority areas on the Baja California Peninsula, systematically preserve the landscape integrity of the region, and prevent further fragmentation of coastal and marine habitats. RLF undertakes a multi-faceted approach to its work in Northwest Mexico, including land protection, capacity building, policy, and communications activities. RLF also coordinates with other grant makers and grantee networks to create synergies that multiply the impact of individual projects.

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

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

Wildlands Acquisition Program

The Wildlands Acquisition Program seeks to promote the permanent protection of California’s wildlands through preservation of desert park and wilderness areas. The program funds inholding acquisitions in priority wilderness areas and national parks and monuments to consolidate public land holdings for natural resource protection in the California desert, Carrizo Plain National Monument, and Eastern Sierra Nevada. In addition to supporting the conservation of tens of thousands of inholdings, RLF helps build capacity among organizations seeking public funding for desert land protection.

Programs

Western Rural Communities

The Western Rural Communities (WRC) program is one of several RLF efforts to build long-term support and momentum for conservation in the rural, intermountain region of the western United States. WRC collaborates with local business, community, and government leaders to address intractable environmental and socioeconomic problems with multi-benefit solutions. The work is rooted in an interdisciplinary understanding of the unique economics, culture, geography, and environmental values of the region to advance tailored solutions that maximize conservation and community outcomes.

Programs

San Francisco Bay Area Conservation

RLF has been working in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001, when it commenced efforts to secure the acquisition of commercial salt ponds surrounding the San Francisco Bay. Current efforts support wetlands restoration around the Bay, with a focus on building a diverse constituency to support equitable, long-term funding and government policies for Bay restoration and flood improvements, including the effective implementation of Measure AA.   RLF also supports a regional land conservation approach in the Bay Area that boosts ecosystem resilience for conservation and communities. RLF focuses on multi-benefit conservation efforts that protect and restore high-value habitat and…

Programs

Oregon Conservation Program

Launched in 2015, the Oregon Conservation Program supports development of effective conservation projects and policy, including long-term funding for land and water conservation. The program employs public education campaigns to build awareness and support for dedicated public funding streams and policies that advance Oregon’s conservation practices, including working lands and forest conservation. RLF engages diverse voices, including Oregon Tribes, in water conservation policy and funding discussions.

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

News & Insights

Governor Announces Ambitious Biodiversity Targets for California

Today, Governor Newsom signed an executive order to protect 30 percent of California’s land and ocean by 2030 (30x30). This announcement makes California the first state in the United States to commit to the global 30x30 effort targeted by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The executive order also directs California to elevate the role of natural and working lands conservation in its efforts to combat climate change. “Resources Legacy Fund congratulates Governor Newsom for taking this bold and necessary step to stem the dual threats of biodiversity loss and climate change. With this announcement, the governor demonstrates that…

News & Insights

Strong and Resilient: Supporting Western Conservation Communications

In early March, seemingly a lifetime ago, Alastair Lee Bitsói and I were excitedly preparing for Utah Diné Bikéyah to host the Advisory Board meeting of the Western Communications Hub (the Hub)* in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Hub, which supports non-profit organizations in advancing high-priority communications efforts, received 44 compelling project proposals and the board was tasked with selecting just six to fund. This work is perhaps more important now than ever as in-person communications have screeched to a halt, making digital communication vital to the ongoing work of so many organizations. I have the honor of managing the…

Publications

Economic Transitions in Energy-Focused Communities

The economies of the Intermountain West, especially energy-focused economies, have experienced tumultuous change in recent decades as a result of globalization, new technologies, regulatory changes, shifting consumer preferences, and competition from renewable energy. This report, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, defines the primary challenges facing these communities and explores promising ideas on industry diversification and how to drive a healthy economic transition.

Publications

Montana Parks in Focus Recommendations

Montanans cherish their outdoor heritage, including 55 state parks that get two million visits a year. In 2018, RLF worked with Montana Governor Steve Bullock to address the stagnant funding, lack of public awareness, and deferred maintenance plaguing Montana State Parks. The Governor created a Parks in Focus Commission. RLF staffed its year-long effort to solicit public input and craft recommendations to ensure the necessary resources, capacity, and expertise to build and support the parks system Montanans deserve. Read the Commission’s final recommendations, published in December 2018.

Publications

Preserving Wild California

Preserving Wild California was a five-year, $150 million program designed to ensure permanent protection of wild lands through systematic acquisition and the fostering of supportive policies, organizations, and constituencies. Efforts significantly supported by the program led to federal wilderness designation of more than one million acres of California wild lands. Dr. Steven Yaffee of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan conducted a comprehensive assessment of the program, which can be viewed here. A final report on the program, Preserving Wild California: A Legacy of Enduring Conservation, can be found here.