Featured Friend: The Conservation Fund
February 23, 2016
Photo above: The Conservation Fund protects crucial wildlife habitat through conservation easements, including one on the Espenscheid Ranch in Wyoming’s Green River Valley.
Permanent Conservation Supports Longevity For Both Ranchers and Birds
“Wyoming hosts such a large proportion of the world’s sage grouse population, thanks in part to its working landscapes. I am thrilled to work with great partners like The Conservation Fund to conserve these working lands.”
~Bo Alley, Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust
The Conservation Fund plays a significant role in some of the largest landscape conservation projects for sage grouse. In partnership with the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI), the Fund works with private landowners and regional partners to implement easements that forever conserve native range, and protects the future for ranching families. In Wyoming, Idaho and Colorado, the Fund has protected over 100,000 acres of sage grouse habitat.
The Fund established the Wyoming Sage Grouse Conservation Campaign, which has conserved 15 properties totaling more than 58,500 acres. The Espenscheid Family’s ranch in Wyoming’s Green River Valley is one of those properties. This ranch’s conservation easement permanently protects thousands of acres of crucial wintering range and migration corridors for pronghorn, mule deer, moose and elk as well as important sagebrush and wetland habitats for sage grouse, songbirds, shorebirds and numerous aquatic species. Their ranch is one of the oldest operating ranches held by one family in the area.
Meet The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on solutions that make environmental and economic sense. The Fund works with both the private and
public sectors, from businesses and landowners to federal, state and local agencies. This organization puts on average 96 cents of every dollar raised into its mission, making it the leanest environmental organization in America.
Role With Sage Grouse Initiative
The Conservation Fund has efficiently established easements that benefit sage grouse habitat, and is continuing to do so throughout the bird’s range. Key funding for these easements are USDA Farm Bill programs, particularly the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. SGI staff and partners work closely with the Fund to leverage and establish win-win solutions for both the bird and the herd.
Gates Watson, Northwest and Montana State Director
Find out more at: www.conservationfund.org
- Read The Conservation Fund’s Feb. 17 press release: “Conservation Working For Ranchers And Sage Grouse In The West“
- Click here or on the image below to download a PDF of this Featured Friend
The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.