Success Stories

The Conservation Lands Foundation doesn’t just work towards conservation, we achieve it! Following are some highlights of our accomplishments:

 

New addition to the National Conservation Lands: Browns Canyon National Monument (CO)

Browns Cyn NEW Natl Monument sunrise-wm

On Thursday, February 19, 2015, President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to permanently protect Browns Canyon in Colorado, along with the Honouliuli Internment Camp in Hawaii and Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood, as national monuments. These national monuments will permanently protect a diversity of lands and waters that honor our country’s history and conserve open space important for hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation for future generations.

The designation came in response to overwhelming input and support from the local community frustrated by years of inaction by Congress to protect the cultural and natural heritage of Dona Ana County. Support came from many voices: Native American leaders including the All Pueblo Governors Council, the New Mexico and National League of United Latin American Citizens, the New Mexico and Las Cruces Green Chambers of Commerce, local ranchers, sportsmen, faith leaders, archaeologists, historians, numerous local elected leaders and Friends Grassroots Network member Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.

Browns Canyon, located two hours from Denver, Colorado is  now part of our nation’s National Conservation Lands–more than 30 million acres of our nation’s most ecologically and culturally significant public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The national monument will protect wildlife habitat and attract new generations of visitors to enjoy the hunting, fishing and whitewater rafting that define Colorado’s outdoor lifestyle. The rugged granite cliffs and backcountry provide high quality wildlife habitat for a variety of wildlife including golden eagles and peregrine falcons, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, black bears and elk. The national monument designation was supported by hunters and anglers, businesses and conservation groups, veterans and youth groups.

The stretch of the Arkansas River that runs through Browns Canyon is an outstanding wild trout fishery as well as one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the country. Commercial rafting on the Arkansas River which runs through Browns Canyon brings in $60 million to the local economy. The permanent protection of this area will support the economic vitality of the region, supporting local businesses, river outfitters and surrounding communities.


 Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument  (NM)

Rockhouse and Organ Mountains under milkyway - credit Wayne Suggs

Rockhouse and Organ Mountains under milkyway – credit Wayne Suggs

President Obama designated the 496,330-acre Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The addition of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument to the National Conservation Lands protects the crossroads of New Mexican and American history, and is an important step towards honoring our country’s diverse heritage while protecting open space important for hunting and outdoor recreation.

The designation came in response to overwhelming input and support from the local community frustrated by years of inaction by Congress to protect the cultural and natural heritage of Dona Ana County. Support came from many voices: Native American leaders including the All Pueblo Governors Council, the New Mexico and National League of United Latin American Citizens, the New Mexico and Las Cruces Green Chambers of Commerce, local ranchers, sportsmen, faith leaders, archaeologists, historians, numerous local elected leaders and Friends Grassroots Network member Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.

As the second national monument established since President Obama’s commitment in his January 2014 State of the Union speech to “use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations,” the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks designation is a major step forward in President Obama’s emerging land conservation legacy.

President Obama’s tenth new national monument is his largest to date, and the fifth addition to the National Conservation Lands. It also continues the President’s track record of protecting lands that help to tell the story of all Americans, through a diverse and inclusive set of new national monuments. We are inspired by, and look forward to the Administration’s continued partnership with local communities to protect the most important of America’s public lands for future generations.


Fort Ord (CA), San Juan Islands (WA) and Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments (NM)

On April 20, 2012, President Obama designated Fort Ord National Monument in California to honor the contributions and sacrifices of our military, safeguard some of our country’s rarest wildlife and plants and provide world-class opportunities for recreation. In partnership with local organizations, the Conservation Lands Foundation guided this one-year campaign effort from start to finish, and its designation marked the first expansion of the National Conservation Lands since Congress made the system permanent in 2009.

Less than one year later, on March 25, 2013, President Obama again used the Antiquities Act to designate five new national monuments, two of them additions to the National Conservation Lands: San Juan Islands National Monument and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

Pres Obama Signs March 25, 2013

To gain these new national monuments, the Conservation Lands Foundation worked directly with local groups to help organize their communities. We connected advocates to decision-makers at the White House and Department of the Interior. We convened diverse groups of stakeholders—elected officials and tribal leaders, businesses, veterans, outdoor recreationists, historians, and many others—to create unified and resounding voices for protection.

Three new additions to the National Conservation Lands in less than one year is a great achievement, and we are proud of our teamwork with local and national partners to make this happen.

Community meeeting in support of Fort Ord NMmonuments-matter1[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 


Stronger Protections for the National Conservation Lands

When our organization was launched in 2007, the National Conservation Lands were in a very tenuous situation. This system of lands was not permanent and could be abolished by a future President with no formal process; it had no viable long-term strategic plan, and its proposed management and vision – outlined by Secretary Babbitt in 2000 – had not been formally adopted or implemented at the Washington or state levels of the Bureau of Land Management.

The Conservation Lands Foundation worked with partner organizations to make the National Conservation Lands permanently established by Congress. We then developed and advocated for a conservation focused management vision and needed policy changes for the National Conservation Lands. Responding to our ideas, advocacy and grassroots support, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued a Secretarial Order elevating the stature of the National Conservation Lands and improving their management. The BLM developed a solid strategic plan and revised their policies to better protect these lands.

Taken together, these changes place the National Conservation Lands on par with our nation’s National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges in terms of conservation standards and guaranteed land and wildlife protections.


A New Visual Identity for the National Conservation Lands

OMDPNM new monument signCLF partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to help them develop a consistent visual identity for the National Conservation Lands to help this collection of protected public lands be better understood and appreciated–and therefore supported–by the American public. We hired Interbrand, a renowned marketing and branding firm to help BLM develop this new “look and feel” for the National Conservation Lands, which includes a wordmark, or logo, as well as a suite of creative elements that will be consistently applied to signage, print and digital materials. New guidelines also call for increased use of photos including people and recreation.

BLM is implementing this new “look and feel” across the National Conservation Lands: in March 2015 the Friends Grassroots Network helped BLM put up the very first portal sign with the new visual identity at Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument. Many more examples, both physical and digital, will be coming soon.

 

 


In Their Own Words: Friends Grassroots Network Success Stories (video)


Raising Awareness: America’s National Conservation Lands

Virtually all Americans and countless people throughout the world have heard of, understand and celebrate our National Parks. We want the same to be said of our National Conservation Lands. But National Parks have been around for 100 years, while the National Conservation Lands were only created just over a decade ago.

Since our founding in 2007, we have been communicating the values and beauty of the National Conservation Lands to the American people and beyond. Our outreach has resulted in hundreds of articles featuring the National Conservation Lands. We’ve generated stories in Parade Magazine, National Geographic, Condé Naste Traveler, and more.


Veterans-Youth Conservation Corps Partnership

Governor Hickenlooper, Eddica Tuttle, and Corey AdamySince our founding in 2007, the Conservation Lands Foundation has had great success in protecting and expanding the National Conservation Lands. The third part of our mission—the restoration of these great places—is now getting new focus and attention from our staff, board and funders. In December 2012, we were joined by nearly 100 supporters in Denver to kick off our new public-private collaboration that unites the BLM, conservation corps, private businesses and veterans groups to address the restoration needs of the National Conservation Lands. This partnership provides veterans and youth corps with employment and training opportunities working to restore and maintain the National Conservation Lands. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper attended the event and addressed the guests. He said,

“When you take Colorado youth corps, tie them in with veterans, mix that with the Bureau of Land Management staff, then you begin to get a pretty rich soup. Mix in some private industry funders to provide resources or donations, add the Conservation Lands Foundation. Now it’s seasoned, now it’s got heat and energy.”

Royal Bank of Canada, with an office in Denver, became the first corporate partner to join that “heat and energy.” Their contribution has helped place the first Youth Corps crew on the ground in Colorado’s McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, working to improve habitat on a stretch of the Colorado River. More projects are planned for areas in the National Conservation Lands in California, Nevada and Arizona.


Leadership for protecting important public lands in Alaska’s Western Arctic

The Conservation Lands FoundatAK08-045790ion worked hard in 2012 to ensure that the Obama administration moved forward with the strongest management plan possible for the 23-million acre National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska—the largest contiguous piece of public land in the U.S. On December 19, 2012, Secretary Salazar announced the final plan for the National Petroleum Reserve and it was a strong conservation plan.

The balanced approach protects roughly 11 million acres of the Reserve as “Special Areas,” of high ecological and subsistence values off limits to oil and gas drilling. These areas include the Utukok River Uplands, Teshekpuk Lake, the Colville River, Peard Bay and Kasegaluk Lagoon. The final plan was a great step forward in the effort to find a balanced approach toward conservation and oil and gas in Alaska’s North Slope.

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