FORT Friends - Bob Wick

Restoring the National Conservation Lands

The Conservation Lands Foundation’s Restoration Program accomplishes on-the-ground projects that improve habitat and enhance recreation on the National Conservation Lands. Our program also supports BLM’s Landscape Approach to management and seeks opportunities to help establish guiding policies for restoration within that framework.

Denver Kick-off Event

Veterans-Youth Conservation Corps supporters at a program kick-off event, held in Denver, CO. Governor John Hickenlooper attended the event, as well as corps members, private funders, agency employees, and representatives from various non-profit organizations. (Photo by Charlotte Overby)

We build action-oriented partnerships made up of veterans and youth conservation corps, BLM field staff, corporate funders and non-profit “friends” groups to accomplish on-the-ground projects on the National Conservation Lands. This includes restoring rivers and wetlands to improve water quality, improving wildlife habitat, protecting Native American and pioneer history, enhancing public lands access, and more.

Our Restoration Program:

  • Provides paid job opportunities to veterans and young people, where they can also earn scholarships for education and gain transferable job skills in natural resources.
  • Helps the BLM to prioritize projects on National Monuments, National Conservation Areas and other scenic public lands that are important to our economy and quality of life.
  • Secures support from businesses and non-profit organizations to provide funding and bring volunteers to help complete the work.

Everyone benefits. Veterans and youth, our nation’s natural resources, our agencies and businesses, local communities, all Americans. Learn more about our successful project on the Colorado River, funded last year by RBC (Royal Bank of Canada).

The Conservation Lands Foundation wants to partner with foundations, private donors, and corporations to raise funding and leverage matching funds for this program. Please contact Charlotte Overby,, to learn how you can become involved.

Fire Crew - SW Conservation Corps

Southwest Colorado Corps Veterans Fire Crew. (Photo courtesy of Southwest Colorado Corps)

Part of Something Bigger

Partnerships like ours fit into a bold national effort to build a 21st Century Service Corps (21CSC) that will put thousands of America’s young people and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors.

Built upon the historical achievements of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and ‘40s, the movement to create a new 21CSC has gained tremendous bi-partisan support from the Western Governors’ Association, four past Secretaries of the Interior, numerous tribal governments, the Obama administration, and dozens of state and regional elected officials. General Stanley McChrystal, who commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan, is a committed champion for building this new avenue for national service.

The Conservation Lands Foundation has signed on as a partner in this 21CSC effort. We’re excited to be among early participants crafting successful funding partnerships, like those mentioned above, that can help this national movement gain speed.

Restoration Fencing

A hazard to pronghorn, sage grouse and other wildlife, crew members remove abandoned fencing in northern Nevada. (Photo courtesy of Friends of Nevada Wilderness)

Commitment to Policy and a Landscape Approach

Our restoration program will also address BLM’s big-picture principles for restoring biodiversity and ecological function to larger landscapes.

The BLM is developing tools such as Rapid Ecological Assessments and a project called the Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring Strategy to standardize procedures and criteria for assessing ecological health across the numerous and complex landscapes BLM manages—as well as systems for updating and sharing this information between offices and other land management agencies.

These tools and how land managers use them will inform and help result in a more unified approach to restoration. The National Conservation Lands were only established in 2000 and, while BLM has made great progress creating policies and manuals for their management, there is no manual section or handbook dealing specifically with restoration.

The Conservation Lands Foundation wants to support the agency as it continues to adopt these landscape-level management tools, and help formulate policies to ensure that both habitat and cultural restoration are factored into future planning for the National Conservation Lands.

From the blog

  • 09.19.14

    Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Anniversary

    This beautiful photograph, captured by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee Bob Wick, is a perfect introduction to southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument–the first and largest monument officially added to the National Conservation Lands.  And it’s time to wish it happy birthday! September 18th marks the anniversary of President … read more

  • 09.12.14

    Thanks RBC Capital Markets – For Supporting Conservation

    We wish to extend a hearty thank you to executives with RBC Capital Markets–who recently hosted an informational breakfast in Albuquerque for business leaders to learn more about the Conservation Lands Foundation’s efforts to put veterans and youth conservation corps to work improving the National Conservation Lands. Representatives with the … read more

  • 04.29.14

    Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance Volunteers: Stewardship Prevails

    Last weekend volunteers with the Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance headed out to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument to close a rogue road and repair damage caused by three people who were illegally cutting juniper trees inside the monument for firewood. The three were arrested last winter and eventually required … read more