As a budding Friends group I have been fortunate to work with the Conservation Lands Foundation. As we continue to get our area properly designated as a National Conservation Area, the CLF has invited us to conferences, provided fundamental training in starting a nonprofit such as fundraising, strategic planning and professional support. Through these interactions I have a network of special landscape caretakers to seek ideas, advice, and experience. This is particularly importantly since many organizers are in rural areas. Gold Butte, Mesquite NV is fortunate to have a passionate group of friends and the staff of the Conservation Lands Foundation looking out for its interest
My professional experience with the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) has been incredibly beneficial to both the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area as well as our organization, Friends of Red Rock Canyon. The CLF board and staff have been extremely generous with their time, insights and expertise but have also gone the extra mile regarding personal follow-up. Our organization is going through the normal growing pains associated with the increasing demands/needs of the public lands and the dwindling appropriated federal funding. The CLF has provided funding enabling a board growth and development seminar as well as providing mentoring and welcome advice on strategic planning. I can’t imagine going through the sometimes painful growth process without the assistance of the Conservation Lands Foundation. The CLF provides options for the ways and means, practical advice as well as the knowledge to obtain organizational goals. The Conservation Lands Foundation has filled a void in the network of nonprofits working to improve and support the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. They have provided a centralized point of contact for practical advice/instructions and proven experiences.
Through the help of the Conservation Lands Foundation we were able to monitor and advocate during the entire Resource Management Plan process for one of the first national landscape monuments. Restoration of riparian areas with support from local advocates, developing a map to help people become comfortable exploring a daunting landscape, continuing dialogue with BLM at all levels on important conservation issues has led to more chances to influence change. The Conservation Lands Foundation has been vital to our work of preservation and restoration in Central Montana.
As a small Central Oregon conservation organization, it’s been a pleasure and honor to partner with the Conservation Lands Foundation. Support from the Conservation Lands Foundation enabled the Friends of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness aka “FOBBITS” to engage with a diverse group of community members in an effort to restore and enhance the recently designated Badlands Wilderness Trailhead System. Central Oregonians of all ages and backgrounds have developed a greater appreciation for our National Landscape Conservation System. Restoring and preserving this vast and beautiful trail system means future Oregonians will be able to enjoy the Badlands Wilderness for many generations to come. The National Conservation Systems Foundation commitment was essential in the success of the Badlands Trailhead System Enhancement Project and we are truly grateful for your support. Thank you for protecting our Nation’s most beautiful and valuable landscapes.
It's very rare to get a chance to be in on the beginning of something that promises to have a national impact far beyond your own lifetime. The Conservation Lands Foundation is working to establish and encourage local Friends groups connected with national monuments that are part of the National Conservation Landscape System -- some of the most special public lands in the nation. As a student of America's conservation history, it's exciting to see this powerful idea take seed and grow -- like being there when John Muir and others began the Sierra Club, or when Theodore Roosevelt first used the Antiquities Act to create the first national monuments (like the Grand Canyon) and in the process saved great spaces for future generations. With each decision we make, each step forward we take, we, too, are shaping a future we can only imagine -- and which we hope will reverberate for generations we will never meet. Some day many years from now, someone will be hiking through Grand Staircase Escalante, or canoeing through the White Cliffs of the Upper Missouri River, or enjoying some other site in the system, connecting at a profoundly personal level with our nation's land and history and becoming better Americans for the experience; and I will have played some small part in helping make that moment possible. That's an exhilarating prospect.
Conservation Lands Foundation has assisted our nonprofit watershed restoration and conservation partnership through funding for a variety of activities including native prairie restoration, salmon surveys, and public education. They have also included us in a number of valuable networking events and interactions. The Foundation is currently considering additional funding for us to enhance the development of the Mattole Coho Recovery Strategy, a critical part of our efforts to save one of the King Range National Conservation Area's iconic salmon species from extinction. We greatly appreciate the Foundation's ongoing support for our work to protect the Mattole watershed and the King Range. The foundation places great value on innovative partnership approaches to conservation, which has proved successful over our organizations' 30 years experience.
The Foundation reached out to us, Friends of the Desert Mountains, to offer assistance and exchange information. Friends supports the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. We have received two opportunity grants from the Foundation for special projects and have been a resource for them at times. The Foundation does excellent work increasing both Congressional and public support for the National Landscape Conservation System and specific units within it.
The Conservation Lands Foundation is one of those rare groups that shows up ahead of the game. Their focus on securing consistent, sound and sustainable management for the National Landscape Conservation system by combining grassroots Friends groups into a nationwide coalition represents an excellent approach. The state-based staff has been very helpful at bringing national experience and vision down to the local level. For us in the Eastern Sierra at Friends of the Inyo, this approach of empowering the grassroots to protect, restore and enhance our public lands has worked well; the Conservation Lands Foundation has given us capacity to work on public lands issues that few other groups can.
The Conservation Lands Foundation was actively engaged in helping Tuleyome develop an effective proposal and they are providing on-going assistance with implementation to ensure success. We are also pleased with their work in putting us in touch with similar organizations to share experiences and expertise.
The leadership of the Foundation has been outstanding in their dogged pursuit of improving the management, funding and expansion of the National Landscape Conservation System and I'm sure they'll keep up the fantastic work. I enjoy exchanging ideas with them and working together on our mutual interests. In November 2008, I attended the first Friends Rendezvous in Arizona held by the Foundation. Staff and volunteers from national conservation and preservation groups as well as staff and volunteers from local Friends Groups in support of the Bureau of Land Management's National Landscape Conservation System gathered to network, learn and share ideas. The organization, planning and hard work by the Foundation paid off with several days of networking and education among the participants. Volunteers and staff at all levels were involved and there were opportunities for participants of all skill levels to learn something new every day and meet other people working at the same level on similar issues from other areas of the country.