In an area with great natural beauty and land resources like the Pacific Northwest, it’s important to preserve the landscapes that make it special. That’s the idea behind the Pacific Northwest Resilient Landscapes Initiative, a new partnership between the Idaho Community Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Seattle Foundation and the Land Trust Alliance.
The initiative is launched with the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and will permanently protect thousands of acres of natural lands in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s program director Sacha Spector will be in Boise on May 22 for the Idaho Community Foundation’s annual Southwest Idaho Luncheon, and tickets are available now.
The initiative will prioritize landscapes that can withstand the growing impacts of a changing climate, give refuge to plants and animals to help them endure, and provide people with resources like clean drinking water.
“We’re proud to be a part of this innovative philanthropic partnership that will unite donors from around the region to secure the lands that science tells us are the most critical to helping species and habitats persist in the face of a changing climate,” said Spector.
Community foundations are important partners in this effort as they will convene donors, raise public awareness about the initiative and inspire people to support the effort to preserve resilient natural spaces.
“People love living in Idaho because of its incredibly beautiful outdoor areas,” said ICF President and CEO Karen Bilowith. “We all want to make sure these landscapes are protected for the future, and that the plants and animals that live there continue to thrive.”
Land trusts in Idaho, Oregon and Washington will have an important role in the initiative. They will be encouraged to apply for funding for capacity building and for purchasing land that is resilient to climate change.
“The Initiative will provide funding for land acquisition projects and land trust capacity building, thus enhancing the Alliance’s efforts to increase the effectiveness of land trusts as they tackle the climate change challenges and protect their communities,” said Andrew Bowman, president of the Land Trust Alliance.
An announcement about the priority landscapes that are eligible for future funding will be made later this summer. Owen Wozniak, land transactions program manager at the Land Trust Alliance, said it’s important for Idaho, Oregon and Washington to work together so that the best science and information about climate-resilient conservation can be shared among all the partners.
“The natural resources that sustain the Pacific Northwest don’t stop at state lines, and neither do the impacts of climate change,” Wozniak said. “In the face of a challenge this big, we’re all stronger working together. I’m convinced that by working collectively, we’ll find more pathways to make the connections across landscapes, habitats and communities we need to ensure that nature flourishes in a changing climate.”
To learn more:
Attend the Idaho Community Foundation’s Southwest Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, May 22, 11:30-1:30 at JUMP in Downtown Boise to learn more about this partnership. After the keynote by Sacha Spector, program director for the environment at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, there will be a panel discussion featuring representatives from local land trusts, the Land Trust Alliance and more.
Jennifer Kronberg serves as the chief communications and marketing officer at the Idaho Community Foundation. ICF is a community foundation for all of Idaho. ICF's mission is to enrich the quality of life throughout Idaho.