The Network for Landscape Conservation has announced its 2021 Catalyst Fund grant awards, with 15 Landscape Conservation Partnerships from throughout the United States receiving support. Funds will be used to advance Partnerships’ efforts to protect the ecological, cultural, and community values of the landscapes they call home. Grants are made to Partnerships demonstrating a genuinely collaborative approach to conservation, involving a variety of stakeholders and often including historically marginalized communities who have been excluded from previous land-management decisions. In particular, a portion of the Fund is specifically dedicated to supporting Indigenous leadership in landscape conservation.
This is a pivotal moment for conservation in America, as the climate, biodiversity, and environmental justice crises are only accelerating. At the same time, we are seeing a national discourse coalesce around ambitious conservation visions—like the Biden Administration’s America the Beautiful initiative, which recommends a ten-year, national, locally led campaign to restore the nation’s lands and waters.
While an overarching national framework is critical to ensure the scale of conservation efforts meets the scale of the 21st Century challenges we face, conservation at its most basic is a human endeavor based on knowledge, relationships, and trust—factors that are most effectively built and stewarded at a smaller scale. Thus, local and regional action is necessary for translating national goals into on-the-ground success in conserving landscapes that straddle political, geographic, and cultural divides.
The Catalyst Fund, in aiming to accelerate the pace and effective practice of collaborative landscape conservation, is a critical mechanism for making investments in the “vehicles” that will drive the needed local and regional action. Grants are intended to serve as strategic investments in strengthening the collaborative capacity of place-based, community-grounded Landscape Conservation Partnerships, especially those at turning points in their development when an infusion of funds can be most impactful.
The 2021 Catalyst Fund grant recipients are:
- Black River Water Trail and Park Network (South Carolina)
- California Central Coast Joint Venture (California)
- East Yellowstone Collaborative Working Group (Wyoming)
- Kittatinny Coalition (Pennsylvania)
- Kali’uokapa’akai Collective (Hawaii)
- Lands Between Partnership (Utah)
- Little Sioux Watershed Conservation Partnership (Iowa & Minnesota)
- Lower Gila River Collaborative (Arizona)
- Moloka’i Wetlands Partnership (Hawaii)
- Ohio River Basin Restoration Partnership (multiple states)
- Taos Valley Watershed Coalition (New Mexico)
- Tribal Alliance for Pollinators (Oklahoma)
- Tulare Basin Watershed Partnership Network (California)
- Western Apache Working Group (Arizona)
- Wind River Conservation Office (Wyoming)
Launched in 2019, the Catalyst Fund has distributed a total of $1 million in grants nationwide across three annual grant cycles. The next anticipated Catalyst Fund grant cycle opening will be in early 2022.
The Network for Landscape Conservation is a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation. Generous support for the Catalyst Fund is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
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