The Nature Conservancy in Washington Programs
In Washington, the Conservancy works on the coast, in Puget Sound and across eastern Washington's forests and arid lands to help build a home where nature thrives and enriches lives.
Conservation projects within each of these areas address the most critical conservation and natural resource management issues in each of the three regions of the state.
Each of these programs is designed to maximize biodiversity and address increased threats such as land conversion, depletion of water resources, flooding, erosion, pollution and climate change. Projects apply numerous strategies, including project managers working in local communities, ecologists who design projects and evaluate successes, and policy specialists who work with government agencies to influence how public lands are managed with regard to biodiveristy conservation. We achieve tangible results through science, stewardship and policy.
On the Washington coast, we are bringing back wild salmon runs so wildlife, forests, rivers, oceans and people can thrive. Support will result in: more wild salmon, healthier forests that keep salmon rivers cool and clean, and tribes and local communities carrying on traditions and livelihoods based on the nature around them.
In Eastern Washington, we're working to improve forest health along the east Cascades by stitching large blocks of land back together. We're helping local people reduce the risks they face from climate change. Support will result in: reduced threat of catastrophic fire and insect infestations, job creation as vast expanses of forest and sagelands are restored, and large expanses of protected and connected lands for wildlife, recreation, forestry, farming and ranching.
And in Puget Sound, we're protecting the flow of cool, clean water into the Sound so animals, plants and people can prosper. Support will: stop the decline of natural shorelines, restore some of the most beautiful and abundant tidelands in the world, and protect the flow of clean water in eight priority salmon rivers.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
A great example of a recent success is our innovative Farming for Wildlife program. The Nature Conservancy completed phase one of "Farming for Wildlife" in the Skagit River Delta where we have increased wetlands in farm fields during rotational off years. Monitoring of bird populations demonstrated a significant increase in the return of migratory Western sandpipers, dunlin, yellowlegs, dowitchers and numerous other bird species. In addition, preliminary results showed improved soil quality through reduction of common crop pathogens as measured by the WSU Dept. of Agriculture. The Conservancy is seeking funds to work in more Puget Sound landscapes to improve wetlands, enhance conditions for farmers through flood control and better water quality, and engage more partners interested in conservation on public and private lands.