Doris Duke Charitable Foundation funds conservation in the Rocky Mountain West
My step-father, John Hutchens loved Montana and wrote a wonderful book, One Man’s Montana.
HELENA, MT — April 9, 2008 — A $13 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to The Nature Conservancy will result in conservation of critical wildlife habitat in the Rocky Mountain West.
The grant is focused on helping five Rocky Mountain states implement their state wildlife action plans. An estimated $11 million of the total grant will be devoted to habitat protection and will be matched on a five-to-one basis, resulting in more than $55 million over the next three years for wildlife habitat conservation in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
The Conservancy plans to work with and re-grant some of the funds to the Trust for Public Land, the Conservation Fund, the Prickly Pear Land Trust and the Flathead Land Trust. These groups will in turn work with local and state partners to purchase conservation easements and lands from willing landowners.
Conservation easements have become an important tool for landowners who want to keep their lands in ranching, farming and forestry, while protecting important wildlife habitat. Land trusts and agencies have worked with landowners to place more than 1.5 million acres of privately owned Montana land under conservation easements.
“A key goal of these plans is to keep common species common and other species off the endangered species list by protecting important habitat while it is still cost effective,” said Jeff Hagener, Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The Nature Conservancy is a nonprofit conservation organization that conserves critical habitats for plants, animals and natural communities. The Conservancy’s Montana chapter, based in Helena, has community-based programs around the state. It has worked with landowners since 1979 to conserve more than 600,000 acres of land in Montana. For more information, visit Nature.org/Montana
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (www.ddcf.org) is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.