Policy opportunities vary dramatically across the Northwest and reflect each place’s political environment, conservation history, and local conservation community.

Our strategy invests in two or three critical organizations in each state (or province) that demonstrate the leadership, capacity, and track record to enact, implement, enforce, and defend strong conservation policies.

NCEL educates state legislators about fracking and its potential impacts.
NCEL educates state legislators about fracking and its potential impacts. Photo by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

Measures of success

By the time the foundation sunsets in 2020, we aim to see:

  • Effective collaboration among organizations to achieve policy goals.
  • Conservation organizations with improved credibility and influence among community and policy leaders.
  • A broader base of stakeholders engaged in conservation advocacy.
  • More public officials and policy-makers who champion conservation priorities.

Photo by Kate Banish, USFWS.

Successes in conservation policy

Plans for Washington Coast crude oil export terminal derailed

Plans for Washington Coast crude oil export terminal derailed

The Supreme Court of Washington State has unanimously ruled that plans to locate a rail-fed crude oil export terminal at Hoquiam in Grays Harbor fall under the state's Ocean Resources Management Act. The decision will lead to a full environmental review and will temporarily, if not permanently, halt the project. Brainerd grantees Climate Solutions and Washington Environmental Council have worked hard with the Stand Up to Oil coalition on this issue.

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Washington State rejects proposed coal export terminal

Washington State rejects proposed coal export terminal

The people of Washington have convinced one of the state's most powerful agencies, the Department of Natural Resources, to deny a key approval for the last, largest remaining coal terminal proposal in Longview. The DNR rejected a request to use state-owned land in the Columbia River to build new docks to export coal. Brainerd grantees Climate Solutions, Sightline, and Washington Environmental Council joined the Power Past Coal Coalition to fight for this ruling.

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Obama bans drilling in parts of the Arctic Ocean

Obama bans drilling in parts of the Arctic Ocean

President Barack Obama announced that he is withdrawing most of the Arctic Ocean from future oil and gas leasing under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to protect critical habitat from oil spills, to aid the transition to a clean energy future, and to help the United States meet the carbon reduction goals necessary to avert the worst effects of global climate change. Brainerd grantees Earthjustice, the Alaska Wilderness League, and Trustees for Alaska deserve much credit for this win.

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Read about more grantee successes »

Typical conservation policy grantees

  • Organizations serving as lead advocates on statewide conservation policies
  • Issue-based organizations leading collaborative efforts on strategic policy priorities
  • Organizations advancing voter education and civic engagement efforts for the conservation community
  • Legal groups providing environmental law expertise and policy counsel

Photo by Steve Chase, USFWS.

Meet some of our grantees in conservation policy

Meet more of our grantees »

Conservation policy grants typically range from $40,000 to $75,000 and can be awarded for multiple years. Inquiries are accepted on an ongoing basis. Grants are awarded at one of three board meetings held each year. Proposals are accepted by invitation only.

Learn more about eligibility »