Finding a place under the big tent

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The Brainerd Foundation is a Northwest-focused family foundation that provides funding and expertise so nonprofits, communities, and decision-makers can better protect our region's air, land, and water.

Funding

We fund organizations that protect the environment of the Northwest and build broad support for conservation.

Conservation policy

Conservation policy

Policy gains that ensure protection of our region's air, land, and water.

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Place-based conservation

Place-based conservation

Landscape and wildlife protection through community engagement and empowerment.

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Conservation capacity

Conservation capacity

Building upon past investments and growing the next generation of conservation.

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Recent successes

Chuitna Coal Mine Shelved

Chuitna Coal Mine Shelved

After nearly a decade of dedicated advocacy by thousands of Alaskans in support of healthy fisheries, cultural preservation, and community sustainability, the company behind what would have been the largest strip mine in Alaska has suspended its pursuit of permitting. Thousands of Alaskans have spoken out against this project that would have traded wild salmon for low-grade coal. The Brainerd Foundation supported the work of Cook Inletkeeper and the Alaska Center on this issue.

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Court orders more water for endangered salmon

Court orders more water for endangered salmon

A federal court has ruled that operators at 8 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers must increase water releases over spillways to improve survival rates for juvenile salmon migrating to the ocean starting in 2018. The judge found that current operation is causing continued irreparable harm to imperiled salmon and steelhead and that increased spill indisputably provides safer passage for juvenile salmon navigating the heavily dammed Columbia-Snake River Basin. The Brainerd Foundation supports the work of Earthjustice on this issue.

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Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Expanded

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Expanded

President Obama announced the expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon. The expansion adds 48,000 acres to the current 65,000 acres. The area is an extremely biologically rich region where the Cascade, Great Basin, and Coast Range-Klamath ecosystems come together. Brainerd grantee Soda Mountain Wilderness Council has worked tirelessly for decades to protect this unique place.

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Read about more grantee successes »

Meet some of our grantees

Meet more of our grantees »

What we're learning as we head toward our Sunset

How one nonprofit is giving power to millennials and benefiting from their perspective, passion, and purpose.

How one nonprofit is giving power to millennials and benefiting from their perspective, passion, and purpose.

The Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) was looking for a way to increase the membership and engagement of younger Oregonians in its work. So, they started an Emerging Leaders Board to keep OEC connected and relevant to the concerns and interests of millennials.

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Ten years from now, who will lead us?

Ten years from now, who will lead us?

The nonprofit sector is experiencing a leadership crisis. We did some deep listening and found that current mid-career leaders are in need of professional development, so our board approved a grant to fund a mid-career institute for environmental leaders.

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Hope is not a strategy. A champion is.

Hope is not a strategy. A champion is.

We asked our colleague Rick Johnson to share one of the big lessons his organization (a long-time Brainerd grantee) has learned about making conservation progress in a deeply red state. Here’s his story.

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