In 1961, The Nature Conservancy formed a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management that was aimed at protecting old-growth forests in California. A gift from the Ford Foundation in 1965 made it possible for The Nature Conservancy to bring on its first full-time president. From that point on, The Nature Conservancy was in full swing.
During the 1970s and 1980s, The Nature Conservancy setup key programs such as the Natural Heritage Network and the International Conservation Program. The Natural Heritage Network collects information about species distributions and natural communities throughout the United States. The International Conservation Program identifies key natural regions and conservation groups in Latin America. The Conservancy completed their first debt-for-nature swap to fund conservation work in Braulio Carillo National Park in 1988. During that same year, the Conservancy joined forces with the US Department of Defense to help manage 25 million acres of military land.
In the 1990, The Nature Conservancy launched a large-scale project called the Last Great Places Alliance, an effort aimed at saving entire ecosystems by protecting core reserves and establishing buffer zones around them.
In 2001, The Nature Conservancy celebrated its 50th year anniversary. Also in 2001, they acquired Zumwalt Prairie Preserve, a protected area on the edge of Hells Canyon in Oregon. In 2001 through 2005, they purchased land in Colorado that would later form the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, as well as expand the Rio Grande National Forest.
Most recently, the Conservancy organized the protection of 161,000 acres of forest in the Adirondacks of New York. They also recently negotiated a debt-for-nature swap to protect tropical forest in Costa Rica.
How they spend their money:
- 80.2% of expenses go towards conservation projects
- 11.4% of expenses go towards admininstration
- 8.3% of expenses go towards fundraising
The Nature Conservancy
4245 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
tel: (800) 628-6860