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Western Conservation

GOAL

To conserve the ecological integrity of the western United States and Canada for people and wildlife.

The open spaces of the West are embedded in our heritage, our culture, and our way of life. For centuries, the West has provided open land, economic resources, and natural beauty. But years of mining, drilling, and clear-cutting, and a rapidly expanding population, have taken a harsh toll. To conserve our irreplaceable western resources, the nation must change how it extracts and uses energy resources and protects the land and water for future generations.

The Hewlett Foundation makes a wide range of grants to preserve these extraordinary natural resources. To that end, we invest in efforts to build broad public support for conservation and to protect the land, water, and air in the West. For example, to reduce the worst effects of climate change, Foundation grantees work to protect lands from fossil fuel development, which has the additional benefit of preserving wildlife habitat, recreation areas, and sources of drinking water in the West. Our grants have supported projects that protected millions of acres of public land from off-road vehicle use, brought together Latinos who support clean energy and conservation issues in New Mexico, and advanced plans for responsible solar development on public lands.

We support four strategies designed to achieve these goals across twelve U.S. states and three Canadian provinces:

  • Conserving land, with a goal of improving the ecological integrity of 300 million high-priority acres by 2035. The simplest definition of ecological integrity is that a place is sufficiently protected to ensure that unspoiled nature thrives. Learn more>>
  • Improving the water flows of key rivers, with a goal of improving the ecological integrity of 8,000 high-priority river miles by 2035. Learn more>>
  • Increasing western clean energy, with a goal of reducing the development of fossil fuels on 85 million high-priority acres by 2035. Learn more>>
  • Building broad support by engaging ranchers, farmers, hunters, anglers, faith-based organizations, as well as local businesses in areas where their influence is crucial to making progress on land, river, and energy goals. Learn more>>


The Environment Program accepts Letters of Inquiry for its Western Conservation grantmaking. See Environment Program Grantseekers for information about our approach to grantmaking and Western Conservation strategies and Western Conservation and Energy and Climate grant guidelines for specific information about our priorities.

While the Foundation's grants may be used to support public education, nonpartisan research and analysis, and permissible policy-related activities, the Foundation does not earmark its funds for IRS-defined lobbying activities, which is prohibited by federal law.