Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce a new partnership with Blue Forest Conservation and the hiring of Michael Brown as Manager of Innovative Finance, a joint position to oversee watershed restoration projects throughout the West. The partnership will help expand Blue Forest Conservation’s efforts by assisting landowners with the implementation of conservation projects on private lands.
Blue Forest Conservation is a nonprofit organization that harnesses financial innovation to create sustainable investment solutions to environmental challenges. Its flagship financial product, the Forest Resilience Bond, deploys private capital to finance forest restoration projects that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires while improving landscape resilience. Building on the early success of their projects in the Tahoe National Forest (Yuba I and Yuba II), Blue Forest and The Habitat Organization are teaming up to meet the needs of private landowners.
“This partnership has enormous potential to impact wildlife habitat on a significant scale. Blue Forest’s innovative model of deploying private capital to address landscape-scale resource needs fits beautifully with PF&QF’s strength in public-private partnerships and our organization’s emphasis on conserving private lands,” he said. Ron Leathers, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Chief Conservation Officer. “Our collective efforts will benefit wildlife, private landowners and local natural resource-based communities throughout the West.”
In his new role, Michael Brown will work closely with Blue Forest Conservation and local partners to develop a conservation delivery system using innovative financing mechanisms. “I am very excited about this new partnership and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish,” said Brown. “I have worked with private landowners and individuals who are familiar with Natural Resource Conservation Service programs, but do not have the capacity to implement large-scale projects. This new and innovative approach will allow us to support landowners where it is needed most.” Initial efforts focus on three pilot landscapes. Southern Oregon, the Bear River Basin (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming), and the Bitterroot Valley in Montana.
The Blue Forest model creates an opportunity to reduce the burden on private landowners to fund conservation by eliminating prohibitively high upfront implementation costs. Because of Pheasants Forever’s strong relationships with agencies and private landowners, the organization is in a unique position to work with Blue Forest to expand its financing model to private land. The association seeks to increase the pace and scale of conservation delivery by making it easier for owners to implement conservation practices. Ultimately, this will help landowners, communities and local economies become more sustainable and resilient in a changing climate.
Brown is a nine-year veteran of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, working as a Farm Bill biologist to increase technical assistance for private landowners. Most recently, he led the efforts of the Sage Grouse Initiative as Field Capacity Coordinator.
About pheasants forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters, and partners is dedicated to protecting our highlands through habitat improvement, public access, education, and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determines how 100 percent of its locally raised funds are spent – the only national conservation organization to operate through this grassroots structure. Since its inception in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.
About Blue Forest
Blue Forest is a nonprofit organization committed to creating sustainable financial solutions to pressing environmental challenges. Blue Forest’s main financial product, the Forest Resilience Bond (FRB), deploys private capital to finance forest restoration projects on public lands that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. Blue Forest developed the FRB in partnership with the World Resources Institute and works closely with the USDA Forest Service and a host of NGO and academic partners who provide research, evaluation, and implementation expertise.