Washington Conservation Planning

The Nature Conservancy achieves conservation results by designing and implementing conservation projects at local and regional scales.Currently, the Conservancy is engaged in several regional, partner and community-based efforts to develop common solutions and priorities for conservation and sustainable natural resource management.

Collins Projects

Ecoregional Assessments

Identifying Ecologically Significant Areas for Conservation Action

Ecoregional assessments provide a regional scale, biodiversity-based context for implementing conservation efforts. They identify ecologically significant areas for conservation action with a goal of protecting representative biodiversity. These actions may be any of a range of strategies, including: incentives for private landowners; acknowledging and encouraging best management practices on working landscapes; restoring degraded ecosystems, and putting land in conservation easements. They are the result of rigorous scientific analyses, incorporating an extensive expert review, and are the most comprehensive and current efforts to set conservation priorities at a regional scale.

Pacific Northwest Marine Ecoregional Assessment- Coming Soon

We are on way to release the newest ecoregional assessment in our portfolio, the Pacific Northwest Marine ecoregional assessment. The conservation of marine species and habitats is important for ecosystem function, resilience to oceanic and climate change, and sustainable coastal communities. On the west coast of North America, continental shelf and slope habitats are productive, rich ecosystems and prioritising areas for conserving biodiversity is increasingly relevant for marine spatial planning, alternative energy developments and ecosystem-based fisheries management. Learn More.

Conservation Action Planning (CAP)

South Puget Sound Conservation Planning Area

The Nature Conservancy achieves conservation results by designing and implementing conservation projects at local and regional scales. Over the past 15 years, the Conservancy has developed an integrated process for planning, implementing, and measuring conservation success for its conservation projects. This process is known as the Conservation Action Planning (CAP) process. The CAP framework helps guide key stakeholders in the community to identify a project's biodiversity and its current and desired status, identify critical threats, recognize social, economical, and cultural factors contributing to the threats or representing opportunities to enhance the biodiversity, as well as to develop strategies to abate the threats and monitor outcomes that help us adapt and learn throughout the life a project.

A Tool to Guide Our Work

The Nature Conservancy in Washington is engaged in several regional, partner and community-based efforts to develop common solutions and priorities for conservation and sustainable natural resource management. Our collaborative work with leading organizations throughout the state is critical for achieving successful outcomes at a landscape scale. These organizations represent and involve key stakeholders and decision makers in each of the regions, which is essential to realize change. Our role is primarily diplomatic, providing leadership, facilitation, technical and planning expertise, and support to maximize results, scientific rigor and impact. A summary of each of these major processes follows.

In Eastern Washington, the Nature Conservancy, state and federal agencies, public and private organizations and additional partners have formed the Arid Lands Initiative (ALI). The goal of ALI is to develop and cooperatively implement a coordinated strategy for the conservation of Washington’s arid lands, including Shrub Steppe, Palouse grasslands and those freshwater systems contained within the arid lands landscape. This will be initiated by launching a collaborative process to identify shared conservation priorities and actions, as well as the geographic locations for implementation.

The Washington Coast has some of the strongest wild salmon populations in the lower 48 states nationally and has formed an organization to develop its first regional salmon plan. This organization, The WA Coast Sustainable Salmon Partnership (WCSSP), is one of the seven lead salmon recovery organizations statewide. The planning process is using the Conservation Action Planning (CAP) framework to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy and common goals for long-term salmon sustainability and viability throughout the Coast Region.

The Nature Conservancy is supporting The Hood Canal Coordinating Council, a watershed-based Council of Governments, consisting of county, tribal, state and federal agencies, in creating a watershed management plan. The planning process is developing protection and restoration strategies and integrating human values and public involvement. This approach will create a road map to maintain watershed health while providing critical ecosystem services and resources to people in Hood Canal. For more information on our planning efforts in Washington contact, Erica Simek Sloniker.

Washington Freshwater Assessment

Tieton River

Washington is rich in watershed planning efforts, in organizations committed to watershed health, and in local knowledge of our rivers, lakes, and wetlands. However, few organizations look beyond individual watersheds at freshwater health across the state. Until now.

Critical Information at a Critical Time

The Conservancy's Assessment of Freshwater Systems in Washington State provides this important statewide view. It examines, the distribution of freshwater species at risk and defines the limits of our knowledge. It evaluates the current condition and future threats to our freshwater systems and identifies those watersheds that are simply irreplaceable in terms of their importance to freshwater biodiversity conservation. It also highlights the most important places for us to focus our immediate attention, identifying those watersheds that represent our best opportunities for conservation. The assessment provides a starting place for developing conservation priorities, a baseline by which to judge our progress, and a call to action. Visit the downloads section located at the top right of this page to download the Freshwater Assessment Report and associated data.



Washington Freshwater Assessment Report (2006)

The Nature Conservancy conducted this assessment of freshwater biodiversity as a planning resource for developing conservation goals, setting priorities and choosing strategies to achieve these goals. In this report, we describe 23 freshwater systems – 20 rivers and 3 lake and wetlands systems – that offer the highest degree of conservation opportunity in light of existing impacts and constraints, current ownership and management, and future threats.

Download File (6 MB) Washington Freshwater Assessment GIS Data (2006)

Presents GIS data containing results of all freshwater assessment analyses conducted by The Nature Conservancy for Washington State. This data set includes values for biodiversity metrics (e.g. suitability, threat, number of species) across all HUC6 watersheds in Washington State, as well as identifies rivers, watersheds, and wetlands that provide the best opportunities for conservation of Washington's native freshwater species and ecological systems.

Download from Data Basin

Links and Resources


ConPro, conpro.tnc.org

Interactively search over a 1,000 conservation projects of The Nature Conservancy and our partners. Learn details like the ecological targets being conserved, threats to those targets, strategies being implemented, and what indicator measurements are showing about progress towards achieving the project objectives.