Thursday, March 10, 2011

Collaborative Effort Among Major Conservation Groups to Protect Central Coast

A group of five leading conservation organizations are collaborating to achieve critical large-scale land protection goals in the heart of coastal California. The new effort, called the Living Landscape Initiative, includes the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, The Nature Conservancy, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), Save the Redwoods League and empervirens Fund. Sacramento-based Resources Legacy Fund helped launch the effort using major support from the Gordon and BettyMoore Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
The goal of the Initiative is to preserve and protect 80,000 acres over the next 20 years in four key areas in and around Silicon Valley: Coastal Lands, the Redwood Heartland, the Pajaro River Corridor, and other Essential Links. To attract matching funds from both the public and private sectors, the Moore Foundation has put forth a $15 million 3-to-1 challenge grant for land acquisition and stewardship over the next three years.
“We’re at a critical time for translating scientific knowledge into impact at a strategic, regional scale—ensuring a human connection to our surroundings, creating linkages for wildlife, and conserving essential plant and animal habitats,” said Steve McCormick, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. “I am extremely pleased to direct the Foundation’s resources to this collaborative.”
"The time to act is now. We understand more than ever how important healthy living landscapes are to the social and economic future of the Bay Area,” said Julie Packard, trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “Strategic, science-based and collaborative land conservation will let ecosystems as well as local communities thrive in a connected and sustainable manner. The Living Landscape Initiative provides a powerful model to make immediate and significant progress."

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