Conservation Innovations 

Traditional conservation in America mainly is the work of government and charity – but there is more going on.

Taxes and donations support conservation agencies and legions of non-profit charitable organizations such as those of the American Wildlife Conservation Partnership and many others.  The other source of money for conservation is from the private sector, which is activating the power of markets to achieve still more conservation results.

For example, landowners can sell access to prime hunting grounds, investors can earn money by restoring and maintaining wetlands or species habitat, and businesses can make a profit running state parks.  These innovations depend on the same contracts and private investment as in commerce.  For conservation, clever innovation has adapted private transactions to benefit public resources like wildlife and water that belong to everyone.  Landowners can charge fees for access to their property, which works best for them if they have improved the wildlife there – to the benefit to all.  An investor in wetlands and habitat restoration can be repaid for their work by others who convert a smaller wetland or habitat into something else (a farm field, a parking lot).  Parks are a service of government, and they are expensive to maintain, improve, and manage.  By hiring expert contractors, government can deliver popular and excellent parks that make enough money to keep them open.

Watershed Results is a proud partner with innovators of these approaches.  PERC and the Sand County Foundation both have been developing the contracts, supporting policy, and practice of market innovations for decades. Texan By Nature is helping businesses bring conservation into the lives of their employees and onto their lands. With the added power of markets, more conservation is being done and more people are getting involved.