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Wildlife Conservation Initiative

A Collaborative Approach to Species Conservation on Private Lands

Innovative Solutions to Complex Conservation Challenges

The WCI brings diverse stakeholders from across the nation together to achieve species conservation at scale, reduce regulatory risk to forest owners, and build trust in the working relationships between landowners and regulators.
Black bird with yellow chest and neck looks to the right.

A First-Of-Its-Kind Partnership

In January of 2023, the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Council for Air and Steam Improvement, Inc. (NCASI) signed a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing the WCI as a programmatic partnership for voluntary and proactive collaborative conservation benefiting common, at-risk, and listed species.

At the White House Conservation in Action Summit in March 2023, President Biden announced major new actions to conserve and restore lands and waters across the nation, which included the Wildlife Conservation Initiative MOU.

In January 2024, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and NAFO signed a new agreement to advance the collaborative conservation of wildlife on private working forests nationwide.

Our Work

Voluntary. Collaborative. Effective.

From turtles in the Great Lakes, to bumblebees in the West, to songbirds in the East, we are dedicated to conserving species through active forest management of private working forests.

60%

of "at risk" plants and animals need private forest habitat

44 million

acres are made available for conservation projects

1.7 million

acres are conserved as streamside management zones

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Regions

Click on a region to see conservation projects

“We are honored to participate in the Wildlife Conservation Initiative and believe that collaborative commitments between USFWS, working forests, and our conservation partners can achieve impactful results. Voluntary conservation measures and the open sharing of data allow decision makers access to powerful tools that highlight the value of working forests and support conservation of a variety of species.”

Tom Sarno, NAFO member and Global Head of Timberland Investments at Manulife Investment Management

60% at risk

According to an analysis by the Ecological Society of America, of the plants and animals considered to be “at risk” (e.g., “vulnerable” or listed under the Endangered Species Act), 60% need private forest habitat for continued survival.

1,700,000 acres

NAFO members conserve streamside management zones to benefit wildlife and biodiversity in a myriad of ways, including serving as corridors for species to move through their ranges, protecting water quality for aquatic species, and keeping streams shaded and cool for fish.

44,000,000 acres

NAFO member companies own and manage more than 44 million acres of private working forests – forests that are sustainably managed to provide a steady supply of timber. NAFO’s membership also includes state and national associations representing tens of millions of additional acres.

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1,700,000 acres

NAFO members conserve streamside management zones to benefit wildlife and biodiversity in a myriad of ways, including serving as corridors for species to move through their ranges, protecting water quality for aquatic species, and keeping streams shaded and cool for fish.

×

46,000,000 acres

NAFO member companies own and manage more than 46 million acres of private working forests – forests that are sustainably managed to provide a steady supply of timber. NAFO’s membership also includes state and national associations representing tens of millions of additional acres.

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60% at risk

According to an analysis by Forest Service researchers, of the plants and animals considered to be “at risk” (e.g., “vulnerable” or listed under the Endangered Species Act), 60% need private forest habitat for continued survival.