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Donors Making a Difference

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Environment Program is to enable communities to protect and manage wildlife habitat and create efficient built environments. Doris Duke was a lifelong environmentalist with a keen interest in conservation. In her will, she expressed her interest in “the preservation of wildlife, both flora and fauna” and in supporting “ecological endeavors.” Based on this guidance, the Environment Program has made more than $210 million in grants since 1997 directly related to the conservation of wildlife in the United States.

Andrew Bowman is the Foundation’s Environment Program director.

“Since the inception of the Foundation, we have placed an emphasis on using cutting-edge science to identify the most important wildlife habitat to conserve. We have worked closely with The Nature Conservancy to spread this strategic approach to habitat conservation and to permanently protect large expanses of wildlife habitat.

The Conservancy is a superb partner in strategic land protection. It has sizeable resources and works at a scale that benefits our efforts to encourage climate change adaptation and protect places where biodiversity will continue to flourish centuries if not millennia from now. The Conservancy’s years of experience and expertise in conservation finance, land transactions, and science have made it a leader in the field. From my perspective, the organization’s work is the template for how land conservation should be done.

When I think about projects that best exemplify our relationship, what stands out most are our collaborations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Montana. Preserving large, connected landscapes like these is essential, and the Conservancy’s willingness and enthusiasm to take on projects of that sheer size is exactly what we need in an era of climate change. In the future, we at the Foundation hope to team with the Conservancy to protect additional large landscapes that have been identified as resilient to climate change based on scientific methods that have been developed by Conservancy scientists.

My personal interest in conservation stems from a love and respect for wildlife, and I enjoy helping to save lands and watch biodiversity thrive. Our president, Ed Henry, feels the same—we are very interested in how we can protect natural areas while enjoying and maintaining the connection between them and people. All of us at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation fully support the work of The Nature Conservancy.”

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