For more than two decades, 3M has proudly supported The Nature Conservancy’s land protection efforts across the planet. Starting with a generous donation to the Conservancy’s Last Great Places campaign in the early 90’s, 3M has contributed more than 20 million dollars to preserve priority habitats on which people and nature depend. We have worked together locally and internationally, on business councils and land transactions, and with the personal commitment and involvement of 3M employees. 3M relies on the Conservancy to provide science-based conservation solutions to key ecosystems around the world.
3M’s grant in 2014 aligned the company’s reputation for innovation with the Conservancy’s grounding in scientific expertise by supporting our Development by Design infrastructure work. DbD provides a holistic view of how future development could affect our natural systems and offers solutions for ensuring their health over the long-term for the people and precious wildlife that depend upon them. Through DbD, the Conservancy engages governments, companies and financial institutions to address key mitigation questions, adopt environmental lending standards, improve policies, and demonstrate how to deliver greater returns for development and conservation. These project experiences provide the centerpiece for engaging decision-makers and for delivering conservation big enough to make a real difference.
In 2013, a gift from the 3M Foundation allowed the Conservancy to acquire and protect 130 acres of land in Alabama at the northern edge of the Bankhead National Forest, part of a top conservation priority in the Cumberland and Southern Ridge and Valley ecoregion. This section of the Warrior Mountain range features incredible biological diversity and some of the best remaining stands of old-growth cove hardwood forests on the Cumberland Plateau. Many of the plants and animals found here occur nowhere else on Earth.
Also in 2013, 3M donated $500,000 for work with Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon. The project had several key goals, including advancing the National Indigenous Territorial and Environmental Management Policy, as well as advancing a new Corporate Practices Standard, and advancing REDD+, an approach to fund conservation based on the value of forests to the global climate. Already, 32 pilot Indigenous Territories are writing management plans and Nature Conservancy staff have hosted events with more than 30 major companies, finance corporations, Indigenous organizations, and government agencies to draft the Corporate Practices Standards.
In the summer of 2011, another gift helped fund the unprecedented Montana Legacy Project, the largest conservation project in our nation’s history, as well an international project in the North Fork of the Flathead, protecting some of the most treasured land in two countries from mining development. The Montana Legacy Project has been a success on several fronts. Not only were 310,500 acres of land protected, but the project gave local communities the opportunity to talk about future management and disposition of these lands. Since inception of the project, we have been working to knit these lands into appropriate ownership with community and agency input; 217,000 acres have now been transferred into public ownership.
3M support has also been a crucial component of forest conservation efforts in Minnesota. The Minnesota Forest Legacy Partnership was able to use contributed funds to acquire key land holdings within the Koochiching-Washington Forest that were desirable targets for development and adjacent to public lands. This acquisition was a key component of a larger conservation easement effort to protect working forest lands that provide significant benefits.
Looking farther back, a $1,500,000 donation in 2009 and 2010, was put towards the acquisition and management of Conservancy projects in Australia, British Columbia and Texas.
In Texas, the 32,000-acre Davis Mountains Preserve (with conservation easements on 65,830 acres of adjoining property) includes Mount Livermore, the summit of the Davis Mountains. The wild and remote Davis Mountains are considered one of the most scenic areas of Texas. Indeed it is one of the most biologically diverse. Rising above the Chinhuahuan desert, the range forms a unique "sky island" surrounded by the lowland desert. Animals and plants living above 5,000 feet are isolated from other similar mountain ranges by vast distances. These are true ecological islands, preserving living remnants that occur otherwise nowhere else in Texas. It encompasses the heart of a functioning landscape with intact watersheds and a unique assemblage of animals and plants. 3M Foundation's support of this project enabled the purchase of a crucial property within the landscape.
Together with our independent partner organization, The Nature Conservancy of Canada, we are seeking to effectively preserve, maintain and enhance this property for the benefit of people and nature. The lush valleys, rugged peaks, tumbling creeks, and deep lakes of British Columbia’s Selkirk Mountains are both astoundingly beautiful and ecologically important. In the heart of this incredible mountain range lies a 136,000-acre (55,000-hectare) privately owned property known as Darkwoods. Here, wildlife, including one of the last herds of Mountain Caribou in the world, finds refuge, and rare plants survive. 3M Foundation’s support of this massive project will sequester carbon, protect freshwater and secure habitat for threatened and endangered species.
In Australia, the Conservancy is working to return the Fish River Station property to the region’s indigenous traditional owners and provide for ongoing conservation support for the property’s long-term health. The property, which contains more than 450,000 acres of unique and rare mammals, also contains the important floodplains of the Daly River. This project marks the first time the Conservancy has worked with Australia’s National Reserve System and the Indigenous Land Trust to acquire a property for indigenous land owners to manage for conservation. The Conservancy and its partners are considering replicating this project for future conservation efforts.
3M is also a member of the Conservancy's Business Council.
3M is helping to protect:
- Minnesota's Ordway/Glacial Lakes
- Texas's Lower Rio Grande Valley
- Texas's Davis Mountains Preserve
- Brazil's Atlantic Forest
- China's Chongming Dongtan
3M is a $16 billion diversified technology company with leading positions in health care, safety, electronics, telecommunications, industrial, consumer and office, and other markets. 3M Company, formerly known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, makes everything from masking tape to asthma inhalers. Well-known brands include Scotchgard fabric protectors, Post-it Notes, Scotch-Brite scouring products, and Scotch tapes. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, the company has operations in more than 60 countries and serves customers in nearly 200 countries. 3M marks its 100th anniversary this year.