Two bobcats crossing a road with one looking at the camera.
Resilient and Connected Future New grant recipients will increase the pace and scale of conservation amidst our changing climate. © Gordon Ellmers

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The Nature Conservancy in New York Announces Resilient and Connected Network Grant Recipients for Land Protection and Strategic Planning

The Nature Conservancy in New York is pleased to announce that it has awarded 12 grants under its 2021 Resilient and Connected Network Grant Program that will result in 2,200 acres protected by partner land trusts. Nearly $300,000 will be awarded in flexible grants of $25,000 to increase the pace and scale of protecting resilient and connected lands identified by The Nature Conservancy’s new mapping tool that provides a roadmap for conserving places where plants and animals can thrive in a changing climate. 

Warmer temperatures, increased flooding and other climate threats are altering and destroying habitat, forcing species to search for new places to live. Studies show that plants and animals are moving 11 miles north and 36 feet higher in elevation each decade in response to the changing climate. The “resilient and connected network” mapped by The Nature Conservancy covers 33 percent of the continental U.S., providing a valuable resource to bring together government agencies, land trusts, private land owners, Indigenous communities, and other stakeholders to collaboratively develop conservation plans that will help nature thrive on a national scale while meeting local needs. The geographic focus of the grants awarded today fall within seven priority linkage areas that are critical to making connections between core forests within New York and beyond our borders.

Conserving lands at a continental scale is not the work of just one organization—we need institutional connectivity in addition to habitat connectivity. The Nature Conservancy is working with land trust and agency partners to share scientific research and data, and to provide resources and technical support as land protection and funding priorities are developed. 

“The most effective conservation comes from collaboration, and this grant program is designed to provide support for a wide range of hard-to-fund needs like stewardship endowments, as well as advance common goals based on the resilient and connected lands science to drive future conservation work,” said Stuart F. Gruskin, Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer, The Nature Conservancy in New York

“The Resilient and Connected Network grants announced today will expand the scope of the Staying Connected Initiative, a program created more than a decade ago with 65 conservation and government partners working to conserve, restore, and enhance landscape connectivity across the Northern Appalachian/Acadian ecoregion of the U.S. and Canada,” State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “New York is providing our partners with critical support for these efforts to help ensure the survival of wildlife and plant species currently threatened by habitat fragmentation.”

The grants will support land acquisition and planning, capacity, and strategy work within the seven priority linkage areas identified by The Nature Conservancy’s Resilient and Connected Network science.

The 2021 grant recipients are:

  • Cazenovia Preservation Foundation
  • Columbia Land Conservancy
  • Hudson Highlands Land Trust 
  • Lake George Land Conservancy
  • Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy
  • Rensselaer Land Trust
  • Rensselaer Plateau Alliance 
  • Saratoga PLAN
  • Thousand Islands Land Trust 
  • Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust 
  • Westchester Land Trust 
  • Western New York Land Conservancy
  • Map of New York with green, gray and white shaded areas to signify where land assets of grantees are located.
    Resilient & Connected New York The 12 grants will result in 2,200 acres protected by partner land trusts. © TNC, USGS, Natural Earth

    The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.