The mission of Partners for Western Conservation (PWC) is to implement market-based conservation and ecosystems services to benefit wildlife, the environment, landowners, and the regulated community. The use of sound science, assistance, resources, and educational efforts will create a community of partners committed to the conservation and stewardship of land, water, air, and wildlife.

Habitat Exchange

Habitat Exchange Partners
Habitat Exchange Partners

With roughly 250 species proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act, new tools are needed to protect wildlife and provide for the economic development necessary to feed and fuel America’s growth.


Existing tools are not sufficient to reverse population declines and achieve conservation goals for species requiring vast habitat ranges that cross multiple states and are comprised largely of private lands. To recover species and habitat, financial incentives are needed to encourage responsible growth and conservation on an unprecedented scale and pace.


Private landowners, such as farmers and ranchers, and land developers from energy and other industry sectors are essential allies in balancing environmental and economic needs. To encourage investment at the size and rate required, we must put in place a mechanism for conservation that is consistent, transparent, fair, measurable and beneficial to all participants.


For more information about the Habitat Exchange in Colorado, click here.

Finding Common Ground on Water

Partners for Western Conservation, with its sister organization the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, convened a results-based facilitation process between Colorado’s environmental community and its agriculture community. The purpose of this process was to increase understanding of each other’s values and principles related to Colorado’s current and future water portfolio. This process was made possible by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The Walton Family Foundation works to achieve lasting change by creating new and unexpected partnerships among conservation, business and community interests to build durable solutions to big problems. From the beginning, the group focused on results, not rhetoric. Participants in the process challenged themselves to come up with solid recommendations that the state could use in the Colorado Water Plan the governor has requested. 

Common Ground Final Report
Complete Report_Common Ground.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 4.4 MB
Cases and Concepts
Cases and Concepts Final Draft.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 503.4 KB


PWC Seeks A Conservation Market Emergence:

  • Passive regulations are not working - incentives are
  • There is a desire for more and better conservation - landowners want to participate
  • Ecosystem services can achieve goals and provide landowner income
  • One size does not fit all - flexibility does
  • The cost of waiting exceeds the cost of acting


Quadrants of Approach:

  • Independently organized private transactions - privately funded for private/regulatory needs
  • Publically organized for public benefit - public agencies fund services
  • Open trading - compliance credits, banking, etc.
  • Consumer or advocate preferred - green values, branding, investing, etc.