The Best of the Rest Old-Growth Conservation Campaign
[Organization Name withheld] has a comprehensive multi-year strategy to preserve the last of the old-growth forests in Washington State. These unique, one-of-a-kind forests are of central importance to this region’s natural beauty, ecological sustainability and cultural identity. They are an iconic symbol of the Pacific Northwest’s heritage.
Request Summary: We have developed a strategic plan to acquire these old-growth forests in three phases at a cost of $X million. We are respectfully requesting that you and [names withheld for privacy] take the lead on this work with a gift of $500,000. This will enable us to initiate Phase 1 and purchase the first of 600 acres of high-quality forest in the Snoqualmie Valley. We will leverage this acquisition to build strong private and public support for Phase 2, and Phase 3 (three parcels in Skykomish Valley and the Green River Watershed).
The time has come to remove the threat hanging over these remaining lands—critical to both the genetic diversity and aesthetic value of our Cascadian forests—once and for all. Your support will demonstrate the importance of preserving the remaining old-growth in the Central Cascades and reinforce the viability of our campaign in carrying out that work. It will demonstrate that we all have a stake in the long-term health and sustainability of our forests.
All of these lands will be transferred to the U.S. Forest Service or Washington Department of Natural Resources to manage. These are not isolated properties, but are interconnected with other forestlands and conservation areas, creating connective habitat for wildlife across the Cascades.
Project phases withheld for confidentiality purposes.
The Context – Valuing Old-Growth Forests and Preventing Logging
This old-growth forest is priceless for its wildlife habitat, aesthetic beauty, cultural value and ecosystem services. However, current standards for property appraisals by public agencies do not factor in the commercial value of the timber when endangered murrelets are present.
Acquisition strategy withheld for confidentiality.
The Importance of Preserving Old-growth Forests
Washington’s old-growth forests are among the natural treasures that have defined the lands and culture of the Pacific Northwest for hundreds of years. These ancient forests are a unique world class ecosystem and a central feature of the great woodlands that we inherited. Their health is a yardstick we can use to measure the health of all forests throughout the region. Old-growth trees provide critical wildlife and nesting habitat for several endangered species— wolverines and grizzly bears are just two of the species here that need habitat free of roads and development.
These forests also provide the human inhabitants of this region a suite of ecosystem services, including cleaner air and water, carbon sequestration, health and recreation opportunities, solitude, aesthetic beauty, and genetically diverse flora that can be used in native reforestation efforts across the state. Despite the clear benefit of conserving these forests, continued logging, road building and sprawling development have taken a dire toll. The emerging wildcard of climate change will present even more unforeseen challenges as regional changes in temperature and weather take hold.
Contiguous blocks of undisturbed old-growth forest and wildlife habitat are essential if our forests are to maintain their character in the face of a changing planet. While most of the old-growth remaining on federal lands in the Cascades is now protected, a few pockets of private land containing critical stands of this unique forest are scheduled for logging. Given the existing strain on these forests and future threats posed by continued population growth and climate change, we must act now to conserve them.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal, and thank you all of your past support for our work—without it, many of our most fruitful conservation projects would not have been possible. Few philanthropists have the commitment to acquire land at this level, and I’m confident that with your help we can save this invaluable old-growth forest and provide long-term stewardship. We look forward to working with you to make conservation history by preserving these priceless forests in perpetuity