Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Announce New Partnership for Ecosystem Health with Blue Forest Conservation

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce a new partnership with Blue Forest Conservation and the hiring of Michael Brown as the Manager of Innovative Finance, a joint position to oversee watershed restoration projects across the West. The partnership will help expand the efforts of Blue Forest Conservation by assisting landowners with implementation of conservation projects on private lands.

Blue Forest Conservation is a nonprofit that leverages financial innovation to create sustainable investment solutions to environmental challenges. Its flagship financial product, the Forest Resilience Bond, deploys private capital to finance forest restoration projects that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire while enhancing landscape resilience. Building off the early success of their projects on the Tahoe National Forest (Yuba I and Yuba II), Blue Forest and The Habitat Organization are teaming up to meet the needs of private landowners.

“This partnership has enormous potential to impact wildlife habitat on a significant scale. Blue Forest’s innovative model of deploying private capital to address landscape-scale resource needs meshes beautifully with PF & QF’s strength in public-private partnerships and our organization’s emphasis on private lands conservation,” said Ron Leathers, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Chief Conservation Officer. “Our collective efforts will benefit wildlife, private landowners, and local natural resource-based communities throughout the West.”

In his new role, Michael Brown will work closely with Blue Forest Conservation and local partners to develop a conservation delivery system utilizing innovative finance mechanisms. “I am extremely excited by this new partnership and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish,” said Brown. “I have worked with private landowners and individuals who are familiar with Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, but don’t have the ability to implement projects on a large scale. This new and innovative approach will allow us to support landowners where it’s needed most.”  The initial efforts are focused on three pilot landscapes. Southern Oregon, the Bear River Watershed (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming), and the Bitterroot Valley in Montana.

Blue Forest’s model creates an opportunity to reduce the burden placed on private landowners to fund conservation by eliminating prohibitively high upfront implementation costs. Due to Pheasants Forever’s strong relationships with private landowners and agencies, the organization is uniquely positioned to work with Blue Forest to expand their financial model to private lands. The partnership seeks to increase the pace and scale of conservation delivery by making it easier for landowners to implement conservation practices. Ultimately, this will help local landowners, communities, and economies to become more sustainable and resilient in a changing climate.

Brown is a nine-year veteran of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, working as a Farm Bill Biologist to increase technical assistance for private landowners. More recently, he led efforts of the Sage Grouse Initiative as Field Capacity Coordinator.

About Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.

About Blue Forest

Blue Forest is a nonprofit organization committed to creating sustainable financial solutions to pressing environmental challenges. Blue Forest’s principal financial product, the Forest Resilience Bond (FRB), deploys private capital to finance forest restoration projects on public lands that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. Blue Forest developed the FRB in partnership with the World Resources Institute and works closely with the USDA Forest Service and a host of NGO and academic partners that provide research, evaluation, and implementation expertise.

Media Contact
Jared Wiklund
(651) 209-4953