The Wildlife Conservation Initiative

The Wildlife Conservation Initiative (WCI) is a voluntary, collaborative partnership between the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI) to conserve fish and wildlife species on private working forests. The WCI, which began as individual, regional collaborations, has now grown into a formal, agency-wide initiative and a model for engaging forest owners, federal and state agencies, and stakeholders in effective voluntary species conservation.

The WCI has a very simple objective: to conserve common, at-risk, threatened, and endangered species through active forest management of private working forests.

The WCI also operates simply. NAFO member companies partner with NCASI, the USFWS, and other collaborators to identify priority species that need private working forests for their habitat, collect field data on how active forest management affects species populations, and use the data to determine together how to maintain and improve conservation benefits. The WCI has ongoing species conservation projects in every USFWS region where NAFO members own or manage significant acres of forest land and is demonstrating the value of active forest management as a wildlife conservation tool.





“The Timberland Investment Group is proud of our history of nature-positive stewardship of managed forests, which play an important role in wildlife conservation. Working with partners, including Federal, state, and local governments as well as academics and conservation groups, enhances our ability to protect and restore habitat for the incredible variety of species that call our forests home, including our over 300,000 acres under protection or special management across the United States. We are pleased to support the Wildlife Conservation Initiative and to partner with the USFWS and NCASI as part of our mission to sustainably manage the world’s timberland.”

– Gerrity Lansing, Head, BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group


“We are pleased to further the collaborative conservation work benefiting a multitude of animal species across our timberlands by formalizing the Wildlife Conservation Initiative. This step is a result of years of hard work and established trust between the stakeholders to ensure the continued diverse use of healthy forests for generations to come.”

–  Joel Caswell, Chief Executive Officer, Caswell Thompson LLC


“Since 2004, Conservation Resources’ Impact timberland strategy has sought new and innovative partnerships to keep working forests working while enhancing all the cool environmental values of these lands! We have found these partnerships rock and enthusiastically support the collaboration of all the groups part of the Wildlife Conservation Initiative!”

– Paul Young, Chief Executive Officer, Conservation Resources


“Excellent forest stewardship and the highest standards in forest management are components of our mission statement and rooted in our culture at Forest Investment Associates. Wildlife conservation is an essential part of both of these commitments and is the foundation for our continued efforts to protect, maintain, and advance wildlife habitat on the working forests we manage. FIA supports the WCI because we recognize through collective efforts, we can promote natural capital and its value for our clients as well as generating additional benefits, such as better resource sharing and broader collaboration among those stakeholders who are in positions to most effectively advance wildlife conservation efforts on a landscape level.”

– Marc Walley, President, Forest Investment Associates

“At the Forest Landowners Association, we know that collaboration is the cornerstone to successful species and habitat conservation. Our members own and manage 55 million acres nationwide and manage their land with sustainability in mind, ensuring the prosperity of their forests for future generations. These landowners provide countless economic and environmental benefits to their communities and beyond, and are an essential part of our nation’s conservation story. We are proud to partner with the Wildlife Conservation Initiative and are committed to our shared conservation approach – one that relies on communication, transparency, and partnerships to achieve better species outcomes.”

– Scott Jones, Chief Executive Officer, the Forest Landowners Association


“Green Diamond Resource Company regularly engages in collaborative conservation work, which today includes ten conservation agreements that benefit 61 species on more than 1.5 million acres in four states. Green Diamond is one of many stakeholders across the landscape and partnerships like this ensure we work together to live up to our collective values of responsible forestry and land management practices and environmental stewardship. Our collaboration will ensure generations to come have the same lush working forestlands, waterways teaming with fish, and the diverse wildlife populations we enjoy today.”

– Douglas Reed, President, Green Diamond Resource Company


“We are committed to managing the resources entrusted to us for the betterment of all stakeholders and we believe sustainable forest management is an integral part of the solution to addressing climate change. Coastal has been actively managing its forests for over 70 years, and today our timber inventories are greater than ever. Our forests are providing more clean air, clean water and superior wildlife habitat thanks to our intensive management approach.”

– J. Travis Bryant, President & CEO, Coastal Forest Resources Company


“Irving Woodlands has been active for years in ensuring we manage our timberlands based on the best scientific research available. Collaboration with stakeholders, including the University of Maine, has led to many important research projects and management changes when it comes to Canada lynx populations, whitetail deer and song birds, as well as riparian buffers to protect cool water for fish habitat. We are pleased to support the MOU with NAFO to formalize the Wildlife Conservation Initiative, which will allow a collaboration of knowledge from our foresters and folks working on private forest lands, with research and analysis with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NCASI to ensure science guides future management and policy guidelines.”

– James D. Irving, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Irving Woodlands LLC


“Working forests play a key role in protecting and enhancing biological diversity, and Jamestown Timberland is committed to sustainably managing our forests and fostering our conservation partnerships. As both a forest owner and a leading mass timber building developer, Jamestown knows firsthand that strong markets for forest products – like mass timber buildings – helps drive investment in productive forests and supports species conservation. Voluntary coordination between private timberland owners and the USFWS through the Wildlife Conservation Initiative is having a meaningful impact on our environment at scale, and together, we can advance conservation to the benefit of species across the country that depend on our healthy and sustainably managed working forests.”

– Troy Harris, Managing Director Timberland, Jamestown


“The Langdale Company has been practicing sustainable forestry on the same land, in South Georgia, for over a century. Through multiple generations and several timber rotations, we have established many impactful partnerships with state agencies, universities, research groups, and the USFWS. The Langdale Company is a proud supporter and active participant in several collaborative efforts, including NAFO’s Wildlife Conservation Initiative (WCI) and complementary local efforts like the Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners (GOAL). We know from experience that large, consequential decisions, must be guided by a shared commitment to science-based, data-driven effort. As we look to the next 100 years of practicing forestry, The Langdale Company’s stewardship and collaborative conservation efforts, like the WCI, will be the key to making real progress on species conservation”

– Jim Langdale, Executive Vice President of Operations, The Langdale Company


“Wildlife conservation runs deep in Lone Rock Resource’s 70-year history and we are proud to support the Wildlife Conservation Initiative’s (WCI) partnership with USFWS and working forests.  Lone Rock believes the ecosystem services that working forest provide are crucial to the future recovery and continued success of wildlife species and have demonstrated this through active participation in numerous wildlife working groups, research collaboratives, enhancement projects, and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurance for the Fisher.  We look forward to the enduring legacy that this partnership will provide.”

– Toby Luther, President and CEO, Lone Rock Resources


“We are honored to participate in the Wildlife Conservation Initiative and believe that collaborative commitments between USFWS, working forests, and our conservation partners can achieve impactful results. Voluntary conservation measures and the open sharing of data allow decision makers access to powerful tools that highlight the value of working forests and support conservation of a variety of species.”

– Tom Sarno, Global Head of Timberland Investments, Manulife Investment Management


“For decades, as we manage our timberland, best management practices and modern forestry treatments have provided and enhanced wildlife habitat for many species. Research collaboration through this initiative has fostered better understanding and the ability to now make a larger scale impact to the conservation of species that claim our forests as home. The recent USFWS decision on the gopher tortoise status is a good example of successful collaboration.”

– Terrell Winstead, President, Molpus Woodlands Group


“A critical component of Port Blakely’s efforts to protect the threatened and endangered species that call our forests home has been our partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other state and federal agencies, and our community stakeholders. With almost 25 years of our own experience with successful habitat conservation plans and safe harbor agreements in the Pacific Northwest, we are excited to see the Wildlife Conservation Initiative gaining momentum and look forward to seeing the positive impact we can have on the biodiversity of our nation’s forestlands by working together.”

–  René Ancinas, Chairman & CEO, Port Blakely


“Collaboration with Federal and State partners on wildlife conservation initiatives is a valuable approach to conserving biodiversity on our timberlands. Our commitment to certified sustainable timberland management provides habitat for a wide range of species, including rare and at-risk species, and participation in research drives continuous improvement of our practices. For example, we established Mica Creek Experimental Watershed in Idaho over 25 years ago to examine the effects of timber harvesting on streams, water, and fish. The study has since been expanded to examine harvest systems and impacts on aquatic insects, tailed frogs, and to monitor stream hydrology on our changing planet.”

– Eric J. Cremers, President and Chief Executive Officer, PotlatchDeltic


“Working forests are the answer to many of the challenges our planet and people face today. Sustainable forest management and environmental stewardship work together to provide thousands of products that people use every day as well as clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, and high-wage rural jobs. The Wildlife Conservation Initiative we’re proud to support demonstrates our long-term commitment to the stewardship of our working forests.”

– David Nunes, President and CEO, Rayonier


“As a founding member of the Wildlife Conservation Initiative (WCI), Resource Management Service, LLC (RMS) is proud of this collaborative partnership that demonstrates the significant contributions of privately owned forests for conserving at-risk and listed species while those forests are achieving other economic and societal ownership objectives. More importantly, working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, state wildlife agencies, NCASI, Inc., and other WCI partners, the WCI has built a firm foundation for mutual trust, open communication, and an enduring cultural change that values private working forests as integral to species conservation.”

– Alex Hinson, President and CEO, Resource Management Service, LLC


“Roseburg is pleased to join with USFWS and our industry partners to support wildlife and the habitats in which they live through the Wildlife Conservation Initiative. Roseburg has a long history of sustainable forest management that supports a wide breadth of wildlife while providing renewable wood products. This long-term stewardship of our forests has included various wildlife research projects such as the landmark Paired Watershed Studies for which we contributed the Hinkle Creek research area in Oregon to examine how fish and stream-dependent species respond to modern forest practices. We look forward to working in partnership with USFWS to ensure that our working forests continue to sustain healthy wildlife habitats.”

– Grady Mulbery, President and CEO, Roseburg Forest Products


“Collaborative conservation based on science reflects a shared understanding that wildlife conservation and sustainable forestry management go hand in hand. SPI has several wildlife conservation initiatives that provide quality habitat for spotted owl, salmon & steelhead, marbled murrelet, Pacific fisher and other wildlife species. These provide SPI with the needed assurance to continue investing in our operations in a manner that provides for these species while also protecting jobs, renewable forest products, recreation, clean water, and improved air quality.”

– Mark Emmerson, CEO, Sierra Pacific Industries


“As a leading provider of timberland investment management services, Timberland Investment Resources, LLC (“TIR”) manages our clients’ working forests sustainably and with a focus on environmental stewardship.  We are strong supporters of both the Wildlife Conservation Initiative and of the new Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) because they reflect both how we operate our clients’ forests and conduct business.  The MOU sets a new and higher standard for cooperation between private forest owners and the USFWS – a standard that will help catalyze collaborative conservation as one of our most important and effective tools for protecting at-risk species and their habitats.”

– Mark Seaman, Founder and CEO, Timberland Investment Resources, LLC


“Westervelt is proud to be an early adopter of the Wildlife Conservation Initiative efforts between NAFO, USWFS, and NCASI. This formal MOU is a positive step affirming the collaborative approach of wildlife conservation on private working forests, and it will strengthen opportunities for increased understanding of how wildlife species use our forests. We have consistently incorporated wildlife habitat considerations within our forest management planning and operations, and view it as an integral part of being stewards of the land.”

– Brian Luoma, President and CEO, The Westervelt Company


“Weyerhaeuser has a long history of partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a wide range of conservation efforts, beginning in 1995 with our Millicoma Tree Farm Habitat Conservation Plan. Working forests support a high level of biodiversity and critical wildlife habitat, and we look forward to collaborating with the USFWS on future projects that provide important protections for vulnerable species and long-term certainty for our operations.”

– Devin W. Stockfish, President and CEO, Weyerhaeuser

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