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Sentinel Landscapes

Supporting Conservation Finance at a Landscape Level

CFN has undertaken a new initiative to bring conservation finance technical assistance to the Sentinel Landscapes. The Sentinel Landscapes partnership brings the Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Department of the Interior (DOI) together with a coalition of other federal agencies, state agencies, local and private partners to coordinate permanent protection and sustainable management practices in priority landscapes. Partners vary by landscape but can include land trusts and other NGOs, city government, conservation districts, zoos, hunting associations, farmers and ranchers, and universities working towards conservation goals decided on by the partnership.

Sentinel Landscapes were first envisioned and enabled by the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program. Their effort was motivated by a core belief that cross-agency collaboration in partnership with local stakeholders would yield greater, most cost-effective conservation outcomes for all involved.

CFN’s Work with Sentinel Landscapes

CFN created the below resources to help Sentinel Landscape partners think creatively on how they can achieve their land conservation goals by tapping into new partnerships and sources of financing. We have also aggregated relevant resources from our close partners. Some of these resources cover strategies, case studies, and new opportunities for conservation finance that are applicable in all landscapes – not those exclusively with a defense interest. CFN will continue to update this page with further resources and opportunities related to or created through this program work.

For more information on this program, please contact CFN Project & Operations Coordinator Julia Mettler-Grove.

CFN Original Resources

Conservation Finance in Sentinel Landscapes: A Fireside Chat with EPIC

What opportunities for conservation finance exist at the intersections of national defense and working lands conservation? Tim Male, the Executive Director of the Environmental Policy Innovation Center, explores opportunities for increased funding and financing alongside recommendations and key takeaways from EPIC's recent report, The Conservation of Defense.

This is a recording of a live webinar produced with the support of the Department of Defense's Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program through the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.


Conservation Finance Action

Listen to conservation leaders from across the country share their experiences and explorations in conservation finance. This webinar brings you four first-hand accounts of innovative projects and partnerships in the areas of water quality and management, carbon markets, and more. Spencer Meyer from Highstead Foundation talks about the Sebago Clean Waters coalition, Erik Glenn shares the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust’s perspective on soil carbon opportunities, Mark Lambert from Quantified Ventures explains how the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund pays farmers for better management practices, and Sarah Heard from The Nature Conservancy shares the innovation around water and habitat ongoing in California.

This webinar was brought to you with support from the Department of Defense's Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program through the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. Aired live November 9, 2020 to project partners in Avon Park Air Force Range Sentinel Landscape in Florida.


Beyond Easements: Broader Approaches for Greater Conservation Outcomes

The goal of this primer is to help practitioners think creatively on how they can finance land conservation and restoration beyond simple land protection. This article discusses strategies outside of traditional land conservation easement and acquisition models and the conservation goals they support.

Conservation Finance 101

A two-part webinar on the basics of conservation finance. Reggie Hall with The Conservation Fund and Leigh Whelpton with CFN discuss known sources of conservation funding and financing along with innovative strategies for blending financing. Case studies feature projects that have successfully and creatively used REPI funding.

Increased Flexibility Comes to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

A Q&A with Kari Cohen, branch chief at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, about the Alternative Funding Arrangement (AFA) provision of their Regional Conservation Partnership Program. This conversation highlights how increased flexibility provided by the AFA can allow partners to take the lead in crafting partnerships and project financing structures.

CFN interviews Nathalie Woolworth, the conservation finance program manager at the United States Forest Service (USFS), about their Innovative Finance for National Forests grant program. This Q&A discusses the development of conservation finance programs at USFS and the opportunity to deploy investor-driven capital in the National Forest system.

Partner Resources

Conservation of Defense

This report, produced by the Environmental Policy and Innovation Center (EPIC), discusses the challenges and opportunities of aligning conservation goals with military mission. EPIC presents five strategic recommendations that conservation practitioners can take in the next ten years and highlights what work has already been done with DoD as a key partner, in particular, the Sentinel Landscapes program.

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<p><a href="">SENTINEL LANDSCAPES | Documentary Short | US Dept. of Defense + US Dept. of Agriculture + US Dept. of the Interior</a> from <a href="">Grizzly Creek Films</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p>

This documentary introduces the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership and its work to support conservation across boundaries. Partners share success stories and opportunities for achieving conservation outcomes across military, private, and public lands.