RESOURCES LEGACY FUND helps donors engage in charitable and educational activities that promote conservation of the environment and natural resources, education, and healthy communities.
In 2017, RESOURCES LEGACY FUND (rlf) furthered its work with philanthropists to conserve land, water, and ocean resources while advancing healthy communities and social equity.select rlf accomplishments during 2017:dam removalin fall 2017, rlf's open rivers fund (orf) celebrated its first dam removals. Four dams in Wyoming, Oregon, and Alaska were deconstructed with the help of orf funding, opening 27 miles of creek and river to fish passage. Community benefits include reduced flood risk, elimination of liability of a decaying dam, recovery of native American cultural practices, modernized irrigation infrastructure for ranchers and farmers, improved boat passage, and richer habitat for salmon, lamprey, and other fisheries that provide food, sustain native culture, and attract anglers. Rlf launched orf in november 2016 with the support of the william and flora hewlett foundation. The 2017 projects included removal of the 70-foot-tall eklutna dam near Anchorage, which had caused more economic and ecological harm than good since it was decommissioned in the 1950s. Orf is now working on projects in 18 watersheds spanning Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Utah. Orf's portfolio of projects are diverse in size, benefits, partners, approaches, and prospects for success. Over time, the fund will test new models for reducing the significant financial, legal, and structural hurdles that have stalled progress in advancing some of these projects, and empower communities to address their environmental and infrastructure needs.public funding for parks and conservation in californiain october 2017, California governor edmund g. Brown jr. Signed into law a measure to put a $4.1 billion general obligation bond on the june 2018 statewide ballot to improve California's parks, waterways, wildlife habitat, drinking water systems, coastal access, climate change adaptation, and flood control. Rlf helped to shape the measure in the legislature so that it devotes a greater percentage of funding to disadvantaged communities than any such bond in California's history. The measure embodies rlf donor priorities of equity, access, climate change resilience, natural resources protection, and healthy communities. The measure acknowledges historical neglect of the needs of urban and diverse communities and establishes the legislature's strong intent that communities of color help determine how the bond dollars are spent. Making coastal visits more affordablein october 2017, governor brown signed a bill sponsored by rlf which aims to increase the inventory of affordable overnight accommodations on the coast so that more families can enjoy their state's natural wonders. The law requires the state coastal conservancy to work with the California coastal commission, the California department of parks and recreation (department), local park agencies, and stakeholders to establish a low-cost accommodations program along California's coast. Rlf engaged diverse stakeholders including the parks now coalition, the blue business council (a coalition of businesses that support ocean and coastal conservation), and a broad array of conservation organizations. These same stakeholders earlier had supported ucla's institute of the environment and sustainability in conducting an assessment of coastal access preferences and barriers, which found that rising costs impede coastal access.shaping parks for the futurewith seed funding from rlf donors, uc Berkeley launched a new inter-disciplinary institute for parks, people and biodiversity, housed in the college of natural resources. Jon jarvis, recently-retired national park service director, is the inaugural executive director of the institute. The institute brings together field managers and the academic community to tackle the most pressing issues facing parks and public lands. Its priorities include parks and public land management and social and environmental justice, with the goal of inspiring and empowering a new generation of scientists and advocates for conservation.sustainable fisheriesto promote sustainable fisheries worldwide, rlf provided support to overcome financial and technical obstacles to fishery and stakeholder participation in the marine stewardship council (msc) fishery certification program and to support fishery improvement project design. For example, rlf grants supported fishery assessments and fishery improvement project design in japan, morocco, brazil, ecuador, japan, micronesia, china, and mexico. In addition, to enable fisheries managed by the state of California to meet global standards for management and sustainability, rlf supported the testing of tools for analyzing the status and performance of California fisheries; development of more effective approaches to stakeholder engagement; and scoping an assessment of state fisheries data collection, management, and analysis programs. Rlf continued to provide support to a broad range of organizations to advance effective implementation of California's marine protected area network, improve ocean governance, and secure public funding for ocean conservation. Rlf also supported efforts to promote coastal access and coastal protection and address the anticipated impacts of sea level rise and to address land-based threats to water quality and improve watershed management.climate adaptationrlf engages economically and ethnically diverse communities as it fosters new funding and better policies for environmental protection and climate change adaptation. In one 2017 example of this work, rlf supported 14 environmental justice, public health, and climate equity organizations known as the climate justice working group as they crafted guiding principles for funding and policy decisions to help ensure that people already suffering socioeconomic, health, and environmental injustices do not bear the brunt of climate change impacts. Rlf also supported a survey of 800 California voters of color that found that 85 percent want state and local officials to adopt stronger policies to help their communities prepare for climate change.rlf also reached thousands of additional californians in five languages with a year-old website, healthyworldforall, that provides information on oceans, parks, plastics pollution, water, and climate change issues. Land conservation in mexicoin northwest mexico, rlf supported the protection of 6,733 strategically targeted acres, as well as grantee activities that implemented complementary organizational capacity, communication, and other strategies to advance conservation in the region.focused projects for donorsin 2016, rlf began serving as fiscal sponsor for donors on a portfolio of projects, most of which address conservation. The donor services projects supported by rlf in 2017 include efforts to frame the public debate on and correct the record about land conservation and responsible energy development in the American west; protect treasured western landscapes by ensuring responsible energy development on public lands; develop campaigns to gain permanent protection for natural lands in argentina; minimize the impacts of off-road vehicles on public lands across the west; and support various efforts and groups working on education, public health, mental health, community engagement and healthy communities, arts, gun safety, and civil rights.these donor services projects include the international boreal conservation campaign, which aims to protect at least one billion acres of intact boreal forest in canada by the end of 2022 through partnership with indigenous peoples. They also include support of the center for western priorities, which advances responsible conservation and energy practices in the west through original research, public debate, and active involvement with journalists and social media.