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Operating Principles

These are the principles that define Conservation Without Conflict’s collaborative work and that bind coalition members together in a common purpose. Coalition members have diverse purposes, goals, and opinions, but they coalesce around the vision, mission, and operating principles of the Coalition. Coalition members agree to support and implement the following principles within their own organizations and in their work with other partners.


 

This coalition supports the transformative change toward voluntary collaboration that is emerging in the way we achieve wildlife conservation on working lands. An enduring culture change is necessary to establish trust and make voluntary collaboration the preferred approach that government, landowners, industry, conservation groups, and society use to balance the goals of conserving wildlife and keeping working lands working.


 

Voluntary collaboration promotes a fundamental balance of mutual gain across all partners, leading to effective wildlife conservation on the ground while respecting the needs of landowners and communities. Regulatory approaches are sometimes necessary and appropriate, but voluntary and collaborative tools should be the preferred modes for achieving wildlife conservation on working lands.


 

Coalition members work in partnership to achieve shared goals and to build enduring trust among those that have historically worked in silos, or even in conflict with one another.


 

We represent a broad range of groups, united in our common conservation interests and goals, a sense of good stewardship, our support for working lands, and our collective desire to pass our lands, wildlife, and the natural world on to successive generations. The coalition is deeply committed to welcoming and incorporating the perspectives and engagement of all entities, groups, and individuals, including underserved and underrepresented interests. We believe that the more diverse our coalition becomes, the more progress we will make toward finding and implementing sustainable, scalable, and equitable solutions. Working lands are those that provide goods and services for society. Our broad definition of “working lands” encompasses landscapes from forests, farms, and ranches to infrastructure corridors, military installations, public lands, tribal lands, urban landscapes, and more.


 

Our work is rooted in sound, data-driven science, citizen science, and local and traditional knowledge and experience, providing concrete outcomes for wildlife and habitats while meeting the socioeconomic and cultural needs of landowners, managers, and communities. Existing tools should be used and incentivized more broadly, and innovative tools should be developed to generate shared solutions to conservation challenges on working lands.


 

Landowners and land managers of working landscapes support healthy ecosystems that provide value back to people and communities, all while trying to achieve and maintain economic viability. These landowners and managers should be acknowledged for the socioeconomic, cultural, and ecological benefits they provide to America and its wildlife. Incentivizing conservation, minimizing regulatory and economic liabilities, and maximizing long-term predictability through assurances and regulatory certainty allows landowners and managers to successfully balance competing goals while keeping working lands working.


 

To achieve the scale required to meet today’s challenges, this coalition combines and coordinates complementary efforts to achieve enduring conservation at scale across the nation. Voluntary and collaborative conservation that keeps working lands working will lead to more sustainable and durable outcomes than a narrow reliance on regulatory approaches alone.


 

Creative exploration of the flexibilities within the existing framework of the Endangered Species Act and other statutes and programs will expand opportunities for voluntary collaboration to conserve listed, at-risk, and common wildlife species on working lands.