ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program
The ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program is a public-private partnership focused on improving habitat quality and landscape connectivity in ways that facilitate migrations of avian and terrestrial species, with an emphasis on working lands within focal geographies. The program awards grants to help reduce barriers to migration, restore priority habitats and improve conservation practices on working lands.
Since 2005, the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation Program has awarded 105 grants worth more than $12.6 million to conservation groups in 13 states and five countries. Grantees matched this funding with an additional $27.5 million, for a total conservation investment of $40.1 million. As a result of these investments, more than 315,000 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat have been conserved, restored or enhanced.
Current funding priorities for this program include the following strategies:
- Remove or modify migration barriers: remove or modify fences and other impediments to facilitate wildlife passage; construct or improve wildlife passage structures; implement innovative wildlife habitat connectivity techniques
- Restore grasslands, sagelands and wetlands: conduct restoration activities to expand or improve patch size and connectivity; remove/modify structures or remove encroaching woody vegetation that negatively impact grassland-nesting birds; restore wetland hydroperiods more beneficial to resident and migrating wildlife
- Protect key habitats along migratory routes: Support fee title acquisitions or conservation easements for parcels with priority migration bottlenecks, other important habitat linkage/connectivity functions, or important breeding, wintering or stopover sites
- Provide technical assistance on working lands: Help working land managers/producers develop management plans, implement conservation practices, and enroll in Farm Bill programs to improve working lands function and enhance migration pathways across an array of land ownership