Western Conservation


Since 1969, the Hewlett Foundation has been dedicated to preserving the vast open spaces of the West as unspoiled landscapes where wildlife thrives, communities flourish, and ranchers maintain their history of stewardship.

Over the decades, mining, drilling, clear-cutting and expanding population have taken a harsh toll on the natural beauty, critical water sources and local habitats. Today, we makes a wide range of grants to protect the extraordinary natural resources of the Western United States and Canada, and back efforts to build broad public support and empower citizens who care about the conservation of land, water and air in the West.



Conserve 300 million acres by 2035. We fund organizations that work to protect and connect roadless areas and wildlife habitat, and ensure that public and private lands are managed effectively to support both conservation and sustainable human use.


Improve 8,000 river miles by 2035. Water is the most sought-after and fought-over resource in the West. We make grants to ensure that water resources are used responsibly and support organizations that work to increase the flow of water in rivers throughout the West and preserve surrounding riverbanks.


Reduce the development of fossil fuels on 85 million acres by 2035. We support organizations that work on promoting clean fuel extraction and distribution, and increasing renewable energy sources.

Ideas + Practice


Twenty years ago, the timber industry, the ranching community, and the conservation community weren't interested in talking about how to achieve mutual goals... It's taken some pretty brave souls to sit down and say, ‘Do you want to talk?’ This is the way many of the intransigent issues that face us in the West – how to reconcile wildlands protection with timber harvesting and with ranching, and a host of other things – will get solved.

Michael Scott, Acting Program Director

Our Grantmaking

Open Space Institute
for the Outdoors America Campaign
Western Rivers Conservancy
for the Southern California Warm-Water Rivers Project
American Rivers
for the Hydropower Reform Coalition

Our Team

Michael Scott
Michael Scott 
Acting Program Director
Liz Judge
Liz Judge 
Communications Officer
Cristina Kinney 
Program Associate
Angela Whitney 
Program Fellow

Learn More

Bill and Flora Hewlett cared deeply about the environment and cherished the mountains, meadows, forests and coastlines of California and the American West. Bill was an amateur photographer of wildflowers, an accomplished botanist, and a lifelong climber, hiker, fisherman and hunter.

Their spirit and regard for the well-being of nature and communities still guides the Hewlett Foundation’s western conservation strategy and its grantmaking. We support organizations that are conserving important lands in the West, improving river flows, and minimizing the environmental impact of fossil energy development.

So far in 2016, our grantees have protected or improved 94 million acres and 630 river miles. Working with federal agencies and the states, grantees helped improve 69 million acres of sage grouse habitat across eight Western states. They advocated successfully for federal monument designations to protect five areas in California and Nevada, totaling three million acres. They achieved plans to manage off-road vehicle travel on 11 million acres of sensitive public lands and critical wildlife habitat, as well as a landmark agreement to remove four dams on the Klamath River in the West. This is the type of conservation success that provides us hope for the health of the North American West.

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