Round River Conservation Studies


Mission Statement

Round River Conservation Studies is an ecological research and education orgaization whose goal is the forumlation and implementation of conservation strategies that conserve and restore wildness. We recognize that flourishing wildlife, wildness and wild places are important in and of themselves and that conservation, to be sustainable, must be tied to the communities most dependent upon these landscapes.


Round River is dedicated to the conservation of vast wild landscapes, their inherent wildness and the ecological complexity that sustains them and inspires us. Achieving successful large-scale long lasting conservation is very complex, requiring the support of strong local partners. Round River's approach to developing partnerships is rooted in the belief that local people and indigenous communities in particular can be the strongest and most eloquent stewards of the land. Protecting and maintaining vast wild places requires an enduring commitement to indigenous and aboriginal people, as they inhabit much of the world's remaining big wild places.
Listening to and working with local people enables us to establish a framework of mutual trust and respect, and the resulting plans balance environmental considerations with community concerns regarding social, cultural, and economic factors. It is our fervent belief that when the protection and maintenance of wild places is situated in this broad and multidimensional framework, the chances of success are greatly enhanced. We also continue our partnerships long after the plans are completed - helping implement and monitor success of our collaborative efforts and continuing to gather critical information to inform ongoing conservation decisions.
Thanks to the perseverance of our supporters and partners, we are witnessing success. As a small organization established in 1991, we are proud of our effectiveness, assisting with the creation of recognized conservation plans exceeding 100 million acres and over 12.5 million acres of designated protection.

Program Details

Taku River Salmon (British Columbia, Canada)
The Taku River Tlingit First Nation, through the formal British Columbia government designations, has conserved much of the critical spawning and migration habitat for the 5 species of wild salmon that depend upon the Taku River. The Taku River Tlingit have long advocated for moving beyond outdated maximizing harvest approaches under a single system-wide escapement to management that is based on ecosystem resilience and sustainability. The Tlingit understand the Taku’s great multitude of individual salmon runs provides the foundation for its diversity and adaptability. To perpetuate local leadership and to best prepare for climate-induced threats, the management of the Taku system must meaningfully incorporate traditional knowledge with the best of western science. Round River is assisting the Tlingit in synthesizing traditional knowledge and western science information to provide the foundation for managing Taku River salmon for cultural and ecological resiliency. This work will build among the Taku River Tlingit the technical and leadership capacity and the government support to propose, justify, detail and effectively negotiate for international management models for sockeye and Chinook populations.Education Programs
Pascua River Protected Area (Patagonia, Chile)
The Southern Patagonian Ice Field and surrounding area is one of the largest near-pristine areas remaining in South America, and perhaps the wildest part of Patagonia. It is the global stronghold of the endangered huemul deer and the traditional homeland of the Kawésqar and Aonikenk peoples. The Pascua River watershed, situated on the northeastern flank of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, is its only portion that lacks protection of any kind. As such, this area faces growing threats, namely roads, mining, and dams. It is thanks to the Sin Represas (“Without Dams”) movement of a decade ago that the Pascua still flows free today. We are proposing to create a 225,000 acre protected area in the Pascua River watershed – the Bien Nacional Protegido (BNP) Río Pascua - in coordination with local communities. We continue to develop broad partner support for this initiative through the Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF) and Chilean Military logistical support and political assistance from the Ministerio de Bienes Nacionales.
Botswana Community and Conservation Initiative (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
The purpose of the Botswana Community and Conservation Initiative (BCCI) is to provide continued support for elevating land use planning and practices, sustainable livelihoods for communities, landscape connectivity, wildlife populations, conservation-based economic opportunities, and climate change resilience for Northern Botswana. The BCCI recognizes that the very ecological viability of Northern Botswana, the wellbeing of its surrounding communities, and the health of its principal economic driver, wildlife based tourism, are inextricably linked. As a collective community voice, the BCCI is a means to secure community, tourism, and government relations while providing for land-use reform, developing communities, and landscape connections producing greater wildlife numbers. Round River is helping to scecure long-term philanthropic funding that can, when deployed strategically and in a manner that complements existing programs, play a vital role in providing consistent support for both development and conservation.
Education Programs
The focus of Round River’s Environmental Study Abroad Programs is to encourage and expand the commitments, minds and spirits of future conservationists by cultivating an active, informed and inspired constituency of young scholars as conservation scientists, artists, and advocates by providing innovative conservation education and leadership training. Round River’s conservation projects in Africa, Asia, South America, Central America and North America involve small groups of students in wildlife, cultural and exploratory research projects that are finding and implementing solutions to real sustainability and environmental issues. Our students are vital contributors to the conservation initiatives of Round River and our local partners. They also allow us to engage in environmental education activities with youth in local communities to inspire and be inspired by the world’s next generation of conservation leaders.
Primary Issue
Secondary Issue
Climate Change
925 E 900 S Suite 207
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
United States
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