On June 18th-22nd, 2018., the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming hosted the annual Conservation Finance Boot Camp at Colorado State University. Now in its 12th year, this is the first time the Boot Camp has been been offered in the western US, having been hosted in previous years at Yale University and Duke University.
Developed and presented by the Conservation Finance Network , the Boot Camp is a multi-day intensive training course to help mid-career professionals utilize innovative and effective financing strategies for land and resource conservation, restoration, and stewardship. The Boot Camp offers in-depth information on trends and opportunities in public funding, private investment capital, bridge financing and loans, gifts and grants, income from the land, and monetized ecosystem services. There is a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on tools and lessons from relevant case studies. Attendees are highly encouraged to workshop projects from their own work during the course to receive consultation from peers and presenters.
The 2018 Boot Camp accepted 33 applicants representing 19 states plus one international participant from Chile! Building upon past Boot Camp content and regionally relevant topics, 14 presenters from around the country covered topics including principles of finance, project budgeting, ecosystem service markets, public funding, water in the west, federal-private partnerships, borrowing money, finance investing and international conservation finance. Examples from Colorado included forest fire mitigation and watershed management, rangeland project financing, and species banking. Faculty and staff from CSU, UWYO and Larimer County that presented at the course were Heather Knight – CSU Center for Collaborative Conservation, Drew Bennett – Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, Paul Hudnut – CSU College of Business, Andy Seidl – CSU College of Agriculture, Erica Fleishman – CEMML, Robin Reid – CSU Center for Collaborative Conservation, Kerri Rollins – Larimer Country Extension Office, and Heather Schinkel – Peaks to People.
Attendees of all Boot Camps form a peer network of committed conservation professionals working on similar issues across the nation. The alumni network includes over 400 participants since 2007. Past attendees include U.S. and international conservationists, foundation leaders, land trust board members, executive directors, private investors, business executives, legal counselors, and academics. Networking among attendees and presenters is built in throughout the week to foster long-term professional relationships.
The next Boot Camp will be held at Portland State University in June 2019. After that the Boot Camp will be on a four year rotation between Yale University, Duke University, Colorado State University and Portland State University. So watch for the Boot Camp returning in 2023 !!!