Round River Conservation Studies is an ecological research and education organization whose goal is the formulation 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.
The whole concept of ‘wild’ was decidedly European, one not shared by the original inhabitants of this continent. What we called ‘wilderness’ was to the Indian a homeland, ‘abiding loveliness’ in Salish or Piegan. The land was not something to be feared or conquered, and ‘wildlife’ were neither wild nor alien; they were relatives. — Doug Peacock, Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness
Round River began in 1991 out of a shared love for wildness. Over the years, we have learned the importance of collaborating with local people with strong, enduring land ethics and the necessity of making long-term commitments to the land and people where we work.
A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. — Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac with Essays on Conservation from Round River
We take our name from Aldo Leopold’s instructive essay Round River, along with the idea that ecological study enriches one’s personal land ethic. From the outset, we recognized the importance of sharing our work with young adults. Round River Student Programs are field-based, authentic experiences where students become part of our efforts working alongside our conservation biologists and local community partners.
Today, thanks to the perseverance of our supporters and partners, we are witnessing success. As a small organization we are proud of our effectiveness, assisting with the creation of recognized conservation plans exceeding 100 million acres and over 10 million acres of designated protection. 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 on-going conservation decisions.
Below is a brief outline of our recent activities.