Mission + Vision


Mission: The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) protects natural habitat and open space in the counties of the Chippewa River watershed.

The CWC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation group.

Geographic Focus: The focus is on Clare, Isabella, Gratiot, Mecosta and Montcalm counties. The downstream portion of the watershed in Midland County is served by Little Forks Conservancy.

Habitat Focus: The CWC will emphasize the following habitats.
1) Riparian lands especially along the Chippewa, Coldwater and Pine rivers.
2) Representative samples of other habitats; e.g. hardwood forests, bogs and marshes.
3) Large scale farmland and open-space protection.

Priority Lands: The CWC will focus its efforts in the following situations:
1) Parcels adjacent to already protected lands. (CWC and government agency)
2) Lands in high development categories; e.g. riparian lands.
3) Building farmland and open-space capacity

Vision: We will seek to be a highly-visible, broadly-supported, sustainable, and professionally managed organization capable of meeting the demand for land protection within our service area. We will pursue a balanced approach employing both Acquisitions and Conservation Easements.

As our service area continues to grow, we believe that there is a need to set aside critical lands to protect sensitive wildlife habitat and to preserve open space and scenic views for future generations. In many cases we help landowners with placement of voluntary conservation easements on their private lands to meet those goals. In other cases, we acquire fee simple ownership of critical parcels to preserve the land and to provide for public access where doing so meets the dual purposes of protecting the habitat while permitting the non-intrusive enjoyment of our natural resources.

We were incorporated in 1985 as the Isabella County Nature Conservancy and later changed our name to Chippewa Watershed Conservancy to reflect our expanded mission area. The CWC was an all-volunteer organization until we established a professional staff position in January 2004. We continue to operate with a volunteer Board of Directors and other volunteers who contribute many hours to the successes of the organization.

We are about 400 members strong and are always happy to welcome new members who believe that working to preserve a natural legacy for the future is an important and worthwhile activity. We invite you to help by becoming a member of CWC today.

The accreditation seal recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awards the seal to community institutions that demonstrate the ability to protect important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance established in 2006, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. For more information please visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy was awarded the seal by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2012.