Wyoming Philanthropist Commits $1 Billion To Conservation

Nov 6, 2018

In a New York Times Op-Ed, the philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss announced he’s committing $1 billion to land and ocean conservation and launching the Wyss Campaign for Nature.

Wyss lives in Wilson, Wyoming and wants to see the money help the United Nations achieve one of its goals: to conserve 30 percent of the earth by 2030.

Greg Zimmerman, senior fellow of the Wyss Campaign for Nature, said every dollar hasn’t been planned out yet.

“Nobody wants to spend money to protect an area of land that's just going to be protected for a few years and then when there's a political shift somewhere, the place is no longer protected,” said Zimmerman.

The goal is to fund projects that have local support so it’s more likely to be protected over the long term.

Zimmerman said Wyss was inspired by public lands in Wyoming and the American West.  

“When [Wyss] came out to the states for college, he was really impressed by the access to public lands across the west and the fact that public lands are protected for all Americans not just the wealthy few,” said Zimmerman.

The money will also fund science conservation measures and raise awareness campaigns.