What is a Regional Conservation Partnership?

Regional Conservation Partnerships (RCPs) are informal public-private networks of people who, by working together as active guardians of the landscape across town lines, achieve conservation successes far beyond what could be accomplished alone.  Their long-term vision of cross-boundary conservation protects our rights to clean water, fresh air, and safe food, and preserves for all of us lasting access to the intricate beauty of the natural world.

In the 1990’s, only four RCPs existed in New England.  Now they have multiplied tenfold to number nearly 40 and their work encompasses more than 55% of the forested landscape in the region.  An RCP allows members to weave together their agendas and activities, identify common interests and goals, and build trust through shared strategies, resulting in an accelerated pace of conservation over a wider area.

The rapid growth of RCPs in New England is Yankee ingenuity at its best. In a regional landscape characterized by a patchwork of small privately-owned parcels of land, RCPs provide a much-needed platform for collaboration across boundaries to preserve the character and integrity of New England’s landscape in the face of mounting development pressure.

To achieve this regional goal, the Wildlands and Woodlands Vision, put forward in 2005 and again in 2010, calls for 70% of New England to be permanently protected from development by 2060. This vision inspires the Fairfield County Regional Conservation Partnership, as well as all New England RCPs, to preserve our shared environment for generations to come.

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