Apply for WCLDP

We are recruiting for a diversity of applicants that share a commitment to addressing large-scale change for the future of western conservation.

Courses bring together individuals that are self-motivated; demonstrate initiative and a commitment to learning; and interested in or actively taking responsibility for collaborative western conservation. Individuals that apply will need to demonstrate that they are interested in affecting change in conservation and will need to have the support of their agency, organization, or partnership.

Eligibility: Individuals that are active in western conservation representing: state and federal government agencies, Tribal Nations or Tribal organizations, private lands, non-profit 501c3 organizations, industry, and academic affiliates. Candidates will be involved in conservation work in one or more of the following US states, Canadian provinces, or their territories: Alaska, Alberta, Arizona, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northwest Territories, Oklahoma, Oregon, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and Yukon.

Photo credit: Mark Smith

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.”

– Chris Hadfield

Your application must include the following:

1) Statement of Interest with signature

2) Personal Interest Essay

3) Support Letter from your Director, CEO, or Supervisor*

* Note, if you are a private landowner, please seek a letter of support from a partnership-based group in which you are a part to provide additional perspective on your leadership qualities.

We are seeking participants with…

  • Natural resource conservation work experience
  • The desire to have a greater influence on conservation outcomes
  • Interest in increasing their capacity to lead organizational or system change
  • Experience with collaboration or coalition-building
  • Support from your organization, or community of practice to participate

In this course, we use a range of methods and tools to provoke the group and individuals to learn beyond their current thinking and action. We believe that those with the most variation and flexibility are best able to respond to the complex situations they face (Fern and Johnstone, 2023). We practice creating courageous spaces to do adaptive work.

We are seeking applicants that tend towards having a provocative mindset and are:

  • hungry to connect to a deeper sense of purpose and to one another;
  • ready to be challenged and in pursuit of deeper leadership learning;
  • willing to explore a diversity of perspectives;
  • bumping up against the edge of their own competence, finding that their repertoire of practices and behaviors is inadequate given current pressures and expectations;
  • reflective and open to exploring divergent diagnoses about the challenges they are facing;
  • willing to explore their own blind spots and the ways they might also be a part of the problems they are trying to solve;
  • willing to experiment with novel approaches to make progress on and amplify their work;
  • able to tolerate some level of stress as patterns in the self and system are uncovered.

NOTE: We strongly recommend that anyone experiencing recent work or life events causing stress, grief, or anxiety contact the Program Manager to learn more about the course and types of experiences in the training to determine if this is for them or the right time to apply.

Western Conservation Leadership Development Program

Application Details

“Since completing the WLCDP Program, many of the concepts and foundations have remained ever-present in my day-to-day professional and personal life. Specifically, the concept of meeting people where they are has been a strong awakening, and is helping me better approach our Indigenous partners as we delve into new partnerships and landscapes. Real conversations can’t occur unless you are willing to come with an open mind and the ability to meet someone on their land, in their backyard. Stepping back and trying to understand how different people approach land values and land ethics is critical to developing trustworthy relationships and getting meaningful conservation on the land.”  

Josh White
Partners Biologist
Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program
Conservation Partnerships Branch
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office

Need More Information?

Contact Us

Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
Fill out this field

Stay Tuned for New Courses

WCLDP will be offering additional courses in the future that may be more applicable to conservationists in different stages of their careers and life-work with unique course designs.