BOZEMAN, MT—Poised to build on its success as the national leader in market solutions for conservation, the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) today launched a new Conservation Law and Policy Center in conjunction with a series of actions to advance key policy reforms. As a fully integrated extension of PERC, the center will expand PERC’s impact and establish a direct pipeline from research and idea generation to legal and policy reform.
Founded in 1980 as a nonprofit research institute, PERC is dedicated to advancing conservation through markets, incentives, property rights, and partnerships. Today, many leading conservationists have embraced PERC’s ideas, yet significant policy challenges remain a barrier to greater success. Helping policymakers, elected officials, and the court system shape and interpret the nation’s laws and environmental policies is imperative to achieving PERC’s vision of a world with healthy land, water, and wildlife sustained by voluntary, cooperative conservation and incentives for environmental stewardship.
The center’s work consists of legal and policy research, legislative outreach and education, amicus briefs and agency comments, rulemaking petitions on behalf of PERC and others, assisting partners in putting market solutions into action, and engaging in strategic litigation to defend PERC’s policy wins. In conjunction with the launch, the center announced a series of new legal and policy reform efforts:
The center is under the direction of Jonathan Wood, PERC’s Vice President of Law and Policy. One of the nation’s leading attorneys advancing conservation through legal and policy reforms, Jonathan has litigated environmental cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, federal and state appellate courts, and trial courts across the country. Prior to joining PERC, Jonathan litigated cases concerning the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and other federal environmental laws at the Pacific Legal Foundation. He also led a successful effort to reform regulation of threatened species to better align the incentives of private landowners with the interests of rare species.
PERC’s Policy Director, Hannah Downey, leads policy strategy and government affairs efforts to implement key policy reforms based on PERC’s groundbreaking research. She has applied her passion for the outdoors to advance lasting conservation wins since joining PERC in 2015. Hannah has testified before Congress and works closely with policymakers at the federal and state levels on conservation issues, and her work has been featured in media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and The Hill. Working closely with Jonathan, Hannah is poised to grow PERC’s policy impact on pressing conservation issues.