Michael Catanialast updated: May 2007

Given the challenges of preserving open space and farmland in New Jersey, it is obvious that the continued success of open space and farmland preservation in New Jersey over the next decade will depend on the collective ability of the conservation community to:

  1. maintain and expand available sources of state and local public funds for preservation efforts
  2. substantially expand contributions from the private sector, particularly from private foundations, corporations and individuals who have not previously been engaged in this effort
  3. create mechanisms that promote less competition and greater collaboration, use of partnerships, and sharing of experiences and skills
  4. increase the capacity of the conservation community, at both the level of individual organizations and as a community as a whole, to work more effectively and to undertake more preservation work with greater leverage
  5. identify and utilize new funding mechanisms and techniques to expand the overall resources which are available to the conservation community to achieve its ambitious goals.

Conservation Resources Inc. (CRI) was created to help insure that the conservation community succeeds in these five areas.

CRI will support, complement, and supplement, rather than duplicate, the efforts of the various private and public conservation agencies already established in New Jersey. CRI will not be in the business of acquiring land or conservation easements itself – but we very much are in the business of providing financial and technical assistance so that other conservation organizations can acquire, better manage and restore additional acres of land.

Specifically, CRI will:

  • assist these agencies in the development of additional expertise and institutional capacity
  • promote the continuation and expansion of partnerships, collaboration and sharing of skills and techniques among these same organizations
  • provide a mechanism to significantly increase and share the private and public resources available to preserve adequate natural areas, farmland, critical habitats, watershed lands, stream corridors, greenways, trails, and parks for passive and active recreation in all parts of the New Jersey.
How We Can Help
Non-profit Conservation Organizations
CRI can help land trusts, watershed associations, community organizations, and other non-profit conservation organizations by providing financial and technical assistance for their land acquisition, stewardship and restoration projects, and for related capital projects such as nature centers, visitor centers, trails, and master plans for capital projects.  Through our geographic funds, we will seek to raise new and increased sources of private dollars for distribution to non-profit organizations throughout the Garden State.
We can also help non-profit conservation organizations find public and private partners for their projects, and we can help facilitate the establishment and operations of these partnerships.  CRI will also serve as a clearinghouse to refer landowners who wish to donate land or conservation easements to an appropriate non-profit conservation organization, or to an appropriate public conservation agency, as well put landowners who wish to sell their land or interests in their land in touch with an appropriate public or private group.
CRI will also play a leadership role in seeking to maintain and expand
the federal, state, and local funding available for land acquisition, stewardship and restoration projects.
Government Agencies 
CRI can help governmental organizations at all levels in a variety of ways. First, we can provide direct consulting services in the areas of land acquisition strategies, techniques and negotiations; conservation planning and regional land use matters; and assistance with establishing partnerships with non-profit conservation groups.   We can also identify exemplary land acquisition, stewardship and restoration projects being undertaken by non-profit organizations as candidates for potential funding from regulatory settlements, including penalty settlements, natural resource damage claim settlements, supplemental environmental projects, or in connection with mitigation projects required by permit conditions.  CRI can also serve as a facilitator or consultant for complex public/private partnerships, or for innovative projects involving carbon sequestration, mitigation, habitat conservation plans, etc.
Individuals and Landowners
CRI’s geographic funds are intended to help individuals who have a strong interest in land conservation by identifying exemplary, high leverage projects which they can support.  By pre-screening both proposed projects and sponsoring organizations, and by offering both financial and technical assistance to those organizations and projects, CRI can help individuals who want to support land conservation take the guess work out of their philanthropy.  We can also help you make more effective charitable contributions without having to review numerous applications. 
We can also help individuals and landowners and their legal and financial advisors identify and evaluate the best options for preserving family lands.  In addition, we can help identify and select an appropriate non-profit conservation group or public agency to receive donations of land or conservation easements, as well as help landowners identify public or private conservation organizations which may be willing to purchase family lands or easements in those lands.     
CRI is available to serve as a consultant to foundations of any size which desire expert assistance in the review and evaluation of applications for conservation-related projects, to help review or establish criteria for high leverage grant-making, to help establish a new or revised focus area for environmental grant-making, or to proactively identify specific projects for which applications might be invited.
With respect to small foundations or family foundations, CRI can serve as consultant program staff on an as-needed basis, or as advisors to trustees, in order to minimize administrative costs and to help maximize the leverage and effectiveness which can result from the grant-making efforts of these philanthropic organizations.
CRI can also help design and administer re-granting programs or small grants programs for conservation purposes for those foundations which desire to allocate some portion of their grant-making for these purposes.
CRI can provide assistance to senior corporate managers responsible for corporate philanthropy by identifying specific exemplary opportunities to support land acquisition, stewardship and restoration projects within those communities which are of primary interest to the corporation.  Corporate support of these projects can occur through contributions to our geographic funds.   In addition, CRI can help design and administer other corporate philanthropic efforts, including small grant programs and re-granting programs for those corporate foundations which prefer not to engage in retail grant-making.  We can also help identify specific criteria and/or organizations which are particularly deserving of corporate support as a means of achieving the strategic purposes of specific corporations. 
In addition, the exemplary projects featured in CRI’s geographic funds can also provide corporate managers with opportunities to resolve outstanding regulatory or enforcement issues with federal, state and local regulatory agencies, including situations involving penalty settlements; natural resource damage claim settlements; supplemental environmental projects; compliance with permit conditions, including mitigation and/or restoration requirements; and innovative environmental projects such as carbon sequestration projects and habitat conservation plans.  Upon request, CRI can also establish a custom geographic fund and identify specific projects as necessary to comply with the specific geographic or ecological requirements of a proposed settlement, permit, or innovative project.  CRI’s services as a facilitator or consultant for a variety of public/private partnerships and/or innovative environmental projects may also be of assistance to corporate managers.   


Contact Michael Catania

Contact Michael Catania

Conservation Resources Inc.
100 North Road, Suite Two
P.O. Box 594
Chester, New Jersey  07930
Phone: (908) 879-7942
Fax: (908) 879-7943


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • New Jersey

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator