Protecting nature. Supporting agriculture. Building organizations.
WCA’s Jim Elias has worked in land conservation for nearly 20 years. He has started and led land trusts and conservation programs in Montana, California and Nevada, serving as the Executive Director of the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Director of the Sierra Business Council’s Working Landscapes Initiative, American Land Conservancy’s Chief Operating Officer and Great Basin Program Director. Jim has consulted to large organizations, including the Trust for Public Land; small start-ups like Ranch Open Space of Nevada and the Gallatin County Open Lands Board (MT); and state and federal resource agencies.
Jim has completed more than 30 conservation transactions, ranging from 1/4–mile trail easements, to municipal parkland purchases, to over 20,000 acres of conservation easements. Most easement projects have been on working farms and ranches, requiring that agreements meet both ecological and agricultural objectives. Some projects have been financed through state, federal or private grants; others have produced income or estate tax benefits. Learn More.
Tom Hicks is a California attorney specializing in water rights and instream water transfers, among other real property matters. Learn more.
Patrick Huber, PhD is a Conservation Scientist in the Department of Environmental Design at the University of CA, Davis. He uses technical tools and analyses to link science and policy for protecting and restoring landscapes. Learn more.
Jim Thorne, PhD is a Research Scientist at the University of CA, Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. He has been involved in the study and planning of natural resources for over 20 years and has vast experience throughout California. Learn more.
What We Do
Land conservation has evolved in recent years, but the underlying purpose remains the same: Protect our natural and agricultural heritage for future generations. Jim Elias and his Associates have been leaders in this effort. Their experience guides both their day-to-day work and how they envision the next generation of conservation.
WCA was formed to serve land trusts, government agencies, community organizations and private landowners. WCA can evaluate and refine your conservation objectives, design a road map to success, and provide the technical resources and funding to get you there. Learn More.
Western Conservation Associates, LLC is dedicated to the conservation of land and water.