September 20, 2017
Albany, NY

CONTACT: Robin Stanton, The Nature Conservancy/Washington State, (425) 478-5641,

Today the state Governors who founded the U.S. Climate Alliance -- Govs. Jerry Brown of California, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Jay Inslee Washington -- affirmed their commitment to addressing the urgent threat of climate change, announcing the states of the U.S. Climate Alliance are on track to meet their share of the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement, that North Carolina is joining the Alliance, and that New York’s green bank for clean energy finance will go national.

The Nature Conservancy applauds these developments and the Alliance’s commitment to climate action and promoting U.S. leadership in fulfilling the promises of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

California Governor Jerry Brown, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, Former Secretary of State John Kerry and Washington Governor Jay Inslee (l to r) gathered in New York to celebrate the progress of the US Climate Alliance and its interstate coordination on climate change action.

California Governor Jerry Brown, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, Former Secretary of State John Kerry and Washington Governor Jay Inslee (l to r) gathered in New York to celebrate the progress of the US Climate Alliance and its interstate coordination on climate change action.

In June, 2017 Governors Brown, Cuomo and Inslee formed the U.S. Climate Alliance – a bipartisan coalition of states committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Since that time, more than a dozen states and Puerto Rico have joined. Today North Carolina joins this group, and together with the other members will engage in coordinated state actions to address the threats a changing climate pose to our economy, our communities, and natural systems.

“The U.S. Climate Alliance is an important initiative to maintain U.S. leadership on climate change, and we’re pleased to see the Alliance move forward in this effort," said Lynn Scarlett, The Nature Conservancy’s co-chief external affairs officer. “We congratulate North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper in joining the Alliance, and we’re excited to see green banking expanding nationwide. Creating a low-carbon future, realizing significant emissions reductions, and promoting resilience are imperative to successfully meet the challenge posed by climate change. This initiative keeps us moving forward.”

Mike Stevens, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Washington, said, “Right now, the states have the opportunity to model for the nation and the world innovative actions to limit carbon, transition to cleaner energy, and prepare our communities for the conditions that come with a changing climate, including increased risks from fire and flooding. We must come together for solutions that work for all of our society--tribes, urban communities, farmers, industries and others that are already feeling the impacts of climate change. The Nature Conservancy is all in for this effort in Washington state. We’re proud to work with Gov. Inslee and our partners in other states to advance this work.”

States have shown tremendous leadership on climate change, and their work is essential to building a low-carbon future that promotes both clean air and economic prosperity. The Nature Conservancy continues to believe that climate change is the most urgent threat to our economy, our communities, and to nature itself, and looks forward to engaging with the U.S. Climate Alliance as their work unfolds. We will continue to work in the United States and around the world, with governments, businesses, and individuals as they take action to reduce carbon emissions, foster coastal resilience and adapt to impacts.

Banner photo by John Marshall


Sink your teeth into trivia on Washington’s favorite fruit




If the old adage is true—that an apple a day keeps a doctor away—then the world owes a lot to Washington.

The Evergreen State produces more than half of all apples grown in the United States for fresh eating, according to the Washington Apple Commission. In fact, Washington apples are sold in all 50 states and more than 50 countries, meaning that many a person enjoy the fruits of Washington’s labors.

For Washington residents, our expansive apple orchards are one reason it’s easy to buy and enjoy local fruit.

Each and every Washington apple is picked by hand, and there are more varieties than a person can remember. The industry here is based primarily on seven principal varieties: Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Cripps Pink and Honeycrisp.

But an enterprising eater can sink their teeth into many more varieties, including rare heirlooms. Or search farther afield for your favorite of more than 7,500 varieties grown worldwide.

The sweet, crunchy apple is a large part of the economy and culture in Eastern Washington, home of Nature Conservancy board member Jack Toevs. For Jack, growing apples is a family operation, now involving his son. “The family has been involved in farming for centuries,” he said. “It’s our heritage.”

He’s observed many changes over the years. For example, the Red Delicious has been overtaken in popularity by the Gala. And many growers – himself included – have gone organic, meeting the public’s demand for more healthy and sustainable fruit. Our state cultivates 14,000 acres of certified organic orchards, according to the Washington Apple Commission.

It seems Washington has an ideal climate for apple production – particularly organic apples. “It’s a dry climate, with fewer problems for disease and insects. It’s just been a great place to grow apples,” said Jack.

In addition to serving as a Conservancy board member, Jack and his wife volunteer as stewards at the Conservancy’s Beezley Hills Preserve, which sits atop the hills visible from their orchard in the town of Quincy. This Eastern Washington preserve is awash with wildflowers every spring.

In Eastern Washington apple country you’ll find a strong connection between people and nature. That’s one of the reasons why The Nature Conservancy has a presence here, as well as in the Yakima Valley to the south and Skagit farmlands to the west. It’s the kind of win-win connection the Conservancy strives to create in communities everywhere we work: conservation that will bear fruit for generations.