The Patterns of a Conservation Economy
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Case Studies
Value-Added Production
Examples of this pattern in action:

Value-added seafood products
Skeena Wild has pioneered a selective gillnet fishery on the Skeena River. The company nets sockeye, catching the fish by the jawbone, not the gills, and lands them live. The fish are then bled and dressed live, making them the highest quality sockeye available anywhere. The method allows them to catch fewer fish, release any by-catch like coho and steelhead without injury, and earn three times the going rate for the fish they land because of their focus on quality, not volume. It's through the kind of ingenuity and care demonstrated by Skeena Wild that we can maintain and restore ecosystem health. Ecotrust Canada is working with Skeena Wild to create policy and market openings for their selectively caught, highest quality wild fish.

Timbre Tonewood
Timbre Tonewood, based in Ucluelet, British Columbia and making spruce and cedar guitar tops, carefully evaluates every piece of wood which comes through its mill. Based on their appearance, the dried planks are sorted into nine different grades, ranging from the low-end tops, which will probably be painted, to the very best — distinguished by their creamy color, their even ring pattern, and rays running across the grain. These top-quality tops bring Tonewood US$40 and are used in $3,000 instruments. Their by-products feed the local economy as well. A local box-maker uses for smoked salmon some of the pieces that are too small or irregular to be made into guitars. Another local entrepreneur blends the sawdust from the operation with shrimp shells to make compost.

Organizations whose work incorporate this pattern:

Institute for Local Self-Reliance


Real Goods

The Joinery


Brownson, J.M. Jamil. In Cold Margins: Sustainable Development in Northern Bioregions. Northern Rim Press. Missoula, MT. 1995.

Morris, David. The New City-States. Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Washington, DC. 1982.

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Pattern Index

A Conservation Economy

Social Capital

Fundamental Needs

Subsistence Rights

Shelter For All


Access To Knowledge


Social Equity


Cultural Diversity

Cultural Preservation

Sense Of Place

Beauty And Play

Just Transitions

Civic Society

Natural Capital

Ecological Land-Use

Connected Wildlands

Core Reserves

Wildlife Corridors

Buffer Zones

Productive Rural Areas

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Fisheries


Compact Towns And Cities

Human-Scale Neighborhoods

Green Building

Transit Access

Ecological Infrastructure

Urban Growth Boundaries

Ecosystem Services

Watershed Services

Soil Services

Climate Services


Economic Capital

Household Economies

Green Business

Long-Term Profitability

Community Benefit

Green Procurement

Renewable Energy

Sustainable Materials Cycles

Resource Efficiency

Waste As Resource

Product As Service

Local Economies

Value-Added Production

Rural-Urban Linkages

Local Assets

Bioregional Economies

Fair Trade

True Cost Pricing

Product Labeling