empowering landowners Advancing a land ethic

Photo Credit: Nick Bristol


Read more about the Campaign for Conservation here


Farmers, ranchers and foresters who own and manage most of the private land in this nation hold the keys to environmental improvement. Their livelihoods are tied to the health of the land, but they urgently need information, data, and examples to follow to improve the environment while they produce food and fiber.

The next five to ten years represents an historic opportunity to scale up conservation on private land. Why? Because more than a third of American farmers and ranchers will soon transition their businesses to the next generation.

Now more than ever, Sand County Foundation needs your help to expand our capacity to engage with these landowners to improve water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat. Make an investment in our Campaign for Conservation today!


of the land in the contiguous U.S. is privately owned


of private land is productive, working land like farms, ranches and forests


of American citizens manage agricultural land

The Unmet Challenge

As the population increases, and pressure on our natural resources intensifies, we are faced with critical environmental challenges related to soil health, water quality and quantity, and fisheries and wildlife habitat. New approaches are needed to inspire and enable private landowners to address these issues while operating their businesses in an era of unprecedented change. Sand County Foundation is leading the way.

Recognizing Conservation Leadership

Our network of leading private land stewards has grown out of our Leopold Conservation Award® Program. This prestigious honor is given to outstanding farmers, ranchers and foresters for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.

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Improving Wildlife Habitat

More than 90% of threatened or endangered species have some part of their habitat on private land. Sand County Foundation is working in partnership with landowners to enhance habitat for rare species through voluntary efforts.

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Enhancing Soil and Water

Sand County Foundation works with landowners to solve critical soil and water issues. We are testing and modeling practices that can improve soil health and reduce surface water pollution.

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Partner With Us

Your gift, no matter the size, helps Sand County Foundation build our capacity to engage with farmers, ranchers and foresters to improve water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat.

Leading the charge on water quality

We have published an exciting report on agricultural conservation: "Prioritizing Resources to Meet Water Quality Goals."

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Why Private Land Conservation?

Learn about why we believe private landowners are critical to helping solve our nation's most pressing environmental challenges.

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A track record of Improving habitat & landscapes

Populations of the Karner blue butterfly have rebounded and spread out thanks to efforts that Sand County Foundation undertook with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We showed what can be achieved when landowners enhance, restore and rehabilitate their landscapes with conservation approaches that can be financially beneficial.

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“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."

- Aldo Leopold

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