Our Subject: Conservation

Over the past two decades, America’s approach to conservation has changed. No longer principally the responsibility of the federal government, land protection is increasingly the work of innovative partnerships among communities, land trusts, private landowners, hunters and fishermen, corporations, and public agencies. 

Most notably, the land trust movement has grown into a mighty force.  Acting through more than 1,700 land trusts large and small, citizens across the political spectrum have united to conserve the places they love.  Fueled by the energy of volunteers, land trusts have become the ground troops of conservation, conserving wild lands, urban parks and green spaces, rivers and trails, and the open spaces of our working farms, forests, and ranches. 

While people are acting locally, they are thinking and planning at ever larger scales. Through sound science and landscape-scale planning, they are addressing the most complex issues, including the challenges posed by climate change and the need to integrate human uses of the land into the conservation agenda.

Funding sources and conservation methods have also changed.  Philanthropy is increasing, as foundations, corporations, and individuals support visionary initiatives. While land acquisition remains important, conservation easements have grown dramatically. Tax credits and incentive programs have encouraged private landowner action. And in state after state, voters have sent their leaders a clear message: conservation is a good investment. 

LandScope America addresses all of these issues. Explore the site; browse around. Read some articles, and get lost for awhile in the map viewer, finding stories and photos about natural places that matter to you. And then tell us what you think. We’re building here a virtual community of people that care about conservation, and we invite you to join.

- Rob Riordan

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