Lands and Livelihoods

America’s working farm, forest, and ranch lands support valuable qualities that go far beyond the scenic vistas and rugged landscapes. In addition to producing food, fiber, and other agricultural commodities, properly managed working lands protect

  • critical habitat for game, fish, plants, and wildlife;
  • agricultural soils;
  • watersheds; and
  • scenic and recreational resources 

These private enterprises also sustain families with close ties to the land as well as  the economy and traditions of rural communities.

Programs and Approaches

  • Forest Certification

    Forest certification represents a market-based approach to improving environmental practices in the management, harvesting, and distribution of forest products.

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  • Farmland Protection Program

    The Farmland Protection Program is a voluntary program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture and prevents conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses.

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  • Forest Legacy Program

    Created by Congress in 1990, the U.S. Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program supports states' efforts to protect environmentally sensitive, privately owned forestland from conversion to non-forest uses.

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Go to the Map

Use the interactive map to zoom smoothly from a national view to state and local perspectives anywhere across the country.

Go Straight to Your State

Learn about conservation and open space in your state.

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