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America voluntarily conserves 61 million acres

Land trusts protect and conserve land while improving quality of life.

Farm Progress Staff

December 10, 2021

2 Min Read
Prairie Grassland Landscape and Yellow Springtime Wildflowers
Getty/iStockphoto

The Land Trust Alliance released a new report finding that 61 million acres were conserved by land trusts as of year-end 2020, an increase of more than 15 million acres since 2010. This gain comes as the nation embraces a proposal from the scientific community to conserve 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030.

“The dramatic increase in land conserved by land trusts paired with the public’s increased interest show the land trust community is gaining ground,” said Andrew Bowman, president and CEO of the Land Trust Alliance.

While the acres protected show the breadth of land conservation efforts, it is important to emphasize that land trusts are improving life across the country. Protecting lands close to home improves our quality of life and the health of our local communities, while also addressing some of the greatest challenges facing our nation. 

Other key findings from the report include:

  • 78% of land trusts are engaging groups historically underrepresented in conservation, including people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, older adults, veterans or active-duty military, people living with disabilities and LGBTQ+ individuals

  • 74% of land trusts have increased their focus on climate change in the past five years

  • land trusts maintain 9,761 miles of trails, including 997 trail miles designed for universal access.

Land trusts are increasingly addressing the effects of climate change and extreme weather. Natural and working lands can sequester large amounts of carbon, potentially contributing up to one-third of the total emission reductions necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Well managed conserved lands can act as a buffer against increased fire risks, more intense storms and flooding and drought. In addition, conserved land preserves access to healthy and sustainable food.

The Alliance has enhanced Find a Land Trust, an online, geolocation-based search tool. This tool makes it easy for anyone across the country to locate the land trusts nearest them. Each search is filterable by variables such as access to hiking trails and volunteer opportunities. Land trusts listed within the tool offer a variety of ways people can get involved and support conservation in their neighborhood, including connecting on social media and donating.

Source: The Land Trust Alliance, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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Farm Progress Staff

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