The Nation's Leading Voice for Private Land Conservation

Photo Credit: Nick Bristol

"Conservation can accomplish its objectives only when it springs from an impelling conviction on the part of private land owners."

Aldo Leopold, conservationist, landowner and author of
"A Sand County Almanac"

Did you know that more than three quarters of the land in the continental U.S. is privately owned?

The farmers, ranchers and foresters who own and manage the vast majority of private land in this nation hold the key to environmental improvement. Without their voluntary stewardship, our biggest conservation challenges cannot be met. 

Sand County Foundation inspires and enables private landowners to ethically manage the natural resources in their care, so future generations have clean and abundant water, healthy soil to support the world's growing food demands, suitable habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation.  


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


of private land in the continental U.S. is productive, working land like farms, ranches and forests


American citizens and businesses manage that 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 makes an impact on the quality and resilience of our nation's natural resources. Join us in our effort to address unmet conservation challenges. Support Sand County Foundation's work to advance voluntary conservation on private, working land.

Can Power Plant Waste Help Prevent Water Pollution?

Don't miss this Science Magazine article about an unusual conservation practice. Sand County Foundation is testing whether gypsum, a waste product from coal-fired power plants, can help reduce nutrient runoff from farms.

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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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Meet the Tureceks! 2016 Leopold Conservation Award recipients

The Tureceks have ranched and farmed on the eastern plains of Colorado since 1910. Their farm is mostly no-till, helping conserve the little rainfall they receive.

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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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