About The Conservation Lands Foundation

The Conservation Lands Foundation is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Durango, Colorado, with staff in Northern and Southern California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington, DC.

Established in 2007, Conservation Lands Foundation was founded on the belief that our public lands are best protected when a national network of local advocates is working to advance a common conservation vision. Conservation Lands Foundation works hand-in-hand with more than 80 community-based organizations - its  Friends Grassroots Network - to protect the National Conservation Lands, a collection of premier lands and waters under the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s jurisdiction. National Conservation Lands currently encompass 37 million acres and 2,400 miles of National Monuments and National Conservation Areas, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Scenic and Historic Trails and are mostly found throughout the West and Alaska.

These 37 million acres comprise only 15% of the 250 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for the largest acreage of federally managed public lands. Leaving 85% of them available for mining and development.

Conservation Land Foundation’s mission is to protect millions more acres as National Conservation Lands to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for all. Whether you’re an avid hiker, hunter, angler, Indigenous with ancestral connections, or rarely visit public lands, protecting these more vulnerable landscapes is essential to wildlife, water sources, and ways of life. In addition to working to ensure the public’s access to visit, hunt, fish, hike, swim and otherwise recreate and experience the rejuvenating qualities of being in nature, Conservation Lands Foundation works to ensure smart renewable energy siting and protect lands from development that would splinter intact landscapes and endanger wildlife corridors and some of the most sacred cultural and historic sites.

The Conservation Lands Foundation mission is to protect, restore, and expand the National Conservation Lands through education, advocacy, and partnerships.

There is no other nonprofit organization solely dedicated to protecting and expanding America’s National Conservation Lands and investing in a community-powered strategy to protect them, as well as active partnerships with Indigenous-led conservation efforts. With an annual operating budget of $8.5MM, Conservation Land Foundation’s ability to be nimble, dynamic, and adaptive has made it a leader in public land conservation.

A sampling of highlights and accomplishments includes:

  • Secured the protection of 15.5 million acres and more than 200 miles of public lands and waters through their addition to the National Conservation Lands system;
  • Added protections to 1.5 million acres of land in 2023, which will improve air and water quality, strengthen local economies, preserve sacred landscapes, and support our overall health and well-being;
  • Drove a record level of public support for the newly proposed Public Lands Rule, which puts conservation on equal footing with other uses for the 250 million acres managed by the BLM;
  • Won significant legal victories against attacks on Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area in Utah;
  • Supported the vision and leadership of sovereign Tribal nations and worked closely to develop relationships and support Tribal coalition-building initiatives with the Bears Ears National
  • Monument and Avi Kwa Ame National Monument designations;
  • Worked with community leaders, Tribal nations, and members of Congress to advance national monument campaigns and legislative protections for valuable and vulnerable places in Colorado, Oregon, California, Nevada, and New Mexico;
  • Launched a national public awareness campaign to attract the next generation of National Conservation Land caretakers, and;
  • Granted more than $17 million since Conservation Lands Foundation began grant-making in 2008 – including almost $2 million in 2023 – for community-led advocacy, restoration, and public engagement programs through its Friends Grassroots Network.

In the last year of the current presidency, Conservation Lands Foundation is focused on ensuring the administration delivers on its goal to protect 30% of U.S. land by 2030 and achieve landscape-scale protections that will withstand future threats. As potential changes and challenges lie ahead, the Conservation Lands Foundation team knows that their intense focus and investment in place-based community-powered advocacy will pay off.

The outcome of the 2024 elections will have a lasting impact on conservation and climate policy. An administration and Congress friendly to conservation would mean accelerating actions that advance public lands conservation, while an administration and Congress unfriendly to conservation will require the organization to pivot to defense of the National Conservation Lands system as a whole, the president’s use of the Antiquities Act, and policies enacted over the past decades.

To learn more about Conservation Lands Foundation, please visit: https://www.conservationlands.org 


  • Chief Executive Officer

    The Conservation Lands Foundation
    • Posted 1 week ago
    • June 3, 2024