Support conservation action on private lands through innovative education, science, and landowner engagement.

The Need:

Nearly two-thirds of the United States is privately held, including many of the country’s most productive and scenic lands. Yet these lands are undergoing rapid and widespread change. One recent study estimated that the iconic landscapes of the American West are being lost at a rate of one football field every 2.5 minutes, with profound consequences for rural communities and our natural heritage. Maintaining viable working lands is critical for the well-being of both nature and people.  

The Opportunity:

Private landowners have demonstrated tremendous potential to achieve lasting conservation results. Their livelihoods are built on sustained stewardship of land and its resources. Given the right mix of technical resources, incentives, and public support, there is significant opportunity to partner with interested landowners on voluntary efforts to advance conservation and production on private lands.

Our Vision:

Our vision is to establish a major endowed program dedicated to the assessment and dissemination of strategies, practices, and policies related to private lands conservation. This program will serve as a national hub — engaging landowners, conservationists, scientists, and policy makers in developing effective, on-the-ground solutions.

Colorado State University’s Legacy:

CSU is internationally recognized for excellence in conservation science, including award-winning programs in ecology, natural resources, agriculture, and veterinary medicine. Colorado is an ideal location for the private lands initiative due to its vibrant and innovative conservation community. The Warner College of Natural Resources offers five unique but complementary departments spanning physical, biological, and social sciences. These include high impact programs in wildlife habitat and conservation, wetlands and waterfowl management, collaborative conservation as well as the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 

Warner College is one of three endowed natural resources colleges in the nation with strong and growing enrollment employing over 400 research scientists and 65 tenure track faculty and 10 major outreach units. The College generates approximately $50 million in annual research expenditures, the impacts of which are felt in 85 countries and every continent on the planet.

We are well positioned to serve as the hub of private lands education, science, and engagement in North America.