MiiR was first introduced to the Conservation Lands Foundation in 2021. They’ve been a recipient of both our Employee Grant and in 2022 they were awarded a “Land & Water Conservation Grant” as part of our annual grant program. As an organization that works for public lands at the grassroots and national levels, their scope of work is massive and their reach expansive.
Conservation Lands Foundation: The Mission
The Conservation Lands Foundation protects, restores, and expands the country’s newest system of public lands, called National Conservation Lands - areas critical for climate resilience, clean air and water, healthy communities, joyful recreation, biological diversity, and the preservation of cultural resources.
Their approach to achieving this goal is grounded in the belief that effective and enduring land conservation comes directly from the local, diverse voices that work year-round to steward and care for the public lands in their own communities. Conservation Lands Foundation channels that local passion into powerful change for public land protection.
Conservation Lands Foundation: The Lands
For the past 15 years, the Conservation Lands Foundation has led a national movement of community-based advocates focused on National Conservation Lands.
Making up nearly 35 million acres, National Conservation Lands are found throughout the West and Alaska - and are permanently protected from development and resource extraction. They include the red-rock vistas of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, the coastline of the King Range National Conservation Area, Washington’s San Juan Islands National Monument, Red Rocks National Conservation Area outside Las Vegas, countless Wilderness Areas, thousands of miles of National Scenic and Historic Trails, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and so much more.
The Bureau of Land Management, the largest land management organization in the nation, oversees and manages these lands as well as 245 million acres of public land. The Conservation Lands Foundation is the only organization solely dedicated to ensuring their protection.
Overuse, irresponsible visitation, extractive development, and climate change threaten the integrity and intactness of these lands. With the demand for outdoor recreation continuing to skyrocket, our public lands need us now more than ever.
This is where the Conservation Lands Foundation’s community reach comes in.
Conservation Lands Foundation: The People
The power and wisdom of local advocates is the secret to their success. To harness it, the Conservation Lands Foundation built their Friends Grassroots Network. Currently at 80+ members strong, this expansive group of community-based, nonprofit organizations hold the passion and know-how to fight for the lands they love.
The Conservation Lands Foundation grows and supports these groups through providing direct funding, guidance, and resources, connecting them to policy makers, and – when needed – elevating their voices to the national stage.
Conservation Lands Foundation: The Approach
Four foundational values shape their approach to conservation -
- Public lands are a source, not a resource. We live in interrelationship with nature and our connection to the land is as the source of life, not a resource to extract.
- Honor local passion and wisdom. Enduring land protection requires the leadership and commitment of the people who are connected to the land locally and historically.
- This movement must be inclusive. Act in allyship with the sovereign Native Nations who have historical, cultural, and spiritual connection to these lands, as well as to other communities that have been historically ignored and shut-out of the decision making process.
Find and share joy in the work. There is beauty, restoration, and wellness to be found in relationship with the land and with each other in the process of protecting it.
Conservation Lands Foundation: The Future
To date, the Conservation Lands Foundation has added 15 new national monuments and 10 million acres to the National Conservation Lands. They are now involved in more than two dozen place-based campaigns to protect another 20 million acres, including Avi Kwa Ame in southern Nevada, Caja del Rio in New Mexico, the Owyhee Canyonlands in southern Oregon, and the Dolores River Canyon in Colorado.
Supporting the Conservation Lands Foundation is a powerful way to engage in and strengthen reciprocity with the land. For lifetimes, humans have turned to nature to sustain, restore, and revitalize us. The Conservation Lands Foundation invites us to join them in returning the favor - because when we protect the land, we protect our future.