The National Wildlife Federation

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Our Lands

From towering forests to lush green grasslands, our nation's diverse and wondrous lands provide us with invaluable resources. Built on the foundation that our lands are part of the public trust, the National Wildlife Federation supports our nation’s shared interests for wildlife with the management of both public and private lands. Working closely with our partners, we are developing new strategies to manage the lands on which we live, work, and engage with nature to support healthy wildlife populations.

Nearly two-thirds of American land is used for production activities such as farming, grazing, and active forestry. We want to ensure that these activities, while vital to our economy and way of life, are better balanced with the needs of wildlife and their habitats. We are the voice that will ensure wildlife remains in the public trust.

Protecting Resources on Private Lands

Nearly 902 million acres—or a little more than 50 percent of the lower 48 United States—are currently managed as cropland, pastureland, or rangeland. These working lands must provide critical habitat for our nation's fish and wildlife, protect our water resources, and help mitigate climate change, while also meeting demands for food, fiber, fuel, and animal feed. In addition to working on the intersection between farming practices and climate change, the National Wildlife Federation supports conservation through the Farm Bill, one of the largest sources of conservation funding in the federal government. Ensuring that Farm Bill conservation programs are authorized at appropriate levels, structured to achieve maximum wildlife and environmental benefits, and fully funded during the annual appropriations process is vital to our 21st century land management strategies.

The United States has a rich forest heritage containing over a dozen major forest ecosystems that provide a tremendous diversity of wildlife habitat. The National Wildlife Federation promotes sustainable use of our nation's public and private forest lands, elevating their critical role in fighting climate change both nationally and internationally.

Through our Adopt a Wildlife Acre program, the National Wildlife Federation retires grazing allotments, addressing conflicts between livestock and wildlife with a voluntary, market-based approach. With the retirement of these allotments, we're securing habitats for wildlife and giving ranchers funds to relocate cattle to areas without conflict. The National Wildlife Federation also holds a biennial America's Grasslands Conference, bringing together researchers, natural resource professionals, farmers and ranchers, policy experts, and conservationists to discuss relevant issues related to the conservation of North America’s grasslands.

Safeguarding Public Lands

Americans share ownership of approximately 600 million acres of land and water in the United States. These public lands include federal designations like national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and monuments, as well as state and local areas owned by the public. The National Wildlife Federation is committed to safeguarding these special places and other landscapes that provide habitat for wildlife and opportunities for families, wildlife watchers, sportsmen and sportswomen, and others to recreate and reconnect with nature. We are activating a broad coalition to defeat efforts that would transfer or privatize these public lands.

Preserving Tribal Lands

The National Wildlife Federation partners with sovereign tribal nations to solve today's conservation challenges for future generations. Our tribal work based in National Wildlife Federation's Rocky Mountain Regional Center includes staff on the ground from Montana to Arizona.

What We're Doing

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