Key to Sustaining Working Landscapes for People and Nature
Over 60% of the land in the United States is privately owned. Even in a state like Nevada where the percentage of privately owned land is small, the privately-owned land is often the most agriculturally productive as well as critically important to wildlife and fisheries. The vast majority of landscapes in the United States can be described as “working landscapes” where at least parts of the landscape are utilized for economic activity such as production of food and fiber and/or energy production. Even the majority of our public lands can be described as working landscapes as, outside of national parks and wilderness areas, most are utilized to some degree by the private sector. Common to almost all of these working landscapes is the importance of private interests, including in most cases private landowners, and the decisions they make in their operations. Landowners care very deeply about the lands they steward for a number of social, historic, economic, and altruistic reasons. Landowners also care very deeply about their rural communities that are also dependent upon the condition of the natural resources that exist on the land. In an ever-growing number of cases, landowners are concluding that conserving their land and sustaining their communities requires collaboration that goes beyond the fenceline and past the neighbor’s place to efforts that include a broad range of public and private partnerships. Partners for Conservation seeks to help facilitate the process of coming together to ensure functional landscapes and viable rural communities are the norm across the country. We do that by working to improve communication among landowners and landscapes as well as between public agencies and stakeholders.