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Strategic Conservation

Strategic Conservation is a process that produces tools to aid decision makers in identifying, prioritizing, pursuing, and protecting those specific tracts of land that will most effectively and efficiently achieve the land trust's mission.


Sample Strategic Conservation Plans

Strategic Conservation Planning by Land Trusts: Protecting Freshwater Resources in the Southeast US - 2010 (PDF, 16.05 MB)
These strategic plans by eight land trusts in the Southeast serve as models to integrate land conservation goals focused on the protection of critical stream corridors, watersheds and water supplies.

Final Report Land Prioritization in Amherst County, Virginia - 2007 (PDF, 1.55 MB)
This strategic plan by the Central Virginia Land Conservancy defines a conservation land prioritization process for Amherst County, Virginia , and to produce maps illustrating areas of high and low conservation value.

Florida Ecological Greenways Network Plan 2004 Amherst County conservation prioritization and map - 2004 (PDF, 532.11 KB)
This strategic conservation plan was prepared for Conservation Trust for Florida.

Strategic Conservation Planning Midwest Case Studies - 2008 (PDF, 1.85 MB)
Case Study 1:  Central Indiana Land Trust, Inc. Strategic Conservation Planning case study

There are more than 50 additional reports, articles, and case studies available on The Learning Center.*

Cornell University Strategic Conservation Collection
The Genesee Land Trust Conservation Plan

Southern Madison Heritage Trust Strategic Land Protection Plan

Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust Strategic Land Conservation Plan

Great Works Land Trust Strategic Plan

Mapping Initiatives to Help Land Trusts with  Strategic Conservation

There are two mapping projects that will be valuable resources to land trusts designing and implementing strategic conservation across the U.S.  They will also help individual land trusts, the Alliance and others tell the impressive story of private land conservation in America.

Protected Areas Database of the U.S. (PAD-US) (PDF, 183.93 KB)

National Conservation Easement Database (NCED)


Strategic Conservation PublicationStrategic Conservation Planning
According to the 2010 National Land Trust Census, land trusts that had strategic conservation plans protected twice as much land as land trusts without plans. This publication by Ole Amundsen and published by the Land Trust Alliance, will help you visualize a future for your community and chart a course to realize that vision. Because your actions today will determine the parks, working farms, forests and scenic landscapes your children and grandchildren will enjoy, it pays to be careful in how you use your resources to ensure you save the right land. Strategic Conservation Planning provides you with the process and tools to identify, prioritize, pursue and protect the land that will most effectively and efficiently achieve your conservation mission.

Land Trust GIS
Geographic Information System (GIS) is a powerful mapping and analysis tool for land trusts seeking to conserve nature, enhance communities and support.

A Plan for the Land (2009) Saving Land

Green Infrastructure | Organizational Member price: 35.00
Providing both the historical framework for the importance of greenways and green space networks, and practical advice on how to design and implement them, this book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand innovative approaches to conservation-minded land use.

Conservation Library

Pennsylvania Land Trust Association - Strategic Conservation Projects
PALTA has collected an annotated list of Pennsylvania strategic conservation projects and methodologies.

The Conservation Fund

*Access to The Learning Center is offered to board, staff and volunteers of Alliance member land trusts and organizational partners, and to individual members at the $250 level and above.

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