Stewardship - Land Conservation Assistance Network

Land stewardship is a high value for farmers, ranchers and forest owners. Over 90% of the most fertile soils and 90% of land is on the lowest elevations in the United States. These lands are predominantly private lands.

Private landowners hold the key to protecting biodiversity, increasing and improving sustainable agriculture, protecting open spaces, and achieving clean air and water. According to the USDA approximately 56% or 420,000,000 acres of U.S. forest land is privately owned.

For the private landowner, living on, preserving and protecting the land is a practical and basic concept because the private landowner relies on the land to make a living. Thus, good land stewardship is more than an ideal, the stakes for farmers, ranchers and forest owners are too high for them to abuse the land.

America’s private landowners

Family Farming - Land Conservation Assistance Network particularly small farmers, ranchers and woodland owners are among the most productive in the world. They are also an endangered species. The average age of the private landowner in the U.S. is 65 plus years of age.

In an environment of decreasing resources, many of these landowners find themselves selling their lands for development instead of keeping it and passing it on to the next generation. Development pressure on farmland particularly at the rural-urban interface is posing long term challenges for farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners.

Since its founding in 2000, Land Conservation Assistance Network has developed a suite of resources and tools to help the private landowner practice effective conservation and land stewardship. LandCAN has built state specific sites for:
Mississippi, Texas, Virginia, and the
Habitat Conservation Assistance Network.

Currently we are working on a site for Virginia.