In the beginning there were handshakes. Trust was earned one relationship at a time. Ranchlands & wild places were saved, acre by acre, and a vision began to form.
30 Years of Conservation in Wyoming
On nature’s timeline, 30 years might seem like the blink of an eye. But for conservation in Wyoming, three decades have been momentous. Since 1989, we have protected more than 1 million acres and 1,500 river miles with our partners across the state.
With your help, today we are protecting Wyoming’s lands and waters in ways that were unimaginable 30 years ago.
From our Heart Mountain Ranch Preserve and Sweetwater River to the Thunder Basin, and in so many more special places, we have created a tangible legacy in Wyoming. Take a moment to look back on some of the greatest conservation wins you helped us achieve in our 30th Anniversary Timeline below.
Over the years, TNC—and the mission of conservation—has evolved. Today we work on large landscapes and whole ecosystems—conserving wildlife migration routes and entire river systems. We’re pushing the boundaries of science, forming bigger partnerships and taking more risks. Through our Wild and Working campaign, we’re protecting and restoring healthy waters, conserving resilient lands and building a powerful conservation constituency.
Most importantly, we’re growing our ranks of passionate supporters, like you, as the stakes continue to rise for Wyoming’s natural world. Thank you for standing with us as we build a state where nature and people thrive.
Celebrate 30 Years with Us
To celebrate our anniversary, we’re hosting nature festivities across the state. Learn how you can get involved in volunteer days and other fun activities. Not able to join us at one of our events? Plan your own visit to one of our preserves and experience our work up close and personal. You can also donate to TNC in Wyoming and invest in a future where nature and people thrive.
To scroll through the timeline, simply click and drag to navigate to the left or right.
30 Years of Conservation in Wyoming
TNC in Wyoming. TNC’s Wyoming chapter established in Lander with its own leadership and board of trustees. However, in 1974 TNC completed its first project in the state by safeguarding land near Jackson Hole that would later become the National Elk Refuge.
Grasslands Conservation Fund. TNC announces the Grasslands Conservation Fund, creating a $250,000 match to the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust to conserve eastern Wyoming’s native grasslands.
Energy by Design. TNC collaborates with BP American Production Co. to complete a mitigation plan for the Jonah Natural gas field that maps critical wildlife areas, a strategy now being used for energy mitigation projects around the world.
Sage-Grouse Science. TNC scientists simulate future development and measure the effectiveness of conservation actions for maintaining sage-grouse populations.
The Nature Conservancy increases the pace and scope of work to impact wildlife migration corridors, improve river health and inspire new connections between people and the land.
Interpretive Cabin at Heart Ranch. TNC opens interpretive cabin at Heart Mountain Ranch Preserve to inform visitors on the mountain’s unique plants and animals, history, geology, and current conservation.
Lander Foothills. TNC works with ranchers to place conservation easements on more than 3,500 acres, connecting to 14,000 acres on the Lander Front already under protection, and providing habitat for mule deer, moose and elk, and sage-grouse.
Fence Phenomenon. TNC launches new effort to work with ranchers to modify or remove fencing with the Red Desert to Hoback migration corridor. This project, combined with other TNC wildlife-friendly fencing activities across the state, has resulted in the removal of more than 60 miles of dangerous fence, allowing safe passage for wildlife including pronghorn antelope and mule deer.
One Conservancy. Assisted TNC’s Argentina program with its first acquisition of a conservation easement on the 99,000-acre Cabeza de Vaca Ranch. Argentina’s landscape is remarkable, reminiscent in many ways of Wyoming.
Sagebrush Restoration. Initiated “seed enhancement technology” research to improve native plant restoration success in the imperiled sagebrush ecosystem.