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Sunset at Pendleton Point
TNC's Panther Knob Preserve This West Virginia preserve straddles a high elevation plateau at the junction of North Fork Mountain and Ruleman Mountain and includes the 4508-foot summit. © Kent Mason

Land & Water Stories

Big Wins in Land Conservation

Acre by acre, our supporters help make a difference for nature.

Across the globe, nature is declining at rates faster than ever before in history. The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss threaten all life on Earth, exacerbating the challenges humanity faces in caring for our natural world. As development damages critical habitat and species continue to disappear, it’s our community of supporters who make a true difference for nature.

Our supporters have helped build a long-standing legacy of land conservation for more than 70 years. As threats to nature continue to mount, The Nature Conservancy’s on-the-ground work protecting vital lands and waters is even more critical. Whether it’s using your voice for our planet, safeguarding the small parks in your neighborhood or protecting the wildlife in your backyard – members like you are at the heart of our mission.

5 Places You Helped Protect Forever

Tackling our planet’s immense challenges happens one acre, one river mile, and one day at a time. Here are a few notable successes from this year that would not be possible without member support.

Landscape view of Silver Mountain in Colorado. Sparse bushes give way to dense vegetation and a mountain in the background.
LINKING LANDS The scenic Silver Mountain connects habitat across an elevation change of 3,000 feet, giving wildlife room to adapt to a changing climate. © Jason Houston

Silver Mountain – Colorado

Southern Colorado’s Silver Mountain boasts a variety of habitats, from shortgrass prairie to pinyon-juniper woodlands and mixed conifer forest. With elevation changes from just under 7,000 feet rising to 10,000 feet, life is surprisingly diverse here. A working cattle and bison ranch, the lands support large mammals like elk, mule deer, black bear, pronghorn, mountain lion and bighorn sheep. It’s also an important migratory habitat for a variety of songbirds, raptors and butterflies. 

And now, more than 17 square miles of this vital landscape are permanently protected. The Nature Conservancy purchased Silver Mountain, safeguarding habitat for wildlife and ensuring that ranching may continue. By connecting the varied lands of the Rocky Mountains, foothills, and prairie, we’re supporting the resilience of nature and people in the face of a changing climate.

Two moose splash in a river surrounded by trees in Michigan.
Moose Haven Moose thrive in the forested wetlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. © TNC Archives
Aerial view of a river cutting through a forest in autumn in Michigan.
RUGGED AND REMOTE The isolated rivers and woods of the Wilderness Lakes Reserve provide some of the richest habitat in Michigan. © Jason Whalen/Big Foot Media

Wilderness Lakes Reserve – Michigan

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to dense forests and wild rivers. Beneath the towering pines, moose, gray wolves and black bears roam freely. It’s one of the most isolated places but some of the richest habitat in Michigan. And with the recent acquisition of 4,854 acres of land, another vital piece of this natural treasure was just saved.

The Nature Conservancy expanded our Wilderness Lakes Reserve to more than double its size, with 10,000 acres in total that are now permanently protected. This contiguous corridor of land is one of the most resilient places where plants and wildlife have the best chance of survival as the impacts of climate change alter our natural world. 

A trail through a forest in Cove Mountain Preserve in Pennsylvania.
WOODED WILDERNESS Cove Mountain Preserve connects a chain of unbroken forests along Pennsylvania’s Kittatinny Ridge. © Matt Kane
A kayaker on the Susquehanna River at sunset.
SUNSET SOLITUDE A kayaker meanders through the Susquehanna River at sunset. © Matt Kane
WOODED WILDERNESS Cove Mountain Preserve connects a chain of unbroken forests along Pennsylvania’s Kittatinny Ridge. © Matt Kane
SUNSET SOLITUDE A kayaker meanders through the Susquehanna River at sunset. © Matt Kane

Cove Mountain Preserve – Pennsylvania

The Nature’s Conservancy’s Cove Mountain Preserve just got a big boost. We recently expanded the preserve from 353 to 1,411 acres, creating a critical 14-mile stretch of protected land along the Kittatinny Ridge – one of the most important migratory corridors east of the Mississippi.

Tucked along the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, here you’ll find black bears and bobcats hidden in the woods, songbirds singing in the trees and raptors soaring the skies. The many miles of wooded trails and winding Susquehanna River provide recreational opportunities for hikers, birders, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

By stitching together these climate-resilient lands, we’re protecting a network of unfragmented habitat that will thrive for generations. 

Trees with moss in the sunlight in Georgia’s Cannons Point Preserve.
ISLAND OASIS Acres of intact maritime forest provide a safe haven for birds, fish and rare plants on Georgia’s Cannons Point Preserve. © Blake Gordon Photography
× Trees with moss in the sunlight in Georgia’s Cannons Point Preserve.
Royal terns and a plover in sandy puddles at Georgia’s Cannons Point Preserve.
BIRDER'S PARADISE Royal terns wade in the surf, one of numerous bird species that can be found at the preserve. © Marc Del Santro
ISLAND OASIS Acres of intact maritime forest provide a safe haven for birds, fish and rare plants on Georgia’s Cannons Point Preserve. © Blake Gordon Photography
BIRDER'S PARADISE Royal terns wade in the surf, one of numerous bird species that can be found at the preserve. © Marc Del Santro

Cannons Point Preserve – Georgia 

On the north end of Georgia’s St. Simons Island lies Cannons Point Preserve, an oasis of maritime forest, salt marsh and tidal creek. Home to oysters, birds, fish, manatees and rare plants – it’s an environmentally significant peninsula. With the addition of 100 acres, The Nature Conservancy and St. Simons Lands Trust have protected more than 700 acres of some of the last intact maritime forest on the island.

Safeguarding the diverse plant life here – including live oaks, palmettos, magnolias and loblolly pines – helps strengthen the island’s resilience to the effects of climate change. The forests not only withstand sea-level rise and periodic flooding but also provide critically important habitat for threatened and endangered native plants and animals.

Aerial view of the Narraguagus River watershed in Maine.
A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT The Narraguagus River watershed is vital habitat for native fish and other wildlife of Maine. © Tom Pakulski

Spring River – Narraguagus Forest – Maine 

The Nature Conservancy recently acquired the 13,500-acre Spring River-Narraguagus Forest property in Maine, connecting forested land of the Downeast coast and Maine's north woods. The acquisition expands our Spring River Preserve, saving more than 23,500 acres of land. By protecting miles of shoreline on Narraguagus Lake and Spring River, we’re improving fish passage and conserving vital habitat for native brook trout and Atlantic salmon.

Safeguarding the lands and waters of Maine protects habitat for a wide range of wildlife and allows species to move in response to a changing climate.

The Nature Conservancy has been a leader in conservation for 70 years thanks to the generous support of our members. Saving land so that nature and people may continue to thrive together is at the core of what we do, and your partnership makes successes like these possible.

With our natural world facing a climate crossroads and species continuing to decline at an alarming rate, your continued support is more urgent than ever. We must do more to protect the lands and waters we all rely on. Together, we can find a way create a better path forward for nature’s future.