Sunset at Pendleton Point
Pendleton Point Sunset Watching a sunset at Pendleton Point in Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia. © Zach Locks

Land & Water Stories

Big Wins in Land Conservation

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

Nature is declining at rates faster than ever before in human history. Across the globe, the climate emergency is exacerbating habitat loss, damaging vital landscapes and threatening our planet’s biodiversity.

That’s why The Nature Conservancy’s on-the-ground work to protect vital lands and waters is so critical. Our supporters have helped build a long-standing legacy of land conservation for almost 70 years. From big wins like fully and permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), to protecting the small parks in neighborhoods and the wildlife in your backyard, your partnership is at the heart of our mission.

Tackling our planet’s immense challenges happens one acre at a time. Here are a few notable successes from this year that wouldn’t be possible without the generous support from our members.

Bluffs of St. Teresa
Meandering Marshlands As far as the eye can see, the Bluffs stretch for miles, connecting vital waterways and channels. © Russell C. Mick
GREAT BLUE HERON
GREAT BLUE HERON The Bluffs of St. Teresa provide ample habitat for wading shorebirds. © Russell C. Mick

Bluffs of St. Teresa – Florida

The Nature Conservancy and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection purchased the Bluffs of St. Teresa, a 16,971-acre essential tract of land in Florida’s Big Bend area. This historic land acquisition connects vital habitat between Bald Point State Park and Tate’s Hell State Forest, protecting rivers and lakes that are critical to water quality and home to countless species. It’s a paradise for birds – herons and egrets wade in the marsh, swallow-tailed kites soar overhead, and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker nests in tree cavities.

The scenic town of Trinidad, Colorado with Fishers Peak in background
Trinidad Colorado The scenic town of Trinidad, Colorado with Fishers Peak in background © Cameron Davidson

Fishers Peak State Park

The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the City of Trinidad, Great Outdoors Colorado and Colorado Parks and Wildlife teamed up to protect this amazing 30-square-mile property and its crown jewel, the towering tabletop mountain Fishers Peak. Safeguarding this dramatic landscape will not only preserve a critical habitat corridor for elk, bears, cougars and rare and endangered species, but also a myriad other plant and animal species. This year the property became Colorado’s newest state park and Governor Jared Polis opened 250 acres to the public, creating new recreation opportunities designed to safeguard nature and help boost the local economy. 

For the People of Minnesota Retired forestry professor Mike Freed sold his private land to The Nature Conservancy, ensuring the landscape would remain untouched by development.

Superior National Forest – Minnesota

Minnesota’s Superior National Forest abounds with wild lakes, trout streams, towering white pines and white spruces, and now an additional 2,110 acres are permanently protected. The Nature Conservancy acquired the inholdings near the Boundary Waters, connecting swaths of vital upland forest and wetland habitat. Home to migratory songbirds, eagles, ospreys, and wide-ranging mammals like wolves and moose, it’s an important wilderness area that will be preserved for generations.

Kittatinny Ridge
CONNECTING A CRITICAL CORRIDOR New land acquisition preserves a vital natural landscape in the mid-Atlantic crucial for species adapting to climate change. © Eric Krukowski
× Kittatinny Ridge
Cove Mountain Fishing
The Great Outdoors Spend a day fly fishing along the river or hiking one of the many trails Cove Mountain has to offer. © Matt Kane/TNC
CONNECTING A CRITICAL CORRIDOR New land acquisition preserves a vital natural landscape in the mid-Atlantic crucial for species adapting to climate change. © Eric Krukowski
The Great Outdoors Spend a day fly fishing along the river or hiking one of the many trails Cove Mountain has to offer. © Matt Kane/TNC

Cove Mountain Preserve – Pennsylvania

One of our proudest accomplishments to date is expanding our Cove Mountain Preserve in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Mountains. The expansion creates a 14-mile stretch of protected land along the Kittatinny Ridge, an unbroken chain of forested mountains and the most important wildlife corridor east of the Mississippi. Here you’ll find black bears and bobcats roaming the forest floors, and it’s a favorite stopover for songbirds and raptors migrating along the Atlantic Flyaway. As temperatures rise due to climate change, this vital link of connected forest will be even more critical for plant and animal species that need large, unfragmented regions of habitat to survive. The expanded preserve will also provide significant new outdoor recreation opportunities for hiking, fly fishing, birding and more.

Canoeing in New Hampshire
Recreational Splendor Paddlers enjoy the quiet solitude of the Lamprey River. © Megan Latour

Lamprey River Preserve – New Hampshire

A small but mighty preserve in New Hampshire just got a big boost. The Nature Conservancy purchased 10 acres of private land to expand the 235-acre Lamprey River Preserve, one of the largest, undeveloped tracts of land along the Wild and Scenic Lamprey River. Home to floodplain forests, vernal pools, forested wetlands and open fields – it’s an incredibly diverse ecosystem. And it’s best experienced by boat – hop in a canoe or kayak and you’re sure to see turtles, waterfowl, amphibians and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of a lurking fox.

Sheep Bridge Utah
A Crucial Watershed A landmark acquisition, Sheep Bridge includes a portion of the Virgin River near Zion National Park. The property provides critical habitat for wildlife and is an important water source for hundreds of thousands of people. © Stuart Ruckman

Sheep Bridge – Utah

Just outside Zion National Park, the Virgin River flows for miles, winding its way through deep canyons and colorful sandstone formations. It’s one of the most pristine and scenic rivers in the American Southwest and provides healthy habitat for native wildlife. The landscape is an oasis for neo-tropical birds like the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, at-risk fish like the desert sucker and countless amphibians and reptiles. And with the recent acquisition of Sheep Bridge, a critical piece of property along the Virgin River, The Nature Conservancy is permanently protecting valuable river and stream habitat that many species depend on.

The Nature Conservancy has been a leader in conservation for decades. Buying land to save it is at the heart of what we do, and your partnership makes successes like these possible.

As climate change alters habitat, species continue to disappear, and pollution chokes our planet, your continued support will be more urgent than ever. We must do more to protect the lands and waters we all rely on. Together, we can build a future where nature and people thrive together.