Federal and National Programs
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture are administered by state and local NRCS offices. These include land protection programs such as Agriculture Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), wetland easements, and carbon sequestration easements.
Assistant State Conservationist – Water Resources and Easements
Columbia, MO 65203
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service:
Land & Water Conservation Fund
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a Federal program that works to improve land protection and outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the country. The program supports protection of federal public lands and voluntary conservation on private land. LWCF investments improve recreational opportunities, secure public access to conservation and recreation lands, and preserve ecosystem benefits for local communities.
Funding for LWCF projects comes from federal government revenues on offshore oil and gas leases on federal lands. Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in July 2020 by Congress fully funds the LWCF with about $900M per year to invest in land protection and recreation opportunities throughout the country.
Projects funded under the LWCF include national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas; state and local parks; forest preserves; and protection of endangered species.
LWCF State Grant Program provides matching grants to state and tribal governments for the purchase and development of public parks and outdoor recreation facilities. Grants have funded projects in every county in the United States since 1965.
$3.9B state grants ~42,000 state projects
The Forest Legacy Program provides state partners grants to protect environmentally important forest lands while maintaining private ownership and working forests.
2.37 million acres protected $1.4 billion invested
In Missouri, check the Missouri State Parks website for more information on grants and how to apply.
Land Trust Alliance
“Saving the places people love”
The Land Trust Alliance is the national organization for land trusts and the leader in policy, standards, education and training. LTA is the national voice of the land trust community. We passionately support land trusts so they can save and secure more land now and for generations to come.
Many Missouri Land Trust Coalition Land Trusts are Land Trust Alliance members and partner with landowners, land caregivers, and LTA on land protections projects.
Land Trust Alliance Links
Thirty by Thirty
The Biden administration has set a national goal to conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. lands and freshwater and 30 percent of U.S. ocean areas by 2030. This initiative is commonly referred to as 30×30 and seeks to reverse the negative impacts of biodiversity decline and climate change by protecting more natural areas, and to increase access to nature for communities that lack it.
Currently, 12 percent of the United States is protected from development and major agriculture disturbance. This includes our vast public lands in the western U.S. and Alaska. Leading biodiversity and climate scientists advocate that we need to protect 50% of our lands and oceans to advert a major crisis from climate change impacts.
The 2020 task force established by President Biden’s Executive Order culminated in the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report. It is a footprint that opens the door to a new, more inclusive model for science-based, locally driven conservation of lands, waters, and oceans.
Americans time and again back the protection of our nation’s natural heritage. Surveys show four out of five U.S. voters favor a plan to protect at least 30 percent of America’s land, ocean areas, and inland waters by the year 2030 because they understand it is good for their well-being and the environment.
The 30×30 footprint has eight principles to guide the effort:
- Pursue a Collaborative and Inclusive Approach to Conservation
- Conserve America’s Lands and Waters for the Benefit of All People
- Support Locally Led and Locally Designed Conservation Efforts
- Honor Tribal Sovereignty and Support the Priorities of Tribal Nations
- Pursue Conservation and Restoration Approaches that Create Jobs and Support Healthy Communities
- Honor Private Property Rights and Support the Voluntary Stewardship Efforts of Private Landowners and Fishers
- Use Science as a Guide
- Build on Existing Tools and Strategies with an Emphasis on Flexibility and Adaptive Approaches
There is not one solution to achieve the goals of the 30×30 initiative or America the Beautiful Campaign. It’s guiding principles are the heart of Missouri’s land trust community. We continue to partner with voluntary landowners and communities to protect land and waters in our region. To achieve the 30×30 goal – clean water, air, and land plus financial security for all – will take many working together.
More information on what the land trust community is doing can be found here:
Text adapted from:
The Missouri Land Trust Coalition (MLTC), an unincorporated association of land trusts and their partners across Missouri.