56 Million Acres Voluntarily Conserved in America, National Land Trust Census Reveals

Dec 05, 2016
Private land conservation covers twice the amount of land in all national parks across the contiguous United States. Deschutes Land Trust has conserved 8,770 acres in Oregon alone.


Image: The Land Trust Alliance.
Image: The Land Trust Alliance.
The Land Trust Alliance recently released a comprehensive report showing land trusts across the nation have conserved a staggering 56 million acres, an area of protected land that is double the size of all the land in national parks across the lower 48 states.

In sum, state, local and national land trusts voluntarily conserved an average of 5,000 acres per day—or 1.8 million acres per year—during the 2015 reporting period of the National Land Trust Census.

Key Findings

  • Land trusts have protected a staggering 56 million acres of land, an area of land that is double the size of all the land in national parks across the lower 48 states
  • 790,877 total acres were protected in Oregon;
  • 8,770 acres conserved by the Deschutes Land Trust, Central Oregon’s only local land trust. 
  • Protecting and preserving important natural areas and wildlife habitats, maintaining water quality and preserving working farms or ranchlands identified at the top three conservation priorities across all land trusts;
  • Land trust properties saw 6.2 million visitors in 2015;
  • Nearly $2.2 billion in endowments and funding are now managed by land trusts; and
  • More than 4.6 million people are active financial supporters of land trusts.


Local impact

The Deschutes Land Trust plays a key role in the national conservation picture. As Central Oregon's only local land trust, Deschutes Land Trust conserves land in the 6.8 million Deschutes River basin. Founded in 1995, Deschutes Land Trust has conserved 8,770 acres of land for wildlife and local communities. Learn more about our protected lands.

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