Conservation’s new frontier
Private Land: Conservation’s new frontier in America.
The High Lonesome Ranch represents a new model for private land conservation in North America. Since more than half the land in the U.S. is privately owned, it can’t be left to governments and nonprofits. We are working hard to do our part.
Our owner along with the Executive Director of the High Lonesome Institute, our nonprofit science and research arm, have been published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies on the subject of private land conservation. The relationship between humans and their environment is the subject matter of this scientific journal of environmental issues. We want to share this piece with you.
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Governments and non-governmental organizations have limited ability to protect additional, or sufficient, land. More than 60% of land in the United States is privately owned and about three-quarters of endangered species rely on private lands for habitat.
The best available science shows that there is an urgent need to create or restore very large scale wild lands to North America. These must provide corridors for species movement and connect ecosystems to maximize wilderness function at the landscape level.
Since the first European contact with North America, there have been two major, perceptible movements of conservation innovation: the first being one of utilitarian-based protection and regulation of resource use; and the second, one of pragmatic, science-based, environmental management.
A third movement in conservation is emerging from these traditions – one of citizen-conservation that is based on individualism, private landscape preservation and restoration, and a mosaic of philanthropic and private sector funding models. This may well represent the most important innovation in North American conservation since the mid-twentieth century. It will certainly exert powerful influence on social and political conservation agendas in the twenty-first century. Read the article