Declines in crop prices and broader concerns about farm program funding, coupled with farmer awareness of environmental issues, provides an impetus to advance on-farm conservation and the opportunity to diversify farm income through payments for water quality outcomes. This report builds upon the June 2020 report Prioritizing Resources to Meet Water Quality Goals to detail the challenges and opportunities associated with conservation finance for water quality, as the demand and solutions are rapidly changing.
A partnership to assess agricultural practices and strategies to further improve water quality by the Sand County Foundation, the Noble Research Institute, Farm Foundation, and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), with financial assistance from The Fertilizer Institute, USDA NRCS, McKnight Foundation, Ida and Robert Gordon Family Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation.
In this report, we offer ideas for improving ESA mitigation to address past gaps in mitigation practice and to confront future challenges arising from infrastructure development. The report first provides background on ESA mitigation, including the relevant laws and policies. The report then offers near and longer-term recommendations to improve ESA mitigation. These recommendations should form a core component of how the Biden administration approaches ESA permitting.
As a legacy partner member of the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, Sand County Foundation's experience working across state boundaries with farmers and government agencies on agricultural conservation issues, resulted in an invitation from ESMC to lead a rapid assessment of state policies relevant to the development of environmental markets within the Mississippi River Basin.
This guidance document for Wisconsin municipalities incorporates lessons learned during our pilot project with the Village of Grafton. The process described focuses on building trust between stakeholders to achieve the goals and objects of an entire watershed community.
Sand County Foundation and the University of Wisconsin are using SnapPlus to compare sediment and P losses from Wisconsin farmers with and without prairie strips.
Twenty ways cities, towns, and water utilities can pay for water quality improvements on farms and get regulatory credit for doing so.
Furthering upstream-downstream partnerships in the Mississippi River Basin is the goal of a project spearheaded by Sand County Foundation. There are creative ways to achieve federal and state governments' clean water goals by forging partnerships between municipalities, utilities, and farmers who volunteer to work with them.
A collection of success stories about rare species conservation that demonstrate how different types of land managers have worked, often collaboratively, to achieve outcomes that reverse species decline. The stories center around species such as the Greater Sage-Grouse, swift fox, and the Louisiana black bear, and how conservation actions can result in the removal of a species from the Endangered Species list, or the elimination of a need to be listed in the first place.
A collection of stories provides a glimpse into how six western ranchers have collaborated to improve sage grouse habitat. The stories highlight how conservation by private landowners and other organizations can lead to positive outcomes that benefit both landowners and the wildlife they seek to protect.
With sage grouse populations spanning 11 energy- and agriculture-rich states, state and federal agencies have poured $750 million to protect, restore and manage habitat for the bird to head off a listing. None of this successful conservation work would have been possible without the active and voluntary engagement of private landowners
An analysis of a proposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policy on Critical Habitat Exclusions provides organizations and individuals who have an interest in endangered species issues with a better understanding of the implications of this new policy and a set of recommendations for improvements to it.
Sand County Foundation, which serves as the fiscal sponsor for Mission:Wildlife, knows how important endangered species issues are, especially for landowners. We have consistently advocated for greater application of incentives for landowners who voluntarily protect and enhance rare plants and animals. Offering private property owners a pathway to exclusions from a critical habitat designation could be a powerful incentive for conservation as well as a remedy for one of the more injurious powers of the Endangered Species Act.
“On the Land” features compelling, in-depth stories of the lives and livelihoods of five Leopold Conservation Award winning landowners with distinctly different conservation stories. Writer Andy Rieber’s deeply emotive accounts of these remarkable landowners will leave you feeling inspired.
Fisheries experts increasingly emphasize the impact and usefulness of fisherman-to-fisherman exchanges. Sand County Foundation and the Alex C. Walker Foundation hosted North American fishers at a meeting that advanced the collective understanding of sustainable marine fisheries management. This report details the important lessons learned during that meeting.
Building upon the successful fisheries workshop held in Del Mar, California in 2005 and arising from several important initiatives that emerged among the participants of that conference, Sand County Foundation, with support from the Alex C. Walker Foundation, Brenda Christensen and Tom Barry, the Bradley Fund for the Environment, and Kingfisher Foundation, brought together more than 50 fishers for a second “Improving Fisheries Management” conference. This report details the important lessons learned during that meeting.
With partnership funding from the Bradley Fund for the Environment and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, among others, Sand County Foundation was able to coordinate the successful removal of the LaValle Dam while at the same time creating leading-edge research opportunities. More importantly, this was done in such a way that dam owner rights were respected and the community was actively involved in the project.