Success Stories

The objective behind Sand County Foundation’s efforts is to learn from, encourage, and where appropriate, assist citizen-based conservation projects that incorporate multiple landowners, a commitment to ethics and incentives, monitoring, independent review, and a willingness to share the social, economic, and environmental outcomes with others.

Bradley Fund for the Environment

The Bradley Fund for the Environment was a partnership between Sand County Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The fund fostered ethically sound and science-based projects as leading-edge solutions to major ecological issues.

Cooperative Sagebrush Initiative

A regional conservation partnership in the West where ranchers, environmentalists, energy producers, and public agencies are working toward voluntary, incentive-based, bottom-up restoration of the sagebrush steppe biome.

Leopold Memorial Reserve

Along the sandy banks of the Wisconsin River are 2,000 acres of private land, adjacent to Aldo Leopold's 'Shack' and family farm. It's an early success story of simple, low-cost, voluntary conservation. The demonstrated commitment of farmer neighbors to conserve their lands around Leopold's Shack led to Sand County Foundation’s private conservation leadership on working lands across the United States.

Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative

A community of people in north central Pennsylvania whose livelihoods, economy, and traditions merge around a mixed ownership forest on the Allegheny plateau.

Pay for Performance

Pay-for-Performance is a targeted approach to investing limited conservation program funding. Instead of paying for specific farm practices, it calculates farmer payments based on the net environmental improvement. Pay-for-Performance uses dollars to achieve specific environmental outcomes.

Baraboo River Restoration

Sand County Foundation helped make history in 2001. With critical funding from the Bradley Fund for the Environment, Sand County Foundation and public and private sector partners completed a six-year dam removal effort that resulted in the Baraboo River running unimpeded for the first time in 150 years.

Trinity River

More than 90 percent of Texas is privately owned and ranching is a predominant way of life. Sand County Foundation and partners investigated land management systems that can enhance livelihoods, build resilience against weather extremes, and help alleviate growing pressure on the state’s water resources.

Oxbow Restoration

Sand County Foundation and multiple partners showed how restoring oxbows in an Iowa watershed could improve the environment while creating economic benefits for farmers.

Floodplain Rehabilitation

Inappropriate and unsafe dams impede how rivers and floodplains function. Sand County Foundation explored what can be done and provides an analysis of the 2008 Wisconsin River and Baraboo River floods.

Karner Blue Butterfly Restoration

Sand County Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service united to help private landowners improve habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly.

America’s Inner Coast Summit

Sand County Foundation’s Bradley Fund for the Environment co-sponsored the America’s Inner Coast Summit in 2010. It addressed sustainability of the Mississippi River watershed.