• Jen Smith and her husband, Nate Frigard, on their new vegetable farm,
    Working Lands

    The Trust for Public Land protects farms, ranches, forests, and other working lands that foster a healthy, vibrant agricultural system and support land-based livelihoods.

    Photo: Jerry Monkman

America’s farms, ranches, and working forests yield food and timber, support local economies, safeguard clean water, and form some of our nation’s most beautiful landscapes. Whether a deep northern forest, an emerald mosaic of ranchland in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, or the last farm in a New England town, working lands supply valuable resources and a link to our shared rural heritage.

These places are too important to lose. But in many communities, rising property values are making it difficult for ranchers and farmers to pay taxes on their land, or to resist the pressure to sell to eager developers.

The Trust for Public Land partners with landowners and public agencies to keep working lands working, preserving their benefits to the environment and the greater community. Often, we use conservation easements to safeguard property from development while compensating the landowner for the value such development might represent. This strategy conserves productive land and enables ranching, farming, or sustainable forestry to continue.

Our work protects both land and livelihoods—beautiful farms, meadows, and forests that support our jobs, our health, and our quality of life.

MA'O Organic Farm

Bins overflow with freshly-picked chard at MA'O Farms in Waianae, HI.

Growing fresh produce, self-sufficiency, and young leaders at a community-run farm in Hawai'i.

Nelson Ranch

Protecting the land and livelihood of the Nelson family, fifth generation ranchers in rural Washington.

Barre Town Forest

A Vermont woodland now owned by the community with 70-miles of heart-pounding mountain biking trails created out of 355 acres of former quarry land.