Why Conserve?

In Wyoming, 26 million acres of private land produce food and fiber, and sustain local economies and generations of hard-working families. They buffer federal forests and national parks and dovetail with state lands managed for the benefit of our schools. They provide wildlife habitat, cradle the headwaters of our rivers and nurture a distinctly American way of life.

  • Ranchland fragmentation has been identified as one of the top four threats to the future integrity of the West’s public lands (US Forest Service).
  • 43% of Wyoming is privately owned. 93% of the state’s private land base is in agriculture (Wyoming’s State of the Space).
  • Studies have predicted that 48 million people will be added to the West by 2050, resulting in 26 million acres of open space being converted to residential and commercial development. Of the eleven western states, Wyoming is expected to have the third highest growth rate (American Farmland Trust).
  • Experts predict 50% -75% of ranches in the West will change hands in the next 10 to 15 years (American Farmland Trust).
  • Ag land is at the greatest risk for residential development. The majority of land going into low density rural development is coming from the sale of “prime” farm and ranchland to residential and commercial developers (Wyoming’s State of the Space).
  • Agriculture is the 3rd leading industry in the state, exceeding $1 billion annually in economic output (Wyoming 2010 Agricultural Statistics). These dollars have a compounding positive affect for communities by supporting local businesses and adding positively to county tax rolls.