Press Release

New Gaining Ground initiative aims to mobilize Americans to combat climate change through private land conservation

Land trusts are America’s primary drivers of private land conservation and Gaining Ground will seek to mobilize Americans to support their critical work.

Washington — The Land Trust Alliance proudly announces its Gaining Ground campaign, a national engagement initiative to educate and mobilize Americans to act on climate change and the environmental issues they care deeply about. Gaining Ground calls on Americans to support the nation’s nonprofit land trusts working to protect 60 million acres of private land by the end of 2030, and in the process, the campaign highlights the opportunities that engaging with a land trust provides to take positive, meaningful actions and address the fear, sadness and helplessness about the future of our planet often labeled as climate anxiety.

Statement by Andrew Bowman, president and CEO of the Land Trust Alliance:

“The hottest summer in human history concluded with the warmest September on record by a wide margin. The challenges facing our environment and our climate are real and are impacting more and more Americans, and it’s easy to allow our anxiety to paralyze us. The Gaining Ground campaign is about empowering people to act on climate and take control of their anxiety by connecting them with their local land trust, because land conservation is essential to addressing climate change.

“Natural climate solutions deployed nationwide could prevent or sequester more than one-fifth of annual U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. Land trusts are essential to achieving that goal by preventing the conversion of intact forests, grasslands and wetlands, and through land management practices such as reforestation and active soil management on working lands. Land trusts identify, conserve and manage climate-resilient lands that are most likely to persist and thrive in a changing climate.

“The challenges facing our planet can seem too large for anyone to tackle alone, but local actions can have a global impact when people come together to support land trusts. Land trusts are reducing the impacts of climate change while providing communities with clean air and water, nutritious food, habitat for plants and animals, and places to get outside to relax, reflect and recharge.”

About Gaining Ground:

Private lands have significant untapped conservation potential — approximately 60% of all land in the United States is privately owned, yet less than 5% of protected areas in the country are on private lands. That’s where Gaining Ground comes in. Land trusts are the country’s primary drivers of private land conservation and currently service 93% of counties in America. There are nearly 1,000 Land Trust Alliance member land trusts in every region of the country working to protect the places we need and love.

Conserving land is crucial to stabilizing our climate and increasing the climate resiliency of human and natural communities. Every hour, the United States loses roughly 150 acres of natural land and 85 acres of farmland and ranchland to development. That’s 3,600 acres of natural land and 2,000 acres of working land every day, which not only impacts our ability to address climate change, but also impacts communities’ access to clean air, clean water and outdoor recreation, carves up — or eliminates — important wildlife habitat, and threatens cultural and sacred sites.

For more information on Gaining Ground, go to And, to find a land trust near them, individuals can go to

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents approximately 1,000 member land trusts and affiliates supported by more than 250,000 volunteers and 6.3 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., with staff working in communities across the U.S.