Sand County Foundation

Sand County Foundation is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to working with private landholders across North America on voluntary land management practices that benefit the environment. Sand County Foundation was founded more than forty years ago to protect the land surrounding renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold’s shack from development.  Rather than depending on public acquisition, our protection strategy was rooted in private action inspired by Leopold’s Land Ethic, using responsible, voluntary means.

Today, Sand County Foundation is the nation’s leading voice for private landowners. The Foundation works with farmers, ranchers and foresters to improve the quality of their lands through science, ethics, and incentives.  Our focus has expanded from research and experimental management on Leopold’s land to supporting and encouraging the stewards of hundreds of thousands of acres.

to advance the use of ethical and scientifically-sound land management practices and partnerships for the benefit of people and the environment. We are achieving this mission by:

  • Providing support to private individuals and communities as primary agents of conservation and management
  • Rewarding responsible stewards and providing public recognition for outstanding private lands leadership
  • Facilitating the exchange of information between and among private individuals, scientists, funders and policy makers
  • Removing regulatory barriers and creating meaningful incentives for landowners who enhance the environment
  • Creating on the land examples of environmental improvement suitable for replication

Contact Sand County Foundation

Kevin Kiley, Development & Communications
131 W. Wilson Street
Suite 610
Madison, Wisconsin  53703
Phone: (608) 663-4605
Fax: (608) 299-3745


Service Area

National service provider

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Related Success Stories for Sand County Foundation

Baraboo River Cooperative Restoration
Partners worked together to remove four aged, unsafe, and uneconomical dams that blocked fish movement, damaged water quality, and endangered river users on the 128 mile Baraboo River mainstem.

Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Conservation Plan
HCP encourages voluntary creation and management of endangered Karner blue butterfly habitat on private lands through incentives and support.

Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative
Public and private forest managers, with the conservation group Sand County Foundation, created the voluntary Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative to restore a healthy forest ecosystem.

Leopold Memorial Reserve
Coordination among private landowners stopped land fragmentation, initiated habitat monitoring, and improved management which produced significant ecological research and educational opportunities.

Upper Mississippi River Basin
New drainage water management systems in the Midwest are improving water quality and wildlife habitat in the Mississippi River Basin.