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Private Lands Stewardship Program

Winter on a Wyoming ranch

Background

Private lands are key to the culture, ecology, and economy of the West. They produce food and fiber, provide wildlife habitat, protect watersheds, connect landscapes, sustain livelihoods, and more. But private working lands, and the resources they protect, face increasing pressure. Population growth, volatile agricultural prices, soaring land prices, and difficulty recruiting younger generations to ranch life, all compel landowners to sell private land for development, putting the resources and values private lands protect at risk. Landowners need tools, information, and resources to help keep agricultural operations viable, prepare for the future, and ensure private working lands remain intact for generations to come.


Focus

The new Whitney MacMillan Private Lands Stewardship Program in the Ruckelshaus Institute at the University of Wyoming will address the needs of private landowners by drawing on expertise and interdisciplinary collaborations across natural resource management, rangeland ecology, business and finance, law, decision-making, collaborative processes, and other fields. The program will focus on a range of pressing issues affecting private landowners, including intergenerational transfer of land; options for participation in emerging markets such as conservation banks; science-based range management and grazing practices; and effective collaboration with federal, state, and private land managers on issues ranging from grazing leases to carnivores.

View and download a description of the Private Lands Stewardship Program


 

Stewardship Practices Interactive Map

From watershed protection to wildlife habitat, energy development to hunting opportunities, private lands are key to sustaining the characteristics that define our western landscapes. Click on our interactive map to explore the many benefits private lands provide, and to learn about resources and tools landowners can access to help protect those benefits.

 

Illustration of practices

Click on map to view an interactive version.


More Information

Creek on private land

Conservation Toolbox

The challenge of maintaining working lands requires conservationists to increase the scale and impact of their efforts. To achieve this goal, a portfolio of tools and approaches is needed that meets diverse landowner objectives and ecological needs.

View all tools >

Creek on private land

Resources for Landowners

From wind energy and mineral leasing, to wildlife-friendly stock tanks, to planned grazing and estate planning, you'll find a comprehensive list of resources for landowners.

View all resources >

Or, explore resources in our interactive map >

Creek on private land

Meet our Team

Our diverse team helps address the needs of private landowners by drawing on expertise and interdisciplinary collaborations across natural resource management, rangeland ecology, business and finance, law, decision-making, collaborative processes, and other fields.

Learn more about Drew Bennett >
(Team member page coming soon!)


Whitney MacMillanAbout Whitney MacMillan

Motivated by a desire to sustain private working lands and keep agricultural operations viable, Haub School Emeritus Board Member, Whitney MacMillan, founded the Private Lands Stewarship Program in 2018. As the retired Chairman and CEO of Cargill, Inc., and the operator of a cow-calf ranch in Montana, Mr. MacMillan has seen the challenges facing private landowners first-hand. Whitney's gift supports a Professor of Practice in Private Lands Stewardship, Dr. Drew Bennett, and establishes the new Whitney MacMillan Private Lands Stewardship Program to advance research and outreach that will create new understanding about the drivers of private-land changes and emerging tools for sustaining private lands.

Contact Us

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources

Bim Kendall House

804 E Fremont St

Laramie, WY 82072

Phone: (307) 766-5080

Fax: (307) 766-5099

Email: haub.school@uwyo.edu

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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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