November 8, 2021

Western Landowners Statement on the Build Back Better Act

Restoring forest health across both public and private lands is among the highest priorities for Western landowners.

In the Arena

Public policy shapes almost everything about the ownership and management of our working landscapes. From local land-use codes and state wildlife management to federal regulatory agendas and international trade, policymaking ultimately defines our options and our opportunities. As primary stakeholders with deep personal and financial investments in the land, we founded Western Landowners Alliance to ensure that landowners have a direct voice in the policy matters that impact us. We work to ensure that public policies support sustainable stewardship and conservation of the lands and the natural resources in our care.


The Biden administration has the opportunity to redefine conservation. They must take it.

Conservation-as-usual isn’t working. We are losing ground and natural resources every day. We can’t afford to waste any more time with top-down solutions that don’t work. It’s time for an entirely new approach to conservation: one that works for rural America, working lands and wildlife. We have a plan to make it happen. 

Cover from WLA 2020 Federal Policy Platform _ 10.26.20 _ web
What we're fighting for

WLA's Federal Policy Recommendations

As landowners and land managers, we recognize that well-managed lands are the cornerstones of both human communities and the ecosystems on which we all depend. We have a deep, vested stake in these lands and the lived experience of what it means to own and manage land, produce food and fiber, and to steward wildlife and natural resources on a daily basis. We are at a pivotal point in deciding how we move conservation policies, the economy and our food systems forward. The right mix of pro-active investments and policies to support land stewardship and conservation can ensure the scales tip towards a more sustainable future.

Habitat Leasing

Critical habitat for wildlife in the West is disappearing at an alarming rate.

We've got a Big Idea to stop it.


The Habitat Lease


Market-based, multi-year "habitat leases" that provide annual payments for publicly beneficial ecological values and services, especially wildlife habitat, provided by landowners.


Learn More

Key Issue

Wildlife need whole and healthy working lands

2/3 of imperiled species

Two-thirds of federally listed species have at least some habitat on private land. To stave off the biodiversity crisis, and the economic collapse of rural America, will require smart policies that reward private stewardship while keeping working lands working.


Policy Position

Responsible Approaches to Public Access

Start with mutual respect

Just like public and private lands are intermingled and interdependent, so too are public and private interests. Successful solutions will start with mutual respect, a desire to achieve win-win outcomes and the recognition that the conservation of land, wildlife and natural resources must be the first priority.


Policy Position

Promoting proactive wildland fire management

Comprehensive and collaborative wildfire strategies

The West is a complex patchwork of public and private lands, ecosystems and habitat types. Resource management authority may stop at a fence line, but resource destruction knows no bounds, highlighting the need for comprehensive and collaborative wildfire risk mitigation strategies.

Issue Alert

Improving Grassland CRP

A wise investment

Working lands are the future of conservation, providing benefit to the human communities and ecosystems we all depend on. An investment in CRP is an investment in the continued viability of working landscapes.



Grazing Regulations that Work

An opportunity for a win-win

BLM grazing regulations that work well provide flexibility and resources to meet those goals across large landscapes of matrixed ownership including private, state and federal lands, while valuing economic stability of permittees and rural communities. 



New Mexico Climate and Conservation Fund

No time to leave money on the table

New Mexico needs to invest in its land and water in order to ensure the integrity and sustainability of our water supply, wildlife, agriculture, and wide-open spaces – all of which comprise its world-famous natural and cultural heritage recognized. Millions of dollars could be leveraged by state investment, at a 6:1 match ratio.

Policy Updates

May 19, 2021

What happened at 30x30 and Private Lands in the West

By Zach Altman

Oct 1 2020

What landowners need to know about 'America's Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act'

By Zach Bodhane

Aug 26 2020

Time to talk about regenerative recreation

By Lesli Allison

Aug 11 2020

New Mexico Wades into Troubled Waters

By Lesli Allison

Policy Resources

Forests and Ranges

Forest and Range

WLA brings the experience, values and interests of the best stewards in the West to public policies that affect private and public working forests and rangeland.



WLA provides a direct voice in water resource policy for landowners committed to the conservation and wise management of water, which is critical to the West’s future.



WLA promotes policies that provide flexibility and economic support, enabling landowners to meet the needs of both wildlife and people.

From The Blog


WLA works to provide landowners a say in designing commonsense policies that ensure healthy lands and robust communities.



Robust rural economics are essential to keeping our remaining lands intact and under family ownership.


Stronger Together

Place-based collaboration is the foundation for successful, enduring stewardship. Together, we are building a healthier and more productive West.

Leadership from the Land

Founded, led and inspired by landowners and practitioners working to create a better West.



Bringing landowner perspectives and stories to bear on major issues shaping the West.



WLA’s peer network and shared knowledge base is designed for landowners striving to keep the land whole and healthy.



Advancing pragmatic, common ground solutions that sustain working lands, connected landscapes and native species.

Join WLA to stay up to date on the most important news and policy for land stewards.

Become a member for free today and we will send you the news and policy developments critical to the economic and ecological health of working lands.

WLA works on behalf of landowners and practitioners throughout the West. We will never share your contact information with anyone.

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