Established in 2000, the National Conservation Lands system protects 31 million acres of the most ecologically rich and culturally significant lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

America’s newest collection of protected public lands and waterways stands alongside our national parks and wildlife refuges as guardians of America’s heritage and drivers of the nation’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy. They are found throughout the West, Alaska and even extend to the East Coast.

The National Conservation Lands include National Monuments and National Conservation Areas, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails. See history, maps and resources in National Conservation Lands - 2013 Policy Handbook.

King Range National Conservation Area, CA; Red Rock Conservation Area, Red Cloud Peak Wilderness Study Area, CO.

King Range National Conservation Area, CA; Red Rock Conservation Area, Red Cloud Peak Wilderness Study Area, CO.

These nationally significant lands embody freedom, discovery and unique outdoor experiences.

From hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument--recognized as the nation’s only monument set aside for its exceptional biodiversity--to trout fishing and whitewater rafting in Colorado’s Browns Canyon National Monument to camping and mountain biking in California’s King Range National Conservation Area, the recreational opportunities afforded by the National Conservation Lands are unsurpassed—and they support the tourism and recreation economies of many rural Western communities.

The National Conservation Lands ensure our clean air and water, while protecting critical habitat for our wildlife.

Most National Conservation Lands areas are open to hunting and fishing, and offer some of America’s best places for sportsmen to carry on outdoor traditions. 

This collection of protected public lands also protects and preserves America’s sacred sites and cultural history. From ancient Puebloan cultures of 1,000 years ago to Spanish, Mexican, Native American and American settler histories from recent centuries, the National Conservation Lands represent a complete tour of the history of the American West.


Conservation starts with community, and history has shown that places are best protected when there is a group of local citizen advocates to lead the effort.  

As member of the Friends Grassroots Network, Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument does critical, on-the-ground work to steward and protect the National Conservation Lands. We also use our collective voice as a national network to advance strong conservation management policies and practices. 


The lands, rivers and trails within the National Conservation Lands have been designated for protection, but they are also incredibly vulnerable.

They face abuse from reckless oil and gas drilling and irresponsible off-road vehicle use. They are subject to looting, vandalism and neglect from underfunding. Working together we can reduce these threats with on-the-ground work, partnerships and advocacy. 

Threats to these lands also come from Congressional attacks on the Antiquities Act—a bedrock conservation law that has been used by 16 Presidents—8 from each party—to protect our nation’s heritage. The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument among several national monuments and national parks would not exist today if they had not been protected under the Antiquities Act.

Banner Image: Bob Wick, BLM photo