[Source: National Conservation System Foundation] -- The National Landscape Conservation System is America’s newest vision for protecting the history and wild beauty of the American West. Created in 2000, the Conservation System includes National Monuments and Conservation Areas, Wilderness, Rivers and Trails -- some of the most unique and pristine lands and waters entrusted to the Bureau of Land Management. The Conservation System includes 26 million acres across 11 western states, Alaska, and even includes the Potomac Heritage Trail just outside Washington, D.C.
The Conservation System protects critical habitat for fish and wildlife, access to world-class hunting and fishing, and challenging recreation for the self-guided adventurer. Here you can still experience the West of the first Americans and early pioneers. The creation of the National Landscape Conservation System was critical step toward ensuring that our most valuable natural and cultural resources managed by the Bureau of Land Management are protected for future generations to study and enjoy. However, the Conservation System is understaffed, underfunded, and vulnerable to shifting political priorities; its lands and waters are threatened by development, vandalism, and neglect. The Conservation System needs strong, unified, national support to ensure it can protect the national treasures in its care.