The mission of Trust for Working Lands is to protect and enhance working lands for ecological, economic, and social benefits. 

Our Mission


Working lands are lands that are managed for specific productive outputs—including food, forage, ecosystem services, fiber or timber. Working lands can produce outputs of ecological value that can have economic returns—such as critical habitat, water quality, carbon sequestration, and more. They create social value by providing employment, residential opportunities, capital accumulation and educational and engagement opportunities for local communities.


Strategy and Implementation


Trust for Working Lands is focused on the preservation and stewardship of lands that require human management and provide these multiple benefits. For example, by protecting and managing rice-producing agricultural lands in river floodplains for the enhancement of native salmon populations, we can support local agriculture, restore and create critical salmon habitat (thereby supporting local fisheries and water supply projects), educate the public, and establish a model that demonstrates potential solutions for California water management issues.


In a world that is becoming more crowded and climate-unstable, multi-benefit land management solutions are not only attractive, but necessary.

Some of today’s major challenges in land preservation and management as related to working lands include:

  1.  Management challenges—land trusts and public agencies struggle with the high ongoing costs and technical expertise required to successfully manage protected lands. 
  2. Affordability challenges—incoming farmers, ranchers, foresters and other land managers are often priced out of the private real estate market for the very lands that need their management.
  3. Succession challenges—aging farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are often unable to pass their lands intact to the next generation;
  4. Timeliness challenges – When a working property comes to market, especially when a family is forced to sell suddenly, there is often inadequate time to find the right buyer or financing to ensure/enhance the land’s stewardship and productivity.

We are a registered 501(c)3, incorporated in the State of California.