Strategic Conservation Plan

Strategic Conservation Plan

A visionary plan for the proactive conservation of West Michigan’s natural areas

Increasing pressures on the West Michigan landscape—urban development, habitat fragmentation and degradation, and climate change—all amount to a louder call for the Land Conservancy of West Michigan to be strategic in our approach to land protection and stewardship. It is more critical than ever that we permanently protect key natural areas that contribute to improved quality of water and life for West Michigan’s human inhabitants, as well as the resilience of our native plants and wildlife.  

As a nationally accredited land trust, the Land Conservancy of West Michigan is uniquely positioned to meet these challenges through the creation of a strategic conservation plan. We are proud to be the first land trust in our region—and one of the first nationwide—to implement a proactive, climate-responsive conservation strategy. 

Through a process combining science, advanced mapping and extensive community input, we have identified three distinct regions in our service area where we will focus conservation efforts. These regions include the scenic Lake Michigan Shoreline on our western boundary, the Big Forests and Wild Rivers to the north and our Eastern Glacial Corridor. Our strategic conservation plan outlines the threats in each region and the ways in which we will respond in the next 10-15 years.  You can explore our focal regions using the interactive map below.

The strategic, proactive conservation of West Michigan’s natural lands can only succeed with your help. Support this important work with a gift to the Land Conservancy of West Michigan today!

Support Strategic Conservation

This plan is ambitious and will succeed only with your help. Donate now to support strategic conservation in West Michigan!


Where We Will Focus

How did we choose our focal regions?

To identify lands in West Michigan that best support biodiversity, water quality and the long-term resilience of our native plants and wildlife, the Land Conservancy of West Michigan first needed to define what constitutes “conservation potential.” We created a story map to illustrate how we approached that.

View Story Map

The development of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan’s Strategic Conservation Plan was generously funded in part by the Land Trust Alliance, with technical support provided by the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. Many other partner organizations and individuals contributed greatly to the conceptual development of this plan, including The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and the Land Conservancy’s Board of Directors, Land Protection and Stewardship Committees and countless supporters. Thank you.

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