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Planning together but working individually, Blufflands Alliance partners help landowners, communities, private conservation groups and public agencies to permanently protect the region’s natural resources.

The color-coded areas on the map at right show where each of the Alliance’s six core partners work. Additional partners and collaborators are listed below.


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Founded in 1979, this nonprofit conservation group has protected more than 100,000 acres throughout the state of Iowa – including more than 40 sites in the Blufflands region. Some of INHF’s best-known area projects include the Heritage Addition to Effigy Mounds, Mines of Spain State Recreation Area, and many private conservation easements. The organization also publishes a variety of free landowner booklets.


Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation

The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization, founded by area residents, for the purpose of protecting the natural heritage, spectacular scenery, and agricultural character of Jo Daviess County, IL. JDCF uses a variety of techniques to accomplish this mission such as educating people about land stewardship and resource conservation, partnering with willing landowners to protect land through conservation easements, land donations, or land acquisitions, supporting recreation that promotes appreciation of our natural resources, and working with other like-minded organizations.


Minnesota Land Trust

The Minnesota Land Trust permanently protects land and water resources, assists communities in achieving their conservation vision and engages Minnesotans to connect them with their natural heritage. MLT has permanently protected more than 36,000 acres and nearly 750,000 feet of shoreline in more than 400 projects around Minnesota, including a special emphasis on the Blufflands Region.


Mississippi Valley Conservancy

Mississippi Valley Conservancy is a regional, non-profit land trust based in La Crosse , WI that has permanently conserved about 12,000 acres of blufflands, prairies, wetlands, and streams in southwestern Wisconsin since its founding in 1997. MVC's mission is to conserve native and working landscapes that enrich our communities through private, voluntary action, for the health and wellbeing of current and future generations. MVC has been recognized for its conservation leadership through many achievement awards, including Land Trust of the Year (WI 2008) and Friend of Conservation—Outstanding Organization (WI 2009). MVC works cooperatively with individuals, businesses, conservation groups, local units of government and state and federal agencies to protect the best our landscape has to offer.


Natural Land Institute

The Natural Land Institute is one of the oldest land conservation groups in the Midwest. Since 1958 it has helped to preserve more than 15,000 acres of land in Illinois, including Hanover Bluff, Apple River Canyon and an addition to Milan Bottoms Wildlife Refuge.  NLI works with private land owners and other conservation groups and agencies to protect natural land in the Mississippi and Rock River basin of Northwestern Illinois for people, plants and animals.


West Wisconsin Land Trust

For more than 20 years, West Wisconsin Land Trust has worked with its members and partners to conserve over 25,000 acres of farms, forests, lakes, prairies and streams in western Wisconsin, including the diverse blufflands of the upper Mississippi River. WWLT works with private landowners to find a protection strategy that best fits their land conservation goals. West Wisconsin Land Trust is a regional land trust serving 20 counties in western and northwestern Wisconsin.

Blufflands Alliance map

Click to view enlarged map

Additional partners and collaborators in this conservation effort include:

In addition to full members, the Blufflands Alliance also includes several collaborating organizations. These organizations, listed below, provide a wide variety of resources including project funding for specific land protection projects, organizational funding, research, mapping, field volunteers, project prioritization and more.

Alliance Collaborators

National Audubon Society –
Upper Mississippi River Campaign
The Nature Conservancy
Trout Unlimited
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
The Prairie Enthusiasts
The Conservation Fund
Driftless Area Initiative
Riverland Conservancy
Land Trust Alliance

Alliance funders

The McKnight Foundation has been the lead organization helping to fund the work of the Blufflands Alliance since 1994. Without their support, the success of the Blufflands Alliance would not have been feasible.

Additional funding to implement state or site-specific projects and programs has been provided by:

Alliant Energy Foundation
Archaeological Conservancy
Roy J. Carver Charitable Foundation
City of LaCrosse
City of Red Wing
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Grand Victoria Foundation
HJ Anderson Foundation
Illinois C2000 Community Conservation Program
Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation
Iowa Blufflands Revolving Loan Fund
INHF Campaign for the Bluffs, Hills and Lakes
Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund
Kohl Foundation
Legislative and Citizens Commission
on Minnesota Resources
Local service clubs, groups and organizations
Menomonie Community Foundation
National Fish & Wildlife Foundation
National Wild Turkey Federation
Natural Resources Conservation Service
North American Wetlands Conservation Act
Otto Bremer Foundation
Pheasants Forever
Plum Creek Foundation
Principal Financial Group Foundation
Red Wing Area Foundation
Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP)
Soil and Water Conservation Districts
St. Croix Valley Community Foundation
Strye Foundation
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
U.S. Forest Service – Forest Legacy Program
UDSA Farm and Ranchland Protection Program
Whitetails Unlimited
Young Family Foundation

The Blufflands Alliance also thanks the following organizations and agencies for their partnership, support and guidance:

Departments of Natural Resources/
Conservation in Minnesota, Iowa,
Illinois, and Wisconsin
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Defenders of Wildlife
Minnesota-Wisconsin Boundary
Area Commission
U.S. Geological Service
Gathering Waters Conservancy
Environmental Law and Policy Center
Trust for Public Land
Ducks Unlimited
Four Mounds Foundation
National Park Service
Natural Area Guardians