Who We Are

Supporting Professionals Protecting Nature 

The Natural Areas Association (NAA) is the only national, non-profit membership organization that is dedicated to the support and advancement of the community of natural areas professionals.

Together, we envision a world where science-based conservation is the bedrock of protecting the beauty and wonder of nature.

Our members work to protect and restore natural areas, ecosystems and landscapes, and include natural lands managers, natural resource managers, land trust staff and volunteers, biologists, ecologists, researchers, policy specialists, educators, students, and anyone with an active interest in environmental conservation and natural areas stewardship.

NAA's mission is to support the community of natural areas professionals. Our network gives our members the resources to reach their professional goals. We work with our members to raise awareness about the need for natural areas conservation, and about the need for conservation research and advocacy.

We who work in the natural areas preservation movement have a noble cause. Almost nobody before us had seen the need or been able to set aside natural areas. And those that follow will no longer have the chance. They will only be able to care for what we leave them.

 -George B. Fell, founding member of NAA

What We Do:

  • Support, nurture and advance the community of natural areas professionals.

  • Advance natural areas conservation through access to the latest research findings, as well as emerging management techniques and conservation practices.

  • Promote an understanding and appreciation of natural areas, and the people who work to steward them.

  • Advocate for legislation that supports and funds initiatives important to natural areas.

  • Reflect the consensus of natural areas professionals through statements of policy on protection and management.

How We Do It:

  • Foster a community of professionals that come together to find solutions to our shared challenges.

  • Hold the Natural Areas Conference, the premier gathering of natural areas professionals.

  • Publish the Natural Areas News e-newsletter. Subscribe now.

  • Invest in the next generation of natural areas managers through conference scholarships and programming, awards and career guidance.

  • Maintain strategic partnerships with federal and state land managers, private conservation organizations and universities, which enables us to share ideas and best practices.

  • Publish the Natural Areas Journal, a peer-reviewed, internationally recognized journal for scientists and natural areas professionals that provides opportunities for researchers to share research results and best management practices.

  • Advocate with decision makers in Washington, D.C. on behalf of our members and pushing for legislation that supports natural areas professionals and the protection and management of natural areas.

Our Vision

The Natural Areas Association's vision is broader and better protection of the world‘s natural areas. This vision includes:
the expansion of existing protected areas, the creation of new natural preserves, adequate resources to
protect natural areas into the future, increased recognition and appreciation for the beauty and value of nature,
and establishing conservation priorities based on sound science.

Non-discrimination Policy

NAA is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, disability, citizenship status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or on the basis of any other federal, state, or local legally protected status. NAA management is dedicated to fulfilling this policy to include, but not limited to, the board of directors, staff members, association members, partners, sponsors and anyone else who engages with the organization.


Join the people who protect and manage our natural areas.