The companion to the Deer Steward courses, the National Deer Association’s (NDA) Land Certification Program (LCP) was developed to recognize the accomplishments of landowners and sportsmen implementing the four cornerstones of Quality Deer Management (QDM) throughout North America, as well as those committed to ethics, conservation and biodiversity through land stewardship. The LCP is a multi-level, voluntary process which will evaluate and certify one or more properties against an established list of QDM standards.

Download the LCP Overview Brochure to learn more about this exciting program!


There are three designations (levels) of the LCP:

Pledged Lands – the apprentice level; this designation shows that the landowner has a commitment to practice QDM. Recognizes properties committed to QDM, the NDA, wildlife laws and safety (Standards 1-4). This designation does not require a written management plan or a site visit by qualified property inspector, thus properties that achieve Pledged Lands status are not certified; self-application available. Applicants can bypass this level and apply directly for one of the certification levels if so desired.

Certified Lands – the first certification level; this designation recognizes landowners that successfully practice all four cornerstones of QDM. Recognizes properties meeting the Pledged Lands requirements (Standards 1-4) as well as minimum qualifications for the four cornerstones of QDM (Standards 5-8). This designation requires a written, approved management plan and a site visit by a qualified property inspector.

Legacy Lands – the highest certification level; this designation is only awarded to the model QDM property. Recognizes properties that not only satisfy the requirements for Pledged and Certified Lands designation (Standards 1-8), but also meet minimum requirements for Standards 9-14. These properties exemplify the highest level of land protection, conservation, stewardship, and commitment to the preservation of our hunting heritage. This designation also requires a written, approved management plan and site visit by qualified property inspector.

NDA Membership

A great way to join or renew your membership with NDA, a one-year membership is included with the Pledged Lands designation and an amazing five-year membership is included with both Certified and Legacy Lands designations!

LCP Signs

Once a property meets the requirements of a given designation category, the applicant property will receive a certificate and one (1) property sign. Pledged Lands signs measure 12 x 12 inches and Certified and Legacy Lands signs measure 18 x 18 inches. Additional Certified and Legacy Lands signs may be purchased at a cost of $15 per sign, plus S/H; with a limit of five (5) extra property signs per applicant.

LCP Documents

Free to download and learn what the LCP is all about!

How Do I Contact an LCP Inspector?

Click HERE to find a list of approved LCP Inspectors. This list is continually growing as we hold more training sessions, so please check back often!

FAQ about the LCP

If you have any questions regarding the NDA Land Certification Program please contact:

Ben Westfall
NDA Conservation Coordinator