The State of Maine in the US is 94% privately owned, and is the most forested state in the country. Fifteen years ago, Maine ranked last among US eastern states in its percentage of land under conservation; today it ranks near the top. The Nature Conservancy and its many partners have achieved this extraordinary turn-around through a combination of bold acquisitions and strategic innovations. This paper will explain The Nature Conservancy's pioneering strategies for the protection and restoration of large, privately owned forested landscapes; strategies that are applicable in many other private land settings. In Maine these strategies have included using silviculture as both a conservation and financing strategy, tax-free exchanges with other landowners, development by design, conservation easements, and even making low interest loans to paper companies in exchange for conservation restrictions.