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The History of the Land Trust Alliance: 30 Years of Conservation Success

The Land Trust Alliance, the national conservation organization whose members are land trusts, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Formed by the land conservation community in 1982 to coordinate communication among land trusts and to act as a clearinghouse of information on land conservation, the Alliance today strengthens conservation through service-leadership to the 1,700 land trusts in local communities across America.

To set the stage for a national network of conservation knowledge-sharing, a meeting of 40 conservation leaders took place in 1981 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, organized by the late Kingsbury Browne. “Participants avidly endorsed Browne’s notion of better communications,” says Jean Hocker, former president of the Alliance. “They saw the need for collective action—in marketing and building public support, in influencing public policies, and in refining land-saving techniques and strategies.”

“The Land Trust Alliance is positioned to do something no other organization can—to strengthen the very backbone of our nation’s land conservation movement. The Alliance safeguards the continued success of voluntary conservation easements, and helps make sure more communities have the tools they need to save the local lands they love.”

- Martha Kongsgaard and Peter Goldman, WA


Come with us on the 30-year journey. View a history of the Alliance by Jean Hocker, with assistance from Karen Spern, or view a shorter timeline.

Where is the Alliance heading in the next five years? View our strategic plan.

Test your memory of the people who were there at the beginning. View these two photos and see how many people you can identify. Then check out the answers.

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