The Land Trust Alliance Board of Directors has approved the final revised version of the Land Trust Standards and Practices. You can download the document here.
Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, were first drafted in 1989. To maintain the land trust community’s strength, credibility and effectiveness, the Standards were updated in 1993, 2001 and 2004. In preparing the 2017 update, an advisory team, comprised of land trust professionals from across the country, reviewed and discussed more than 1,600 comments from conservationists throughout the United States. These many voices were an invaluable asset throughout the revisions process.
So what has changed? While the substance of the Standards remains the same, we have made some significant changes, including:
- A new format that improves clarity and reduces redundancy
- A focus on those practices that apply broadly to the land trust community
- Greater alignment with the requirements for accreditation and Terrafirma eligibility
Over the next several months, the Alliance will be revising its current materials, including the Standards and Practices Curriculum, to reflect the revised Standards. Our goal is to help land trusts understand how best to implement the revised Standards given the size and scope of their organizations.
Each of the Alliance’s member land trusts must now adopt the Standards as guiding principles for its operations, pledging a commitment to uphold the public confidence and the credibility of the land trust community as a whole. Starting in June 2017 and using a board adoption resolution included within the new Standards, all members of the Alliance must confirm adoption of the new Standards when membership is renewed.
This is a lot to digest, I know. That’s why more robust explanations can be found here. If you can’t find an answer to your question, though, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Land Trust Standards and Practices were first created by practitioners who understood that a strong land trust community would be the surest way to lasting conservation. Land trusts are a respected and integral part of our nation’s land conservation work. Together, we must support our peers and hold ourselves to the highest standards as we continue to conserve the places we need and love. This year the Alliance celebrates its 35th anniversary, and we are committed to continuing to foster this process by and for the community.
The Land Trust Alliance wishes to thank all the individual, foundation and corporate supporters of Together: A Campaign for the Land who helped make the 2017 revisions possible, as well as the members of the land trust community for providing feedback and the Standards Advisory Team for its leadership.
Sylvia Bates is standards and educational services director for the Land Trust Alliance.