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Public-Private Partnership Strengthens Land Stewardship

September 25, 2012 | Land Trust Alliance | Washington, D.C.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rob Aldrich
Director of Communications
202.800.2225 | raldrich@lta.org

 

Training and Other Resources Provided to Enhance Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is partnering with the Land Trust Alliance to ensure the success of the public’s investment in conservation easements under the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). This formal agreement will make the Alliance’s integrated suite of online and in-person information and training resources available to all NRCS partners through the FRPP, building their capacity and ensuring the long-term stewardship of conservation easements. 

“I welcome this partnership as a way to share the collective wisdom of the private land conservation community gained over the past 30 years,” said Land Trust Alliance President Rand Wentworth.  “We offer efficient and effective delivery of authoritative information and training that is the best in the land conservation community.”

With the collaboration of the land trust community, the Alliance first created Land Trust Standards and Practices in 1989.  These are the guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust which is run legally, ethically and in the public interest, and which conducts a sound program of land transactions and stewardship.  It also created the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, to recognize land trusts that meet national quality standards, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.

A key aspect of the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program is the public-private partnership. The NRCS and Land Trust Alliance partnership provides training and other resources to entities applying for FRPP funding, which will foster stronger conservation partnerships on individual FRPP projects.

The Alliance will provide NRCS\FRPP partners with two services: 1) a voucher worth $250 to be used for training opportunities, and 2) access to its online Learning Center.


The online Learning Center provides authoritative, current and accurate information for and about land conservation; the Standards and Practices Curriculum; forums to ask questions of experts; a searchable library; and the Conservation Defense Clearinghouse, a collection of legal information on voluntary land conservation.


Training opportunities include on-line training through webinars, while in-person training will be delivered at the National Land Conservation Conference – Rally and regional workshops.


To request these services, NRCS/FRPP partners should complete an application form and submit that to the Alliance.  The form can be found on the Alliance website or USDA website or contact Bart Zerfas at bzerfas@lta.org or 202-800-2211.


The Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) is a voluntary easement program that protects productive agricultural land by providing funds for the purchase of conservation easements to limit conversion of farm and ranch lands to non-agricultural uses. NRCS partners with state, tribal or local governments, and non-governmental organizations to fund the acquisition of conservation easements or other interests in land from private landowners.


The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization that leads a national network of 1,700 land trusts – local, nonprofit organizations working to protect clean water, local food, and places to play in their communities.  We increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected. We enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using best practices. And we ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time.

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