FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Land Trust Accreditation Commission contact:
Tammara Van Ryn
518-587-3143 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Land Trust Alliance contact:
202-800-2239 | email@example.com
One in Four Land Trusts Now Hold National Mark of Distinction
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program promoting the highest national standards for ensuring permanence in the conservation of American lands, announced today that one in four land trusts are now accredited. This milestone is reached as the Commission enters its tenth year of helping land trusts build strong programs to save the lands and waters people care about.
“At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “For a full decade, accredited land trusts have been united behind strong ethical standards and the pursuit of conservation excellence. This network of more than 370 land trusts has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance and lasting stewardship.”
There are 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released Dec. 1 by the Land Trust Alliance. This comprehensive report also shows accredited land trusts have made significant achievements.
- Accredited land trusts have steadily grown and now steward more than 77 percent of conservation lands and easements held by all land trusts.
- Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010 to 2015 than land trusts that were not yet accredited.
- Accredited land trusts also have stronger systems and more resources to steward and defend their conservation lands forever.
- As a result, the public’s trust in land conservation has increased, helping to win support for federal, state and local conservation funding measures.
Van Ryn said 21 land trusts achieved initial or renewed accreditation this month. The total number of accredited land trusts surpasses 25 percent of all land trusts based on the Census release.
The Commission is an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Commission is governed by conservation practitioners around the country who ensure that each accredited land trust meets extensive documentation requirements and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation or renewal application. Accredited land trusts must renew every five years, confirming their compliance with national quality standards and providing continued assurance to donors and landowners of their commitment to forever stewarding their land and easements.
“The growing number of accredited land trusts is one of the greatest shared accomplishments our community has realized since the Land Trust Alliance was founded 35 years ago,” said Andrew Bowman, the Alliance’s president. “I look forward to seeing this number grow in the years ahead, empowering even more land trusts to become stronger and better able to serve their community.”
Land trusts achieving first-time accreditation are Avalonia Land Conservancy (Connecticut), Chattooga Conservancy (Georgia), Driftless Area Land Conservancy (Wisconsin), Five Rivers Conservation Trust (New Hampshire), Indian River Lakes Conservancy (New York), Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy (South Carolina), Land Conservancy of Ridgefield (Connecticut), Mendocino Land Trust (California), Newtown Forest Association (Connecticut), Niches Land Trust (Indiana), Ranchland Trust of Kansas (Kansas), Shirley Heinze Land Trust (Indiana), Steep Rock Association (Connecticut), Westerly Land Trust (Rhode Island), and Woods and Waters Land Trust (Kentucky).
Land trusts achieving renewed accreditation are Chestnut Hill Conservancy (Pennsylvania), Columbia Land Conservancy (New York), Delaware Highlands Conservancy (Pennsylvania), Genesee Valley Conservancy (New York), Summit Land Conservancy (Utah), and Winnakee Land Trust (New York).
A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed on the Commission's website
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, New York, inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing land trust organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and that strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. More information about the Commission is available on its website
About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices.