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Summary Timeline

The Land Trust Alliance Journey: 30 Years of Conservation Success


  • Land Trust Exchange formed in Boston

−Incorporated - February 22
−First Meeting - March 31
–Tax-Exempt Status Received - July 2

  • Allan Spader named executive director
  • First issue of Exchange published

Bar Harbor Office and Computer1983

  • Ben Emory named executive director; office moved to Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Land Trust Exchange urged land trusts to comment on IRS draft regulations on the deductibility of easements
  • First regional conference held in Wisconsin

Old Materials1984

  • Published our first book, Appraising Easements, in cooperation with the National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Exchange featured several articles on how land trusts were beginning to use computers to achieve greater productivity
  • Initiated first-ever national survey of conservation easement programs, attempting to document all publicly and privately held conservation easements in the country; results published in 1985

Caroline Pryor1985

  • First Rally held in Washington, D.C.
  • National Directory of Local and Regional Land Conservation Organizations issued, showing 535 land trusts protecting 500,000 acres


  • 1986-1986 Board MembersFederal Tax Law of Conservation Easements published by the Land Trust Exchange and Stephen J. Small


  • Jean Hocker named president; office moved to Alexandria, Virginia


  • First edition of The Conservation Easement Handbook published (revised in 2005)


  • Land Trust Standards and Practices created

Jean Hocker Testifying1990

  • Name changed to Land Trust Alliance; office moved to Washington, D.C.
  • Training and regional services plan unveiled


  • Conservation Easement Stewardship Guide published

Kingsbury Browne1993

  • Land Trust Standards and Practices Guidebook published
  • First Land Trust Alliance field office established in New York


  • Launched database of model documents and technical resources to better respond to 2,000 information requests received annually


  • First Northwest regional conference held in Troutdale, Oregon


  • First Land Trust Alliance public website launched

Exchange 1998

  • The Alliance, in partnership with The Conservation Fund, introduced the Land Conservation Leadership Program


  • The New York Times featured lead story on results of the 2000 National Land Trust Census
  • Alliance convened land trust partners to increase pace of conservation in Chicago region
  • Northern Rockies Land Conservation Planning Workshop held in Bozeman, Montana
  • LTAnet launched, first online library of land conservation information for member land trusts

Rand Wentowrth Hired 20022002

  • Rand Wentworth hired as president
  • Lake Superior Land Trust Partnership held its first meeting


  • Maine Coast Protection Initiative conceived
  • Land Trust Standards and Practices revised with input from land trust community
  • First million dollar grant awarded (Doris Duke Foundation) to advance training and accreditation


  • Joint Committee on Taxation recommended eliminating federal tax incentives for conservation easements; Alliance united land trusts in campaign to save incentives


  • Alliance-led coalition won new federal law providing significant new tax incentives for conservation
  • National Land Trust Census featured on front page of USA Today
  • New York State tax credit passed through a joint effort among the Alliance and New York land trusts
  • Land Trust Accreditation Commission formed
  • Standards and Practices Curriculum developed
  • Alliance creates a National Council


  • The Learning Center launched, providing online access to the Standards and Practices Curriculum and multiple conservation resources
  • 20th Rally held October 3 - 6
  • Twenty-two land conservation organizations selected for national accreditation pilot program

Accredited Land Trusts Flags2008

  • Exchange becomes Saving Land magazine
  • Land trust excellence programs initiated to increase capacity
  • Inaugural group of 39 land trusts accredited
  • With guidance from the newly formed Conservation Defense Council, Alliance begins development of a Conservation Defense Clearinghouse, fund and network

Rally 100 Percenters2009

  • Multi-course Standards and Practices Curriculum made available online and in print


  • Piloted new Leadership Training Program
  • Won renewal in Congress of the enhanced federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations through 2011

Census Cover Thumbnail2011

  • 2010 Land Trust Census Report released showing a gain of 10 million protected acres in five years; local, state and national land trusts saved a total of 47 million acres
  • Organized Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC, a charitable risk pool owned by participating land trusts that insures its members against the legal costs of defending conservation

Staff Retreat 20122012

  • 158 land trusts accredited
  • First-ever Land Trust Lobby Day held in Washington, D.C.
  • July 2 marks the 30th anniversary of the Land Trust Alliance




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