NRCS honors Native Americans with new brochure, story map

Across the West, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service works with Native Americans to restore sagebrush range through the Sage Grouse Initiative, part of the Working Lands for Wildlife program.

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Washoe Tribe member Louinda Garity's artwork depicting a sage grouse dance is featured on a new NRCS brocure and story map to highlight sagebrush conservation. / Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS
July 16, 2021
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I'm glad Rally is virtual

In many ways, the past year has been the great pivot. We’ve learned how to stay connected even as we were physically apart — and learned how to use the new tools we’ve adopted as we begin the process of coming back together in person.

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Photo courtesy of Yvette DeBow Salsedo

Re: Climate (2021.06)

Climate change intertwined with the alarming loss of biodiversity we are tracking today represent some of the gravest challenges we face as a society.

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Image by Pera Detlic from Pixabay
June 21, 2021
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Still time to learn about climate issues

It's been mentioned before, but it still rings true: Land trusts are well positioned to lead in mitigating the impacts of climate change and helping their communities adapt.

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Image by Rob D from Pixabay
April 19, 2021
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Voluntary Private Land Conservation 101

Whether you're new to the world of voluntary private land conservation or looking for a refresh, read on for answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about land trusts.

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Photo by DJ Glisson, II / Firefly Imageworks
April 05, 2021
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Tips for managing government funds

How is government funding like a used couch? Knowing where your funding has been before it arrives at your land trust is key to avoiding unpleasant problems.

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Cape Flattery / Photo by Kay Sohl
March 31, 2021
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Celebrate Earth Month with us!

In the buildup to Earth Day on April 22, people around the country will contemplate their role in fighting seemingly daunting environmental challenges, including climate change, the extinction crisis, habitat fragmentation and environmental injustice.

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Photo by DJ Glisson, II / Firefly Imageworks
March 30, 2021
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Learning more about climate issues

We all have a role to play in addressing the climate crisis and the inequities that can hamper the ability of our communities and our lands to recover from such trauma.

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
March 29, 2021
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Mapping Black history

Historically, accounts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed have too regularly excluded Black voices and narratives. This 400-year omission affects how and where conservation takes place.

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Watermen culling oysters. / Photo courtesy of The Mariners' Museum and Park
February 22, 2021
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Tools for success

As a child, I was obsessed with the Little Tikes Workshop. Made to resemble a real-life workbench, this playset came with all the necessary fixings: a plastic hammer, drawers to hold big faux-nails and even a fake phone to handle "customer" requests.

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Before he became ambassador program manager for the Land Trust Alliance, a young Robert Schwartz was Mr. Fixit. / Photo courtesy of Robert Schwartz
February 12, 2021
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Tips for your Rally 2021 proposal

While we don't yet know what form Rally 2021 will take — though we should have clarity soon! — we do know that Rally will continue to offer cutting-edge, relevant and challenging content for the land conservation community. But we can't do it without your help.

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Downtown Cleveland and the shore of Lake Erie. / Photo by David Liam Kyle, courtesy of Western Reserve Land Conservancy
February 08, 2021
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Learn the basics in Stewardship 101

Stewarding easements is one of the most important jobs for a land trust — and it's one they don't teach in college. Clearly, new staff or volunteer monitors must be trained on best practices in stewardship.

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Photo courtesy of Megan Knott
February 04, 2021
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Keep tuning into the Learning Center

The Land Trust Alliance Learning Center discussion forums have been very active in the past two months. Here are a few highlights of discussions, as well as posts that could use your ideas and experiences.

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Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay
December 16, 2020
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Uncertainty can inspire you

You can advance even in the face of unpredictability, imperfect knowledge and uncertainty using risk balancing.

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Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay
November 10, 2020
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What's scary? A world without bats

Like many people in the land trust community, I have had a lifelong fascination with the world’s biodiversity. The abundance and variety of lifeforms is both mind-boggling and inspiring.

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Image by Signe Allerslev from Pixabay
October 26, 2020
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Delivering hope

“Rally is an enormous gift in these dire times,” said Carolyn Edelmann, community relations associate of the accredited D&R Greenway Land Trust in New Jersey. “Rally gives us hours, even days, of cooperation with courageous, devoted, original people who care about the health of our planet and devote their lives to its well-being. In other words, Rally delivers hope, as well as practical steps to realize our personal and professional missions!"

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Clockwise from top left: "Drink in Oregon's Landscape: A Virtual Tour of Wineries, Land Use and Conservation"; James Edward Mills from the Wednesday plenary; Fernado Lloveras; Nina Simon from the Thursday plenary; performance by Alison Brown and her band
October 13, 2020
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Climate change trainings this fall

This fall, the Land Trust Alliance's Land and Climate Program is providing new trainings for land trusts to learn to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

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Photo by DJ Glisson, II
October 07, 2020
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Enhance your partnerships at Rally

Every year, Rally gives us the chance to come together and connect with and learn from our colleagues across the country.

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Rally 2019: The National Land Conservation Conference was held in Raleigh, North Carolina. / Photo by DJ Glisson, II
September 22, 2020
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Tune into the Learning Center

No matter where you're working from right now, the discussion forums on the Land Trust Alliance Learning Center can help your land trust explore some of today’s most pressing issues, from the philosophical to the practical.

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Image by IRCat from Pixabay
September 16, 2020
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Re: Climate (2020.08)

For many of us, stay-at-home orders have resulted in more time with our children and a renewed focus on the natural world. That makes now the perfect time to talk to your kids about climate change.

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Photo by DJ Glisson, II
August 31, 2020
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Perfect attendance

Among the silver linings of this challenging time are the many improvements and innovations in virtual engagements.

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Photo courtesy of Sierra Foothill Conservancy
August 14, 2020
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Host a future land trust leader

The Scholars for Conservation Leadership Program, a career and leadership development program, is building on its early momentum and preparing to give one student participant a further career boost.

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The initial cohort of the Scholars for Conservation Leadership Program gathered on stage at Rally 2019: The National Land Conservation Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. / Photo by DJ Glisson, II
January 13, 2020
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Share your knowledge at Rally 2020

The Land Trust Alliance is thrilled to bring Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference to Portland this year.

January 06, 2020
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Scholars for Conservation Leadership Program

We are excited to share the launch of a new program between the Land Trust Alliance and the USDA Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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The Scholars for Conservation Leadership Program is a career and leadership development program that aims to expand opportunities for students from underrepresented minority groups in the land conservation field. / Photos courtesy of North Carolina State University
October 10, 2019
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Celebrating 30 years of Standards

Tucked away in the Winter 1989 issue of Exchange, the original quarterly journal of the Land Trust Alliance, is an announcement highlighting the launch of a groundbreaking new project: Land Trust Standards and Practices.

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Rand Wentworth, a former Land Trust Alliance president, dressed for Halloween one year as Land Trust Standards and Practices. / Photo from archives
October 02, 2019
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Reaching the whole community

"When my grandmother lived in a nursing home, she told me that her friends were from farms or often talked about being outside. That's when I made it my mission to bring the outdoors in."

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A nursing home resident frames leaves brought in by Leia Lowery during her land trust's program. / Photo by Leia Lowery
June 03, 2019
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Re: Climate (2019.04)

My position with the Land Trust Alliance's Land and Climate Program affords me opportunities to talk about climate change with many different audiences. But even with all the experience under my belt, I struggle to discuss the issue with my children.

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Photo by pixabay.com/Cheryl Holt
April 25, 2019
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Learning Week

Winter got you down? While you're waiting for spring, cozy up with a hot beverage and learn something new right at your desk with our first Learning Week.

February 27, 2019
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Re: Climate (2018.12)

With so many new climate reports generating headlines, it will be harder for common climate myths to persist. But some myths die hard deaths.

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Photo by pixabay.com/mintchipdesigns
December 19, 2018
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Through a new lens

How can we develop a deep and lasting appreciation for the natural environment in young people when so many are more interested in electronic devices? Harness it!   

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Through photography, such as this student-captured image, existing familiarity with technology can be used to build familiarity with the natural world. / Photo courtesy of Little Traverse Conservancy in Michigan
December 17, 2018
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The joy of learning outdoors

Do you remember the joy of recess as a child? That fleeting moment each school day when you could put down your books and pens and play outside with your peers was a treat for me.

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Photo courtesy of Feather River Land Trust
November 27, 2018
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Re: Climate (2018.11)

Climate change is a big and complicated topic — so it's no wonder that many people find it difficult to discuss.

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Photo by pixabay.com/Free-Photos
November 21, 2018
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Middle schoolers are your next opportunity

Last month, I traveled from Chicago to Pittsburgh to attend my first Rally. I returned home energized and full of ideas!

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Presenters for the K-12 Learning Seminar at Rally 2018 included, left to right, Leia Lowery, Rob Wade, Katie Pofahl, John Cawood and Sarah Mayhew. Hanging behind them are the program planning maps that seminar participants created. / Photo by Land Trust Alliance
November 13, 2018
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For those yet to come

A roundup of all the magic from Rally 2018: The National Land Conservation Conference in Pittsburgh, October 11-13, including videos, speeches, resources and more.

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Rally 2018 attendees celebrating in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/Photo by DJ Glisson, II
November 06, 2018
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Room to grow

A high school student shares why being an intern with the accredited Lookout Mountain Conservancy in Tennessee is her best time investment and how it’s setting her up for success in the future.

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Photo courtesy of Lookout Mountain Conservancy/Imani Rowe, second from left, poses with other interns in the Intern and Leadership Program of the accredited Lookout Mountain Conservancy. Master gardener and volunteer Kathleen Robinson (far left) works with the students in the teaching garden.
August 09, 2018
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Re: Climate (2018.06)

As summer heats up, so do our energy needs. And according to the Farmers' Almanac, this summer will be hot and steamy for most of the nation.

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Image by pixabay.com/seagul
June 26, 2018
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National Outdoor Classroom Day

My dad was a junior high biology teacher.

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Photo by pixabay.com/Alexas_Fotos
May 17, 2018
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Why facts aren't enough

If you occasionally struggle to discuss our changing climate with other people, you'll want to join a webinar the Land Trust Alliance is hosting this week.

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Katharine Hayhoe / Photo by Ashley Rodgers, Texas Tech University
March 19, 2018
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Re: Climate (2018.03)

Time and time again, I am reminded that the decisions we make regarding the land can make or break our fight against climate change. In the United States, we're fortunate to have the freedom to both make and influence those decisions.

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Marin Agricultural Land Trust (accredited) Stewardship Manager Jim Jensen (right) and former Stewardship Manager Patricia Hickey (left) visit the ranch of a local producer to assess indicators of rangeland health as part of the carbon farm and conservation planning process/Photo by Michael Woolsey
March 16, 2018
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Re: Climate (2018.02)

With the Olympic Winter Games in full swing, it's hard not to think about our changing climate.

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With the Olympic Winter Games in full swing, it's hard not to think about our changing climate. / Photo by pixabay.com/skeeze
February 16, 2018
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Re: Climate (2018.01)

Extreme weather. Our delicate ecosystem. Cause for hope.

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Pixabay.com / MabelAmber
January 18, 2018
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Kick start your new year learning

Land Trust Alliance webinars are back for 2018 — and now is the perfect time to get a jump-start on your New Year's resolution to enhance your conservation knowledge.

January 02, 2018
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Give yourself the gift of learning

As 2017 draws to a close, give yourself the gift of learning with our year-end book sale.

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Photo by Belle Chiu
December 11, 2017
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Finding common ground

We've rounded up of all the magic from Rally 2017 in Denver, Colorado October 26-28, including video highlights, the keynote speech, resources and more.

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Rally 2017 attendees in Denver/Photo by DJ Glisson, II
November 15, 2017
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Engaging land trusts in the clean energy conversation

This is an exciting time to be on the front lines of the Land Trust Alliance’s new Land and Climate Program.

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A new community solar project in New York state. / Photo by Ethan Winter
October 17, 2017
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Addressing climate-related challenges

Land trusts are in the business of protecting and managing land. That's what makes them ideally positioned to take on a larger role in mitigating — as well as preparing for the effects of — a changing climate.

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Kelly Watkinson / Photo courtesy of Kelly Watkinson
September 12, 2017
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Finding value in 'fluff'

With limited, overstretched staff, local papers and magazines are only too happy to accept well-written, press-ready articles from nonprofit organizations like land trusts.

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Stroud Preserve / Photo by Geoff Creary, Simone Collins Landscape Architecture
September 07, 2017
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Beautiful life in the muddy water

Every fall, Rani Henderson asks teenagers to wade up to their waists in a muddy pond so they can harvest marsh grass. "They think I'm crazy," she says.

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Photo courtesy of Galveston Bay Foundation
September 06, 2017
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Science! It's uniting land trusts and schools

Land trusts have the opportunity to help states meet their educational goals and objectives by partnering with schools and providing key outdoor education experiences for students.

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Kulshan Creek neighborhood youth at Minkler Lake Conservation Area, protected by the accredited Skagit Land Trust in Washington state. / Photo courtesy of Skagit Land Trust
September 01, 2017
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Welcome to Colorful Colorado!

As we get closer to Rally 2017, I’m hearing how excited Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts members are to welcome everyone to our sunny state!

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A sign welcomes people to Colorado. / Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
August 10, 2017
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Brushstrokes of beauty

Each summer, the accredited Douglas Land Conservancy in Colorado gathers artists from across the country for an exceptional opportunity, a week of painting conserved public and private lands.

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Photo by Douglas Land Conservancy volunteer, Tom Netwal

Unleashing a river of words

Artistic expression about nature is the heart of the accredited Hudson Highlands Land Trust’s River of Words program.

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Photo courtesy of Hudson Highlands Land Trust
July 26, 2017
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A natural canvas

Do you ever stop and think about your surroundings when you are walking in nature? At the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, art gives a voice to the natural landscape that may go unnoticed otherwise.

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Photo courtesy of Openlands
July 24, 2017
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You get what you give

"If you ask your community to invest in you, you need to invest in your community." That's the motto of the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, which is giving back through its free outdoor art classes.

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Photo courtesy of Northwest Arkansas Land Trust
July 18, 2017
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Conservation hits the TED stage

When offered a national stage on which to tell my story, I jumped at the chance.

June 13, 2017
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Organized exploration and powerful collaboration

It takes a village to raise a child. And sometimes it takes a whole team to get one outdoors.

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Children explore a stream in Haley Farm State Park. / Photo courtesy of Syma Ebbin
June 12, 2017
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Taking responsibility

I hope my fellow leaders in the land trust community will take responsibility to make sure your boards review the new Land Trust Standards and Practices.

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The Fedak easement, held by the Maryland Environmental Trust & Catoctin Land Trust. / Photo courtesy of Maryland Environmental Trust
May 03, 2017
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In their own words

Videos can share stories from visitors about how they feel about land and why it is so important to preserve open spaces.

April 17, 2017
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Community asset, local treasure

Videos create a sense of place and tell the stories of how people use land.

April 12, 2017
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Take a deep breath

Video can create a sense of place, explain the important role of a land trust in the community, and inspire landowners and donors alike.

April 11, 2017
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Creating Video for Impact

If a picture paints a thousand words, how many more are painted in a compelling video?

 

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff were filmed for BatsLIVE, a distance learning adventure that brings bat conservation to life through webcasts and online education resources. / Photo by A. Froschauer (USFWS)
April 10, 2017
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Highlights of 2016

Thanks to you and your generous support, 2016 was the Land Trust Alliance’s most successful year yet. We are eager to share the highlights of the last year, accomplishments that would not have been possible without you.

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Photo courtesy of accredited Ojai Valley Land Conservancy
March 09, 2017
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By and for the community

The Land Trust Alliance Board of Directors has approved the final revised version of the Land Trust Standards and Practices.

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A walking tour of the geology of Wallowa Lake / Photo courtesy of accredited Wallowa Land Trust; photo by David Jensen
February 14, 2017
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New favorite subject — nature!

School doesn’t have to mean being stuck inside all day doing lessons.

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Photo by Betty Davis
February 07, 2017
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The transformative ability of nature

We’ve rounded up Rally 2016 videos, speeches, resources and more. Plus, check out the Lookout Mountain story from the opening plenary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Umar, a Howard School student and intern with Lookout Mountain Conservancy, wowed the crowd at Rally 2016 with his story/Photo by DJ Glisson, III
November 04, 2016
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We’re almost there!

I love talking about Land Trust Standards and Practices and I now know that I’m not alone!

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FreeImages.com/spydermurp
October 12, 2016
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Register today for Rally 2016

Rally 2016 is packed with diverse topics, colleagues and friends to learn and share with, and the resources you need to take your conservation skills further.

September 14, 2016
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Did you know?

Did you know many things could change as we revise and improve Land Trust Standards and Practices? It’s true!

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FreeImages.com/spydermurp
August 03, 2016
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Help light our way

As we keep working to revise and improve Land Trust Standards and Practices, your comments are helping light our way. That’s why we're asking for even more!

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FreeImages.com/spydermurp
July 01, 2016
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Highlights of 2015

Thanks to you and your generous support, 2015 was the Land Trust Alliance’s most successful year yet. With a momentous victory on Capitol Hill, the Alliance has become a big player — despite its small size — in securing the vital resources necessary to make land conservation a success across the U.S.

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istock.com/Saner G, photographer
April 15, 2016
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Keeping a promise

I just finished an incredible community project. It began when a developer put in an offer to purchase a beloved mountain meadow covered with wildflowers, three burbling creeks, a stunning aspen forest — and the Snodgrass trail.

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Part of the Snodgrass trail in Colorado / Photo courtesy of Crested Butte Land Trust
April 14, 2016
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The culture of conservation

Thank you to all of the land trusts that have participated in the 2015 National Land Trust Census! Your participation helps the Land Trust Alliance strengthen land conservation across America.

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An oak-draped road of Edisto Island in South Carolina / Photo courtesy of Edisto Island Open Land Trust
April 01, 2016
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Like a flower in spring

Like a flower in spring, the National Land Trust Census deadline is coming up fast!

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Saratoga Preserving Land and Nature is actively working to conserve the county’s working agricultural landscape / Photo courtesy of Saratoga PLAN
March 24, 2016
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Revising the revisions

As promised, the participatory online platform for the Standards and Practices Revisions is ready!

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A new platform for the Standards and Practices Revisions is online

Beyond dirt-stained jeans

This week’s story from the National Land Trust Census team comes from the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust.

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Participants in the Learning the Landscapes after-school program / Chelan-Douglas Land Trust
March 18, 2016
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For hikers, bikers and horseback riders

This week’s story from the National Land Trust Census team comes from the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. Executive Director Kaila Dettman shares:

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Pismo Preserve / Photo courtesy of Gary Felsman
March 09, 2016
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Winning weasel

A weasel charmed its way to a win in accredited Mass Audubon’s sixth annual “Picture This: Your Great Outdoors” photo contest.

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Steve Flint's weasel photograph won Mass Audubon’s sixth annual photo contest / Photo courtesy of Mass Audubon
March 08, 2016
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Tell us a story

That’s what we are asking almost 2,000 land trusts to do in the latest National Land Trust Census.

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Nebraska’s scenic Pine Ridge / Photo courtesy of Dave Sands
March 04, 2016
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It’s time to talk (and for us to listen)

One of the reasons I enjoy being part of the land trust community is there’s a collaborative spirit here that allows our community to thrive.

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FreeImages.com/spydermurp
March 02, 2016
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Standards Advisory Team selected

When I called for volunteers to help me revise Land Trust Standards and Practices, I knew excellent candidates would step forward. But I had no idea six dozen people would raise their hand!

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FreeImages.com/spydermurp
January 15, 2016
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Know your audience

Confession time: Before I joined the Land Trust Alliance staff in 2007, I didn’t know what a land trust was. I remember skimming the Alliance’s website the night before my job interview and seeing a lot of words I didn’t understand. Easements? Tax incentive? Technical assistance?

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Photo by Andrew Mayovskyy
January 08, 2016
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My conservation origins

I was always interested in the environment, as my parents were, thus I knew that land preservation was important. My mom and dad demonstrated this to me when they helped save Corbett’s Glen in Brighton, New York, and became members of Genesee Land Trust. Then I took an environmental science class in high school and that really stuck with me.

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Photo courtesy of Emily Handelman
November 05, 2015
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Our land conservation journey

On a warm summer evening I arrived at the B Bar Ranch in the Tom Miner Basin in Montana, joining friends I hadn’t seen in a while. The western conservation community is really a family of dedicated people working to protect a way of life out here.

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Michael Pope from Greenbelt Land Trust points out a bear to western retreat participants
October 19, 2015
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‘If not us, then who?’

My physician once challenged me with a simple question: “We were out walking and you weren’t with us so we couldn’t ask you about a flower we saw. How are you and your husband going to share your knowledge after you are gone?” I turned to technology for the answer.

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Ken Crowell teaches a boy about voles/Photo courtesy of Marnie Crowell
September 11, 2015
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Connecting to nature en Español

Teatown Lake Reservation in New York is all about connecting people with nature, but a language barrier keeps getting in the way. In some parts of its region, north of New York City, more than 40% of people speak Spanish as their first language.

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(L to R): Land Trust Alliance’s Ethan Winter; Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens; children and teachers from Teatown’s Head Start/Nurtured by Nature program; state assembly member Sandra Galef; high school student Eli Brand; Teatown Lake Reservation’s executive director Kevin Carter/Photo by Laura Elmore/Teatown Lake Reservation
August 19, 2015
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A day on the farm

One beautiful spring day, Glen Leven Farm, conserved by the accredited Land Trust for Tennessee, welcomed students with their families and teachers from the John Early Museum Magnet Middle School for a chance to get their hands dirty on a real working farm.

July 16, 2015
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Using the outdoors as a classroom

Over 30 land trust staff members recently broke free from their routines to learn from each other at the 2015 Midwest Land Protection & Stewardship Peer Gathering in Racine, Wisconsin.

June 15, 2015
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Rue Mapp to keynote Rally 2015

We’re excited to announce Rue Mapp, the founder of Outdoor Afro, as the keynote speaker at Rally 2015.

May 19, 2015
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