Ranks of Accredited Land Trusts Grow

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342 Land Trusts Now Hold National Mark of Distinction

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There is great value in accreditation, in that it makes each land trust stronger and better able to serve their community.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program promoting public trust and ensuring permanence in the conservation of American lands, announced today that 37 land trusts across the United States have achieved initial or renewed accreditation.

“There is great value in accreditation,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission, “in that it makes each land trust stronger and better able to serve their community.”

In total, 342 land trusts are now committed to the professional excellence that accreditation represents. The steady growth of that number across recent years – up from 301 in early 2015 and 254 in early 2014 – means that more than 15 million acres of conservation lands and easements are now stewarded by an accredited land trust.

Land trusts achieving first-time accreditation are Silicon Valley Land Conservancy (California), San Diego Habitat Conservancy (California), Save Mount Diablo (California), Colorado Headwaters Land Trust (Colorado), Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas (Colorado), Roxbury Land Trust (Connecticut), Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land (Georgia), Kaniksu Land Trust (Idaho), Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (Kentucky), Upper Saco Valley Land Trust (New Hampshire), Ridge and Valley Conservancy (New Jersey), Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust (New Mexico), Finger Lakes Land Trust (New York), North Salem Open Land Foundation (New York), Oblong Land Conservancy (New York), Otsego Land Trust (New York), Wallkill Valley Land Trust (New York), RiverLink (North Carolina), Licking Land Trust (Ohio), Wallowa Land Trust (Oregon), Western Rivers Conservancy (Oregon), French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust (Pennsylvania), South Kingstown Land Trust (Rhode Island), Beaufort County Open Land Trust (South Carolina) and West Wisconsin Land Trust (Wisconsin).

Land trusts achieving renewed accreditation are Marin Agricultural Land Trust (California), Pacific Forest Trust (California), La Plata Open Space Conservancy (Colorado), Kent Land Trust (Connecticut), The Trustees of Reservations and its affiliates (Boston Natural Areas Network, Hilltown Land Trust and Massachusetts Land Conservation Trust, all in Massachusetts), Potomac Conservancy (Maryland), Maine Coast Heritage Trust (Maine), Little Forks Conservancy (Michigan), Mianus River Gorge, Inc. (New York), Eno River Association (North Carolina), Mainspring Conservation Trust (North Carolina, formerly the Land Trust of the Little Tennessee) and Piedmont Land Conservancy (North Carolina).

The total number of accredited land trusts fluctuates due to factors such as consolidation among land trusts. For the most current list, visit http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

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. Andrew Bowman, the Alliance’s president, cheered today’s announcement.

“Before coming to the Alliance, I helped drive funding for the accreditation program through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation,” he said. “It’s exciting, gratifying and encouraging to see the success that so many accredited land trusts have found through this program.”

Each accredited land trust meets extensive documentation requirements and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation or renewal application. The process is detailed, thorough and helps transform land trusts. More information about the process and benefits are detailed at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

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 at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

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 more than 1,100 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C. and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at http://www.landtrustalliance.org.

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Joshua Lynsen