August 25, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va.—The Conservation Fund has achieved the highest standards of excellence in conservation and has been awarded land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.
“We are honored to receive this national mark of excellence. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission has challenged us to be a stronger land conservation practitioner and partner, and we are always ready to raise our game,” said Larry Selzer, President and CEO of The Conservation Fund.
“Accreditation provides the public with an assurance that, at the time of accreditation, land trusts meet high standards for quality and that the results of their conservation work are permanent,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn.
The Conservation Fund was one of 24 land trusts from across the country that received the national recognition in August. “This round of accreditation decisions represents another significant milestone for the accreditation program; the 280 accredited land trusts account for over half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust,” said Van Ryn.
“Our generous donors and dedicated partners demand extra assurance that our conservation accomplishments have lasting environmental and economic benefits. Accreditation validates our work at the best and highest standards,” said Selzer.
Each accredited land trust submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. “Through accreditation land trusts conduct important planning and make their operations more efficient and strategic,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged and trained citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”
The Land Trust Alliance and The Conservation Fund jointly agree that conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form more than 1,700 land trusts to save the places they love. Land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to protect over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about, including land transferred to public agencies and protected via other means. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.
“This accomplishment does not mean we can sit on our hands and become complacent – in fact, it’s quite the reverse,” added Selzer. “Accreditation offers extra motivation for us to perform at our highest professional and personal levels of excellence so that we can maintain the public’s trust in the value of our work for generations to come.”
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. 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. See a complete list of all six recently accredited land trusts online at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/newsroom/press-releases. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Alliance, of which The Conservation Fund is a member, is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. The Alliance publishes Land Trust Standards and Practices and provides financial and administrative support to the Commission. It has established an endowment to help ensure the success of the accreditation program and keep it affordable for land trusts of all sizes to participate in accreditation. More information can be found at www.landtrustalliance.org.