February 26, 2020

The Conservation Fund Earns National Recognition

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Conservation Fund has once again achieved the highest standards of excellence in conservation and has been awarded renewed accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, demonstrating its commitment to uphold the public trust and ensure its conservation efforts are permanent.

“We are honored to receive this mark of distinction a second time from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The successful renewal of our accreditation is a testament to our values and the high standards to which we hold ourselves in all our activities,” said The Conservation Fund President and CEO Larry Selzer. “This independent accreditation process provides the assurance of quality that our partners and donors demand and recognizes our ability to protect important natural places and working lands in order to provide lasting, impactful benefits for both communities and wildlife.”

The Conservation Fund first received accreditation in August 2014. As one of over 400 accredited land trusts across America, the Fund provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that The Conservation Fund’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts now steward almost 20 million acres, which is almost as large as the state of South Carolina.

America’s top ranked environmental organization for both efficiency and effectiveness, The Conservation Fund has worked over the last 35 years to create conservation solutions that make both environmental and economic sense. Its mission is to protect America’s legacy of land and water resources through land acquisition, sustainable community and economic development, and leadership training.

In 2019, the Fund successfully issued $150 million of ten-year bonds, which were the first-of-its-kind to be used to acquire and protect sustainable forestland across the country. The proceeds from the bonds are increasing the scale of the Fund’s Working Forest Fund®, dedicated to mitigating climate change, strengthening rural economies and protecting natural ecosystems through the permanent conservation of at-risk working forests.

“Our green bonds are something that’s never been done before.” added Selzer. “In order for us to successfully turn the tide of large industrial forest loss in America, we need trust from both our investors and new philanthropic capital that we are actively seeking to raise. Accreditation validates our work at the best and highest standards and gives our current and potential donors extra assurance that our conservation accomplishments have enduring environmental and economic benefits.”

“It is exciting to recognize The Conservation Fund’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

The Conservation Fund is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than eight million acres of land.

About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and 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. For more, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

Contact: Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809| asimonelli@conservationfund.org