Accredited land trusts now protect more than 23 million acres in the US, accounting for 81% of land and easements held by all land trusts; 26 land trusts earn first-time or renewed accreditation, boosting capacity for community-centered conservation

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York , March 8, 2022 (press release) –

Accredited land trusts now protect 81% of land and easements held by all land trusts. According to the results from the National Land Trust Census, over 23 million acres are conserved and protected by accredited land trusts; that’s approximately 10 times the size of Yellowstone National Park. With 26 land trusts earning first-time or renewed accreditation, the capacity for community-centered conservation continues to grow while the accreditation process ensures that accredited land trusts are operating at the highest conservation standards.

“These land trusts have earned the highest mark of national recognition and now display a seal you can trust,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. “Accredited land trusts have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance and lasting stewardship. Learning from the Census that accredited land trusts have protected 6,481 miles of trails, 6.7 million acres of forest, 5.3 million acres of agricultural land and 9.9 acres of wildlife habitat shows how these organizations are protecting the vital lands we love.”

The 26 land trusts recognized for their achievement included both first-time accredited land trusts and land trusts renewing their accreditation.

Achieving first-time accreditation (13 total): Captina Conservancy (Ohio), Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee (California), Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri (Missouri), Island Heritage Trust (Maine), Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy (Michigan), Okanogan Land Trust (Washington), Open Land Conservancy of Chester County (Pennsylvania), Philander Chase Conservancy (Ohio), Rancocas Conservancy (New Jersey), San Benito Agricultural Land Trust (California), Sheridan Community Land Trust (Wyoming), Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (Iowa) and Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy (Michigan).

Achieving first renewal of accreditation (six total): Black Swamp Conservancy (Ohio), North Coast Land Conservancy (Oregon), Oblong Land Conservancy (New York), Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (California), Triangle Land Conservancy (North Carolina)and West Virginia Land Trust (West Virginia).

Achieving second renewal of accreditation (seven total): Eno River Association (North Carolina), Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (Iowa), Marin Agricultural Land Trust (California), Mianus River Gorge (New York), New River Conservancy (North Carolina), Sempervirens Fund (California) and Wood River Land Trust (Idaho).

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 and the full list of accredited land trusts is available at www.landtrustaccreditation.org(link is external).

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 approximately 950 member land trusts supported by more than 250,000 volunteers and 6.3 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at www.landtrustalliance.org.

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