Accreditation Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
(Lincoln, NE) – After an extensive evaluation, the Nebraska Land Trust has been awarded accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The Nebraska Land Trust is one of 230 land trusts from across the country that has been awarded accreditation since the fall of 2008 and is the first accredited land trust based in Nebraska.
“National accreditation has been a cornerstone of the Nebraska Land Trust’s commitment to the permanent preservation of agricultural, historical, and natural resources on private land through voluntary agreements known as conservation easements,” said Dave Sands, Executive Director. “When working with private landowners, there is nothing more important than trust and accreditation will enhance trust and confidence in the quality of our work. Because of this, we greatly appreciate those who have supported the effort, including the Cooper Foundation of Lincoln.”
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 Tammara Van Ryn, Executive Director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. “Accredited organizations have engaged and trained citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”
The Nebraska Land Trust is now able to display a seal of accreditation indicating to the public that it meets national standards for excellence, upholds the public trust and ensures that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.
“Land trusts are gaining higher profiles with their work on behalf of citizens and the seal of accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission is a way to prove to their communities that land trusts are worthy of the significant public and private investment in land conservation,” noted Land Trust Alliance President Rand Wentworth.
The Nebraska Land Trust currently holds 22 conservation agreements in nine counties totaling 8,974 acres. Protected properties include oak woodlands, prime farmland, and numerous archeological sites along the lower Platte River in Sarpy County; a working ranch along the Niobrara National Scenic River; the most sacred site in the Pawnee’s ancestral homeland; bighorn sheep habitat in the Pine Ridge; and the historic site of the Cheyenne Breakout next to Fort Robinson State Park.
Land is America’s most important and valuable resource. Conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water, food security, scenic landscapes and views, recreational places, and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about. 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.
Pointing out that 97% of the land in Nebraska is privately owned, Sands explained, “If we want to permanently preserve our rich heritage of historic sites, wildlife habitat, scenic views, clean water, and agriculture in urban counties, then preservation of these resources on private land will be the key. Accreditation is about the pursuit of excellence, both in what we preserve and how we preserve it. Nebraskans deserve no less.”
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About The Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. More information is available on the Commission’s website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About The Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance 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.