Rensselaer Land Trust has achieved renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.
"Rensselaer Land Trust is proud to be awarded renewal of accreditation. Renewal is a testament to our continuing use of good business practices, transaction transparency, ethics, honesty, solid management, and quality of work. Land conservation and watershed protection work is forever. Accreditation and its renewal requirements are rigorous and prove to our members, volunteers, donors and funders that we are serious about our conservation work. We are a stable land trust that will be here for generations to come to steward our conservation easements and manage our nature preserve properties." Christine Young, Executive Director.
Rensselaer Land Trust was founded in 1987 and incorporated in 1988. We have protected over 1,000 acres in Rensselaer County through conservation easements (13/686 acres) or by owning and managing public nature preserves (8/330 acres). Through our conservation work, we have protected over four miles of streams and rivers, 618 acres of forest, 154 acres of wetlands, opened up 419 acres of natural open space to the public including over ten miles of hiking trails and public access for fishing to four streams and rivers. OUr holdings include significant ecological habitats for the Rensselaer County, such as a kettle fen and quaking bog and a geologically distinctive cave.
Rensselaer Land Trust was awarded renewed accreditation this August and is one of only 280 land trusts from across the country that are now accredited. Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.
"Rensselaer Land Trust is one of the first land trusts to achieve renewed accreditation, a significant achievement for the land trust and significant major milestone for the accreditation program. They are an important member of the 280 accredited land trusts that protect more than half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust," said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. "Accreditation renewal, which must be completed every five years, provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts continue to meet exceedingly high standards for quality." Each land trust that achieved renewed accreditation submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. "Through accreditation renewal land trusts are part of an important evaluation and improvement process that verifies their operations continue to be effective, strategic and in accordance with strict requirements," said Van Ryn. "Accredited organizations have engaged citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent."
According to the Land Trust Alliance, 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. 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, 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.