Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

As of January 1, 2024, the Rensselaer Land Trust has merged with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. For all questions regarding donations, events, land, or other matters, please visit or call 518-712-9211. For questions about the merger, use extension 101 to speak with Jim Bonesteel. You can expect a new name and logo for our merged organization by Spring / Summer 2024 and a new website by the end of the year!

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We're writing together from the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and Rensselaer Land Trust to share some very exciting news! As of today, January 1, 2024, the merger between our two organizations is effective, as approved by the New York State Attorney General’s office and the Secretary of State.This merger has been in the works for over a year, with board members of both organizations planning together, along with RPA staff, to support a smooth transition and lay the groundwork for many years of conservation to come. In 2024, we will complete a new strategic plan and branding process. We look forward to sharing a new organizational name, mission, and website with you over this next year — all with the aim of more fully serving the land and human communities here in Rensselaer County and beyond. 

What does this mean for RLT and RPA's conserved lands and community programs?The land trust that emerges will own over 3,600 acres of forests, wetlands, and community spaces, and will oversee over 2,000 acres of private land protected by voluntary conservation easements. Together the two organizations have conserved almost 16,000 acres.All natural areas conserved by the land trusts will remain protected in perpetuity.The community programs, volunteer committees, events, and partnerships of both land trusts will continue to serve people of all ages in the Capital Region. The merger will allow us to make greater strides in land and water conservation at a time when it’s more important than ever.We hope you will come along on this journey with us. With you, the new organization will be able to make a lasting, wide-reaching impact. Our climate, our wildlife, and our future generations will have you to thank. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at any time. We would love to hear from you at this pivotal moment for local conservation. Happy New Year, 

 Bob Crowley.jpg
Bob Crowley
Former Board President
Rensselaer Land Trust 
Jim Bonesteel
Executive Director 
Rensselaer Plateau Alliance

About Our Organizations

The Rensselaer Land Trust was founded in 1987 with a mission to conserve the open spaces, watersheds, and natural habitats of Rensselaer County, NY for the benefit of our communities and future generations.  

The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance was founded in 2008 with a mission to work with the community to promote and facilitate the conservation of the Rensselaer Plateau’s undeveloped and unfragmented forests and other ecologically important areas.  

Collectively, the two organizations have conserved more than 15,000 acres of forests and open space in Rensselaer County. In 2019, RPA and RLT worked together to conserve the 76-acre Poesten Kill Bends preserve in the City of Troy. Both organizations have achieved national accreditation by meeting high standards for land protection, stewardship, and financial and organizational management.  


Frequently Asked Questions

When did RPA and RLT first begin discussing a merger? 

RPA and RLT first explored merging 4 years ago. We decided not to merge at that time, but to continue to discuss and consider the possibility in the future. Today, the time is right for both organizations.

What will happen with RLT and RPA Conserved Land?

All land conserved by both organizations will remain conserved in perpetuity. Volunteer committees for community forests and other projects will remain intact. The new organization will continue all the great work begun by both organizations and ensure we can do even more for conservation in Rensselaer County.   

Will there be any staff or leadership changes because of the merger?

All of RPA’s staff and leadership will remain in place. Some members of RLT's Board of Directors will join the new organization's Board. RLT does not currently have staff.

When will the merger be complete?

There is still a lot of due diligence before the merger can be completed. There is no date established. RPA and RLT have been partnering very closely and will begin to act together as a single organization.

What will the new, merged organization be called? 

The new organization will undergo a re-branding process that will include community and stakeholder input. There is currently no new name selected.

I'd like to make a donation to one or both of these land trusts. Who should I donate to before the merger is complete? 

You can continue to support either or both organizations. Your gift will support the work that both land trusts are doing together. We hope that if you've been donating to both organizations, you'll consider continuing to do so. 

I have more questions or ideas I’d like to share. Who should I talk to?

Please reach out to Jim Bonesteel at 518-712-9211 or or Bob Crowley at 518-659-5263 or