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!

The majority of the work of the Rensselaer Land Trust is accomplished through the work of committees. Any Rensselaer Land Trust member can be on a committee, and committee work is one of the best ways to learn more about land conservation, non-profit management, and fundraising. If you are interested in joining a committee, please contact the Rensselaer Land Trust at

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is comprised of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the At Large Director. The committee meets monthly to review on-going projects, provide guidance and oversight to staff, and make decisions on items not requiring full Board of Director voting. It also reviews and forwards action items requiring full Board consideration, including all land protection projects. This committee is chaired by the President of the Board.


The Acquisitions Committee meets as needed to review new land protection projects and acquisitions, performs site inspections, and prepares a CLEAR (Criteria for Land Evaluation Report) report for each visit. The committee then votes and makes a recommendation to the Executive Committee on the merits of each new land protection project. This committee has responsibility for insuring that new acquisitions of both fee title properties and conservation easements are consistent with the mission and goals of the Rensselaer Land Trust, and for carrying out the Strategic Plan elements related to new land conservation. This committee is chaired by a Rensselaer Land Trust Board Member and consists of Rensselaer Land Trust members whose interest and expertise is in the area of land conservation and acquisition.


The Stewardship Committee meets as needed for monitoring, monitoring training, easement property work days, and preserve work days. The committee is in charge of improvements including but not limited to: signage, parking areas, kiosks, trails, benches, boat launches, bridges, surveys, and boundary markings. This committee is co-chaired by two Rensselaer Land Trust Board Members and includes all Stewards and Monitors of preserved properties. Volunteering to be a Preserve Steward or Conservation Easement Monitor is the pathway to committee membership.


The Outings Committee meets as needed and is responsible for putting together a yearly outings schedule, making sure that a Director is on each outing, and handling the registration and payment as needed for each event. The committee includes a mix of Board members, former Board members, outings leaders, and others, and welcomes new members.

Fundraising & Communications

The Fundraising Committee meets monthly to review and manage development projects and progress, on-going and future events, and on-going and future communications. The committee is involved with all outreach work, including e-news, web, newsletters, brochures, development opportunities, grant applications and writing, fund- and friend-raising events, and works to meet other committees’ financial support needs. The committee is chaired by a Board member and includes a mix of Board members and other Rensselaer Land Trust members. This is a great committee to become involved in for members who are contemplating becoming a Board member at a later time.


The Finance Committee meets monthly to review the budget, income, and expenses. It has responsibility to prepare a draft budget for the consideration of the Executive Committee. The committee provides oversight on all matters financial, including investment policy and practice, insuring annual audits and filings are complete and accurate, and managing cash flow. The committee is chaired by the Board Treasurer and includes Board members and advisors.

Staalesen Preserve Committee

The Staalesen Preserve Committee is an ad hoc committee that meets as needed to address the property improvement projects related to the Staalesen Preserve. This committee is also responsible for taking the lead on resolving disputes with neighbors, and establishing a “Friends of” group. New members welcome!

Governance and Board Development Committee

The Governance and Board Development Committee reviews director/board member and officer job descriptions, expectations and standards; assesses board composition and effectiveness; recruits, interviews, and nominates new directors and officers; plans for leadership succession; orients new directors and coordinates ongoing development and training for all directors; reviews bylaws annually and recommends amendment to the Executive Committee, when appropriate. Chaired by the Vice President, this committee includes an external representative, a Rensselaer Land Trust member who is not on the Board of Directors.