Leading by Example


We said ‘Yes, we’re going to do this, and do it now.’

~ Chris West, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust

Volunteers Achieve Accreditation

Board Chair Leads by Example

“The seal has enhanced our standing in the community. It demonstrates our dedication to our mission and our community.”

~ Clive Gray, Greensboro Land Trust

Why Accreditation Matters

Accreditation recognizes organizations for meeting national standards for excellence, upholding the public trust and ensuring that conservation efforts are permanent.

Evolution of a Land Trust

“We are committed to showing our supporters and citizenry that we are a solid, compliant and trustworthy organization. Accreditation would finally give us recognition of our efforts.”

~ Nancy Newman, Jefferson Land Trust

Quick Links

Land Trust Accreditation - Highlights

Report on Accreditation Renewal - August 2014


The Commission met in August 2014 and awarded accreditation to first-time and renewal applicants as well as analyzed findings from the second round of renewal applications. It also analyzed assessment data about the renewal process. This analysis made it clear that there are many opportunities for the Commission to make program improvements to address land trust concerns about the costs of accreditation while at the same time meeting the goals of the accreditation program and maintaining the program’s integrity. The application findings, assessment summary, and progress report on improvements are discussed in more detail in this report.

View the Executive Summary and Access Full Report


Fifty-Two Land Trusts Achieve Initial or Renewed Accreditation


Photo courtesy of Leelanau Conservancy/Ken Scott Photography

(August 26, 2014 | Saratoga Springs, NY) – Twenty-seven accredited land trusts successfully demonstrated their continued commitment to land trust excellence and voluntary accreditation and were recently awarded renewed land trust accreditation. Twenty-five additional land trusts were awarded accreditation for the first time, bringing the total number of accredited land trusts to 280. The awards were announced today by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

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In Memory of Cindy Hunt-Stowell


acc huntstowellLand Trust Accreditation Commissioner Cindy Hunt-Stowell passed away in her home in Southbury, Connecticut on July 31, 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was a founding member of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, serving her third term. She helped establish many of the Commission’s internal systems and was a champion of continuous evaluation and improvement for the Commission and land trusts. She asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the accreditation endowment held by the Land Trust Alliance (The Berkley Endowment).

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Requirements Manual

About the Requirements Manual

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission is very pleased to provide the the Accreditation Requirements Manual: A Land Trust’s Guide to Understanding Key Elements of Accreditation as a resource to help applicants and accredited land trusts be successful in the accreditation process. This comprehensive manual augments and replaces the information previously published in the Commission’s Guidance Documents and in prior editions. It provides, all in one manual, information on the elements the Commission evaluates for every indicator practice.

First introduced in 2012, the manual is based on Land Trust Standards and Practices and the evolving field of land conservation as well as the Commission’s experience in reviewing more than 300 applications for land trust accreditation. The manual will be reviewed annually and will:

  • Enable applicants to submit stronger applications for accreditation.
  • Help provide predictability in the requirements.
  • Maximize staff and volunteer resources of applicants and the Commission.

While each applicant must meet the requirements of each indicator practice, the Commission evaluates each applicant’s approach in the context of the other materials presented in the application to balance individual differences and circumstances with consistency and fairness.

Providing Feedback

The Commission welcomes feedback on the Requirements Manual at any time from the land trust community and other stakeholders. The intent is to review the Requirements Manual annually; comments are most useful by October to ensure that they are considered as part of the review process. In considering changes, the committee and the Commission evaluate the following:

  • Whether the change is consistent with Land Trust Standards and Practices, Alliance materials, and/or any external publications (such as Internal Revenue Service publications).
  • Whether the change can be verified and measured.
  • What impact the change will have on the land trust community and Commission.

Report on Accreditation Renewal

(February 21, 2014 | Saratoga Springs, NY) – The Land Trust Accreditation Commission held its winter meeting in February 2014. At this meeting, the Commission awarded renewed accreditation for the first time, a major milestone in the accreditation program’s history! The Commission greatly appreciates the commitment of accredited land trusts to the program and on February 26 will be pleased to post a list of land trusts awarded renewed accreditation on its website.

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Featured Video


Keeping the Promise: Perpetuity and the Land Trust Accreditation Program