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Indicator Practices

Applicants for voluntary land trust accreditation must demonstrate implementation of Land Trust Standards and Practices. The Commission evaluates applicants on a sample of the practices known as the accreditation indicator practices. These practices are designated by the Land Trust Alliance and indicate the land trust’s ability to operate in an ethical, legal and technically sound manner and ensure the long-term protection of land in the public interest. Indicator practices were chosen based on the following criteria:
  • Responsible governance of the organization;
  • Protection of the public interest with sound and sustainable land transactions and stewardship;
  • Ethical operations;
  • Accountability to donors and the public; and,
  • Compliance with all laws, such as IRC §170(h) and §501(c)(3).

The list of indicator practices is reviewed periodically and has been revised since the accreditation program’s inception. The current list is below; numbers refer to practices as they are designated in the 2004 edition of
Land Trust Standards and Practices. If a practice is not one of the accreditation indicator practices, it does not appear in this list, and thus the numbering of practices in this list is not sequential.

Standard 1: Mission
1D. Ethics

Standard 2: Compliance with Laws
2A. Compliance with Laws
2B. Nonprofit Incorporation and Bylaws
2C. Tax Exemption

Standard 3: Board Accountability
3C. Board Governance
3F. Board Approval of Land Transactions

Standard 4: Conflicts of Interest
4A. Dealing with Conflicts of Interest

Standard 5: Fundraising
5A. Legal and Ethical Practices

Standard 6: Financial and Asset Management
6B. Financial Records
6D. Financial Review or Audit

Standard 7: Volunteers, Staff and Consultants
7A. Capacity

Standard 8: Evaluating and Selecting Conservation Projects
8B. Project Selection and Criteria
8D. Public Benefit of Transactions

Standard 9: Ensuring Sound Transactions
9E. Easement Drafting
9G. Recordkeeping
9H. Title Investigation and Subordination
9J. Purchasing Land

Standard 10: Tax Benefits
10B. Appraisals

Standard 11: Conservation Easement Stewardship
11A. Funding Easement Stewardship
11B. Baseline Documentation Report
11C. Easement Monitoring
11E. Enforcement of Easements
11I. Amendments

Standard 12: Fee Land Stewardship
12A. Funding Land Stewardship
12C. Land Management
12D. Monitoring Land Trust Properties