In 2012 Douglas Land Conservancy achieved added credibility by receiving accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.
“Gaining accreditation is a milestone for Douglas Land Conservancy,” said Richard Bangs, DLC ex-Board President.
“The adherence to Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices and the months and months of preparing the accreditation application have made DLC a stronger and more viable organization now and for the long term,” Bangs said.
“Having that seal of approval from the Accreditation Commission demonstrates that DLC operates under the most professional and demanding standards in the industry. We are very pleased to become part of the accredited team of land trusts that LTA guides to preserve our open spaces and natural wonders.”
DLC is a non-profit land trust based in Castle Rock. It protects and conserves wildlife habitat, scenic views and open space along the central Front Range, including Douglas County and surrounding areas.
Last year, DLC added more than 3,700 acres to the lands it protects with conservation easements. Those include the acceptance of a conservation easement on 3,600 acres known as Greenland Ranch Open Space in Douglas County and an 85-acre Spanish Mustang ranch in Elbert County. It actively protects more than 21,000 acres in Douglas, Jefferson and Elbert ounties.
DLC was awarded accreditation Feb. 13 and is one of only 201 land trusts across the country that has been awarded accreditation since the fall of 2008.
“This round of accreditation decisions represents another significant milestone for the accreditation program,” said Land Trust Accreditation Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “The 201 accredited land trusts account for half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust.
“Accreditation provides the public with an assurance that, at the time of accreditation, land trusts meet high standards for quality and that the results of their conservation work are permanent.”
Each accredited land trust submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review.
“Through accreditation land trusts conduct important planning and make their operations more efficient and strategic,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged and trained citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”
Across the United States, 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 more than 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.
“Becoming an Accredited Land Trust enables Douglas Land Conservancy to demonstrate to landowners and the public a high level of professionalism in the way we protect what’s important to our community and to Colorado,” said Patti Hostetler, DLC Executive Director.
“By having been awarded the accreditation seal DLC, sends a message to the community that we take our mission seriously and have gone to great strides to ensure that our organization continues our important role of preserving the irreplaceable open spaces in our region.”
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. See a complete list of all 21 recently accredited land trusts online at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/newsroom/press-releases. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website,www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About The Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance, of which Douglas Land Conservancy is a member, is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It advocates favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and works to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. It has established an endowment to help ensure the success of the accreditation program and keep it affordable for land trusts of all sizes to participate in accreditation. More information can be found at www.landtrustalliance.org.