Accreditation Promotes Public Trust, Ensures Permanence
Now in its 21st year protecting critical wildlife habitat, natural and working lands, and scenic open spaces, Eastern Sierra Land Trust has achieved renewed accreditation – a mark of great distinction in land conservation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded ESLT this renewed accreditation, the organization’s second renewal since initially earning accreditation in 2011, demonstrating its confidence that Eastern Sierra Land Trust’s conserved lands will continue to be protected forever.
Each accredited land trust must apply for renewal every five years and undergoes a comprehensive third-party review for sound financial practices, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting land stewardship as part of its renewal process. Successfully completing the accreditation renewal process signifies that Eastern Sierra Land Trust’s work meets the highest national standards for excellence and permanence.
“Our renewed accreditation means that ESLT is doing an outstanding job. Landowners can be assured that when we agree to protect their lands forever, we will do it fairly and effectively,” said Marie Patrick, ESLT Board Chair.
“The Land Trust Accreditation Commission is tough,” reflected ESLT Board Secretary Randy Keller, who played a key role with other ESLT board members, in preparing the Land Trust for renewed accreditation. “It’s their job to verify that land trusts across the country are ethical and deliver on their duty to protect conserved lands in perpetuity.”
Eastern Sierra Land Trust partners with willing landowners who want to ensure that their land will be permanently protected from development, and will remain open for wildlife and future generations. Since its founding in 2001, ESLT has conserved nearly 21,900 acres: from a mule deer migration corridor in Swall Meadows, to the Mono Basin’s iconic Conway Ranch, to large swathes of working lands in Bridgeport Valley – and much more.
ESLT’s conservation goals reach beyond the legal land protection agreements they develop with landowners. “These Eastern Sierra lands – the past and present homelands of California’s Tribes and Native peoples – are home to countless species of plants and wildlife, and generations have enjoyed them as places to live and find inspiration. Protecting land is one of our most effective tools to combat climate change while honoring the history and people of this region,” shared ESLT’s Executive Director/CEO, Kay Ogden.
Eastern Sierra Land Trust was among 32 land trusts across the United States to achieve accreditation or to have accreditation renewed in August. ESLT continues to join the more than 450 accredited land trusts that demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence through accreditation, helping to maintain the public’s trust in their work.
Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The accreditation seal is a mark of excellence in Land Conservation.
“It is exciting to recognize Eastern Sierra Land Trust’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, Executive Director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
Almost 20 million acres of farms, ranches, forests, and natural areas vital to healthy communities – an area about the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined – are permanently conserved by accredited land trusts across the country.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. 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.