The accreditation seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation. It is awarded to land trusts meeting the highest national standards for excellence and conservation permanence. Each accredited land trust completes a rigorous review process and joins a network of organizations united by strong ethical practices. This trusted network of land trusts has demonstrated fiscal accountability, strong organizational leadership, sound transactions and lasting stewardship of the lands they conserve.
The seal is awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The volunteers who serve on the Commission represent a diverse group of land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. Because the seal is a registered trademark of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, the Commission licenses the use of the seal to land trusts only after a rigorous process to verify the organizations meets national standards. The seal identifies land trusts that are accredited and meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.
Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them.
Nonprofit organizations, including land trusts, are increasingly called on to demonstrate their accountability to the public. Accredited land trusts have voluntarily submitted their organizations to an external, independent review of their practices. As a result, accreditation provides the public with the assurance that the land trust displaying the accreditation seal meets established standards for organizational quality and permanent land conservation.
Land trusts help conserve land that is essential to our health and well-being. When land trusts agree to protect land for the benefit of the public, in most cases they do so by promising that the protection is forever. The accreditation program verifies that the land trust has the policies and programs in place to keep this promise, either by caring for the land itself or transferring the land to an entity that can.
Reprinted with permission from The Land Trust Accreditation Commission