The West Virginia Land Trust (WVLT), a statewide nonprofit land conservation group, has achieved national accreditation, a mark of distinction in land conservation.
The National Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that West Virginia Land Trust’s lands will be protected forever. Almost 15 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are permanently conserved by accredited land trusts nationwide.
“Conserving land plays a critical role in our communities,” said Dr. Brent Bailey, WVLT executive director. “Land Trust Alliance accreditation is a credential that exhibits that our organization takes seriously its role in shaping the future of conservation in West Virginia. It assures our partners and the public that we bring to the table a strong set of skills and a thoughtful, deliberate approach that can help conserve land for the benefit of all West Virginians.”
WVLT is dedicated to protecting West Virginia’s natural lands, scenic areas, water quality, and recreational access forever. Since 1995, the organization has permanently protected or facilitated the protection of more than 6,000 acres of land statewide. This includes family farms and forests, a private community nature preserve, improved public access to rail trails, and four public nature preserves – one of which boasts six miles of river frontage in the Gauley River Canyon. More information can be found at www.wvlandtrust.org.
The West Virginia Land Trust was among 16 land trusts nationwide to achieve first-time accreditation in 2016. WVLT joins the more than 350 accredited land trusts that demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence through accreditation, helping to maintain the public’s trust in their work.
“It is exciting to recognize the West Virginia Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts stand together, united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. This network of land trusts has demonstrated fiscal accountability, strong organizational leadership and lasting stewardship of conservation land.”
Each accredited land trusts meets extensive documentation requirements and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The process is rigorous and strengthens land trusts so they can help landowners and communities achieve their goals.
The Commission is an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization. The Commission recognizes conservation excellence by awarding the accreditation seal. More information about land trust accreditation can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.