Mahoosuc Land Trust accredited by national lands commission
The Mahoosuc Land Trust has received accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, according to an MLT press release.
“Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation program in which we raised the level of our policies, practices and procedures to meet national standards,” said MLT Executive Director Jim Mitchell. “We are proud to have received national recognition for our commitment to conservation. Land owners should find confidence in our ability to care for conserved land in perpetuity.”
The Land Trust was awarded accreditation this month, and is one of 201 land trusts from across the country that has been awarded accreditation since the fall of 2008.
To meet quality standards in conserving lands, the Land Trust examined all aspects of its land transactions and created a prescribed, orderly checklist of actions required by landowners conserving land and the Land Trust accepting the responsibility to protect the land into perpetuity.
Clear and concise expectations and commitments by each party now make for a more efficient transaction and one that meets the desires of the land owner and the responsibility of the Land Trust, according to MLT.
The documentation for conserved lands is now standardized and has clear instructions on how the land will be stewarded today and by future generations. In order to care for conserved lands in perpetuity, the Land Trust ensures the financial resources for this responsibility at the time it accepts a conserved property.
Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation, according to the release.
“This round of accreditation decisions represents another significant milestone for the accreditation program; 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,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “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.”
The Mahoosuc Land Trust was founded in 1989 and works in central Oxford County and eastern Coos County, N.H. MLT has worked with eight land owners who have put conservation easements on their properties, totaling 5,565 acres. In addition, the trust owns 1,374 acres of land consisting of several islands and two boat landings on the Androscoggin River, the Gateway property in Bethel, the Stewart Family Preserve (Puzzle Mountain) in Newry, and Rumford Whitecap Preserve in Rumford. In October 2012, The Nature Conservancy transferred title to iconic Step Falls Preserve in Newry to the Mahoosuc Land Trust.
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.