Environment Picture

Washtenaw Land Trust, two other Michigan groups among nation’s first accredited land conservancies

Three Michigan land conservancies—Chikaming Open Lands, Leelanau Conservancy, and MEC member group Washtenaw Land Trust—have the distinction of being among the first conservancies in the country to be awarded the Seal of Accreditation. The accreditation seal is awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, to conservancies that meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.

Conservancies applying for accreditation submit extensive documentation to the commission and undergo a rigorous external review of the governance and management of its organization, systems and policies. Nearly 1,700 land trusts operate across the country, and just 39 were awarded accreditation in this initial round.

“We applaud this significant accomplishment,” said Rachel Kuntzsch, executive director of the Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy. “Accreditation strengthens Michigan land conservancies for the challenging work of protecting the natural, scenic, forestry and agricultural lands that drive Michigan’s economy and contribute to the outstanding quality of life we all enjoy.”

Land is America’s most important and valuable resource. Conserving our land helps ensure clean air and drinking water, food security, scenic landscapes and views, recreational places and wildlife habitat. Strong, well-managed land conservancies provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources and safeguard the land through the generations.

“This accreditation award is a testament to a commitment to permanently protect the lands that are so vital to our community,” said Susan Lackey, executive director for the Washtenaw Land Trust. “As we keep growing, we know these standards provide a strong foundation for protecting natural and working lands.”
RELATED TOPICS: conservation, MEC Member Groups
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