Why This Matters: Land Trusts and Local Communities

As those of us at ESLT prepare for our signature benefit, Lands & Legacy, we’ve been reflecting on the role land trusts play in local communities. Our keynote speaker for the event, Rand Wentworth, is the President of the Land Trust Alliance (LTA): a Washington D.C. – based organization that directs national land trust efforts. But how does this nationwide organization affect the work we do on a local level, and – in turn – what does this mean for the communities we serve?

Accreditation logo

Accredited land trusts, like ESLT, are permitted to display a seal that indicates they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust, and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.

The Land Trust Alliance is responsible for overseeing a rigorous accreditation process managed by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission (an independent program of the LTA) that has certified only 207 Land Trusts around the country – including ESLT – out of 1,723 total organizations. By working directly with Washington policymakers and by setting the standard of excellence through accreditation, the Land Trust Alliance strengthens conservation efforts nationwide and helps those of us operating on a local level.

But the driving force protecting our natural places and working lands begins at home, and percolates upward to the national level. Permanent preservation starts – first and foremost – with local communities. It is enacted by those of us who care enough about the lands we call home to protect them for future generations.  We provide the impetus that supports the LTA and allows them to serve land trusts across the country.

At the Lands & Legacy Benefit Dinner this year, Mr. Wentworth will share his insights on this topic, speaking about the role local land trusts play in rural communities and the connection to national land preservation efforts.

We hope you’ll join us on August 2nd and 3rd as we commemorate another successful year of land preservation!

Click Here to Learn more about ESLT’s Lands & Legacy Celebration, and Buy your Tickets Today!

Cattle by Stephen Ingram

Land Trusts like ESLT help maintain a rural community’s iconic natural spaces – both wild and working. The Land Trust Alliance, in turn, shapes the national stage to allow us to succeed in permanently preserving the lands we hold dear. Photo © Stephen Ingram.

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