Tall Pines Conservancy: Earns national recognition

Tall Pines Conservancy Earns National Recognition

One of 16 Newly Accredited Land Trusts Announced This Week

Nashota, WI, February 26, 2015 – Tall Pines Conservancy, a non-profit land trust founded in 1999, has become just the state’s 10th land trust to achieve land trust accreditation from The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. Accreditation is the highest national mark of distinction a land trust can receive and recognizes those organizations that meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. Tall Pines was one of 16 newly accredited land trusts announced this week and the only one located in Wisconsin.

Tall Pines is responsible for the protection of more than 1,200 acres of farmland and water resources, natural areas and open spaces in northwest Waukesha county, southeast Dodge and southwest Washington counties. In six years, the number of acres under Tall Pine’s protection has increased from nearly 240 to 1,200 acres.

“We are proud to be one of only a few accredited land trusts in Wisconsin. Earning this designation elevates the status of our land trust as literally every element of Tall Pines has been evaluated and measured according to best practices, from how we monitor conservation easements, to the manner in which we raise funds and maintain records,” said Susan Buchanan, executive director, Tall Pines.

Most of the property under the protection of the Tall Pines Conservancy is still privately owned by land owners who share Tall Pine’s values for preservation and conservation. As such, these property owners have granted conservation easements to Tall Pines. These are permanent, legally binding agreements between the property owner and Tall Pines that restricts use of the land to protect its natural features, and assures the land will be protected forever regardless of who owns the property in the future. Tall Pines hopes to reach 1,500 acres under protection by this summer.

“Accreditation differentiates us, while bringing accountability and confidence to the community that Tall Pines Conservancy meets the highest national professional standards for protecting farmland, water resources, natural areas and open spaces,” Buchanan said. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through this rigorous accreditation program.”

Land trusts are private, community-based, non-profit organizations established to protect land and water resources for the public benefit. When land trusts agree to protect land, in most cases they do so by promising that the protection is forever. The Land Trust Accreditation program verifies that the land trust has the policies and programs in place to keep this promise.

“This distinction 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,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director, Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

Tall Pines was one of 16 newly accredited land trusts announced this week. There are over 1,700 land trusts in the United States. Of those, only 301 have received accreditation.