PDLT Earns National Recognition
Stong Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence
At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1999, Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) has been doing just that for the people of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Now, PDLT announced it has renewed its land trust accreditation – proving once again that, as part of a network of only 389 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.
“Renewing our accreditation shows that Pee Dee Land Trust is committed to meeting the highest professional standards as we continue working with landowners across our region to preserve the places we depend on for food, timber, drinking water, outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and where we can know our history,” said David Harper, Executive Director. “We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process. Our staff, board, and our members know that this strength means special places across the Pee Dee will be protected forever, improving the quality of life for us and our children.”
Pee Dee Land Trust had to provide extensive documentation and undergo a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation renewal. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded the renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that private land enrolled in PDLT’s conservation program will be protected forever.
Accredited land trusts must renew every five years, confirming their compliance with national quality standards and providing continued assurance to donors and landowners of their commitment to forever steward their land and easements. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.
“It is exciting to recognize Pee Dee Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes Pee Dee Land Trust has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
PDLT is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released December 1, 2016 by the Land Trust Alliance. This comprehensive report also shows that accredited land trusts have made significant achievements. (continued on page 2)
- Accredited land trusts have steadily grown and now steward almost 80% of conservation lands and easements held by all land trusts.
- Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010 to 2015 than land trusts that were not accredited.
- Furthermore, accreditation has increased the public’s trust in land conservation, which has helped win support for federal, state and local conservation funding measures.
A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About Pee Dee Land Trust
PDLT is a community-supported conservation land trust with a mission to conserve, and promote an appreciation of, the significant natural, agricultural, and historic resources of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. With that mission in mind, PDLT has worked with more than 66 landowners to develop conservation agreements protecting more than 27,000 acres of prime farmland, working forests, rich natural areas and important historic sites across 10 counties bordering on the Great Pee Dee River and its major tributaries. In addition, PDLT owns two nature preserves on Black Creek in Darlington which are open to the public. PDLT hosts a range of education events and outings throughout the year that provide opportunities to connect with the land and that build a conservation community of people who care about good land stewardship.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. 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. For more, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. Based in Washington, D.C., and with several regional offices, the Alliance represents about 1,000 member land trusts nationwide.
The Alliance’s leadership serves the entire land trust community—our work in the nation’s capital represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state; our education programs improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska; and our comprehensive vision for the future of land conservation includes new partners, new programs and new priorities. Connect with us online at www.landtrustalliance.org.