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Ten years after its formation, Eastern Sierra Land Trust is celebrating both its birthday and national accreditation.
With a seal of approval from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, Eastern Sierra Land Trust hopes it can gain more credibility with grant providers and potential land owners and members.
â€śAccredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever,â€ť said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. â€śThe accreditation seal lets the public know that the accredited land trust has undergone an extensive, external review of the governance and management of its organization and the systems and policies it uses to protect land.â€ť
The Eastern Sierra Land Trust went through a two-year process that included close scrutiny of its operation to receive accreditation.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., reviewed the Land Trustâ€™s board selection process, finances, how money is spent from its fundraisers and took a close look at the projects it has accomplished.
â€śTo even apply you have to have been in business for at least two years and have completed at least two projects,â€ť said Eastern Sierra Land Trust Executive Director Karen Ferrell-Ingram.
Ferrell-Ingram and two Land Trust staff members worked with three volunteers for two years to ensure that documentation was available for the review committee.
â€śEastern Sierra Land Trustâ€™s accredited status demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation,â€ť said Ferrell-Ingram. â€śESLT is definitely a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation program. Weâ€™d like to extend a sincere thank you to Sandy Hogan, Stephen Ingram and Tony Taylor, volunteers on our Accreditation Committee who worked so hard to make this possibleâ€ť
Eastern Sierra Land Trust was awarded accreditation this past February and is one of 130 land trusts from across the country that has been awarded accreditation since the fall of 2008. Accredited land trusts are able 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.
To celebrate 10 years of working to preserve lands in the Eastern Sierra, the Land Trust invites everyone to attend a 10th birthday party from 4-7 p.m. March 26 at the Crowley Lake Community Center.
The Land Trust will be celebrating accreditation and the partnerships that have preserved more than 6,200 acres of critical habitat and working farms and ranches in the region. The party will feature live music by Idle Hands bluegrass band, appetizers, refreshments and prizes. Visit www.eslt.org for more information and to reserve a place at the party.