Tall Timbers earns continued national recognition
Renewed Accreditation awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy has achieved renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, of which Tall Timbers is a member. “This achievement demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation that benefits the entire community,” says Kevin McGorty, Director, of the Tall Timbers Land Conservancy. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process.”
Tall Timbers has saved over 126,000 acres through donated conservation easements. These easements protect critical upland wildlife habitat and wetland ecosystems that improve water quality in the greater Red Hills and Albany regions. Tall Timbers conservation easements protect miles of scenic canopy roads, valuable watersheds and working landscapes which would not be possible without the generosity and stewardship ethic of area land owners.
Tall Timbers was awarded renewed accreditation this August and is one of only 280 land trusts from across the country that is now accredited. Accredited land trusts are authorized 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.
“Tall Timbers is one of the first land trusts to achieve renewed accreditation, a significant achievement for the land trust and significant major milestone for the accreditation program. They are an important member of the 280 accredited land trusts that protect more than half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “Accreditation renewal, which must be completed every five years, provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts continue to meet exceedingly high standards for quality.”
Each land trust that achieved renewed accreditation submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. “Through accreditation renewal land trusts are part of an important evaluation and improvement process that verifies their operations continue to be effective, strategic and in accordance with strict requirements,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”
Paddlers on Lake Iamonia; Tall Timbers holds conservation easements protecting Leon County’s large lakes. Photo by Georgia Ackerman
According to the Land Trust Alliance, conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form more than 1,700 land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about, including land transferred to public agencies and protected via other means. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.
According to Tall Timbers’ President and CEO, Dr. William E. Palmer, “We are proud to display the accreditation seal as it furthers our mission to foster exemplary land stewardship through research, conservation and education.”
Left - View of the Ochlockonee River; Tall Timbers’ conservation easements protect 41,000 acres of habitat along the river. Photo by John Hall. Right - Field tour of Thomas County’s Long Leaf Pine Forest protected through conservation easements by Tall Timbers. Photo fromTall Timbers Archives
To learn more about the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, visit their website: www.landtrustaccreditation.org. And to see a complete list of all recently accredited land trusts online at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/newsroom/press-releases.
The Land Trust Alliance (LTA) is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. More information about the LTA can be found at www.landtrustalliance.org.
Left - Kayaking on the Wacissa River – Tall Timbers’ conservation easements protect 44,500 acres of habitat in the river basin. Photo by Doug Alderson. Right - Over 81,000 acres are protected by conservation easements in southwest Georgia by Tall Timbers Land Conservancy including high quality pine forests with intact native groundcover. Photo by Kim Sash.