40 Stories in 40 Weeks: Mesa Land Trust Earns National Recognition

GRAND JUNCTION, CO–Mesa Land Trust will publicly announce its recent accreditation award at a press event on Tuesday April 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm. The media is invited to attend for news coverage and photos.

In becoming accredited, Mesa Land Trust joins the ranks of just 53 other conservation trusts nationwide that have attained this honor. Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., accreditation is limited to groups that meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.

“This is a milestone event for Mesa Land Trust,” said Rob Bleiberg, Executive Director of the organization. “Accreditation demonstrates our commitment to excellence. The Land Trust has worked hard to conserve productive farms & ranches, outstanding wildlife habitat, and scenic natural lands. It is gratifying to see our efforts earn the confidence and approval from the Commission.”

Mesa Land Trust was founded in 1980 by a small group of eastern Grand Valley farmers interested in preserving their agricultural community. A true grassroots organization, the Land Trust was operated by volunteers until 1995. Today, the organization is a recognized conservation leader that preserves over 53,000 acres throughout Mesa County.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission was established in 2006 and is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. The Land Trust Alliance, of which Mesa Land Trust is a member, is a national conservation group based in Washington, D.C. that works to save places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. Accredited land trusts are able to display a seal that is becoming a mark of distinction in land conservation.

“Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “The 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.”

2020 Update: Colorado West Land Trust’s Accreditation is Renewed

In mid-August, Colorado West Land Trust achieved renewed accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

This prestigious award signifies that the land trust has undergone extensive review and meets the national quality standards for land conservation, therein providing assurance that it is working to conserve land in the most sustainable manner possible.

Rob Bleiberg, executive director of Colorado West Land Trust said, “As we celebrate 40 years of conservation work this year, accreditation renewal is yet another achievement that signifies we remain strong, vibrant, and worthy of the confidence and resources that our community entrusts to us.”

Only about 1/3 of the 1,300 land trusts in the US are currently accredited. Colorado West Land Trust is proud to have once again earned this distinction, which signifies to landowners, donors, and residents of our service area that CWLT meets “the highest national standards for excellence and conservation permanence.”