Fresh on the heels of its successful effort to conserve the 900-acre Pismo Preserve, the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has received accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
The group joins only 280 land trusts across the nation to achieve accreditation since 2008. The process took two years to complete, said Kaila Dettman, the group’s executive director.
In order to get the accreditation, the conservancy had to prove it meets the professional standards of the commission, which include recordkeeping and documentation that ensure the land the group protects will be conserved in perpetuity.
“There is an increased level of confidence that what we are doing is in a manner that protects the public interest,” Dettman said. “It shows our donors that we can be trusted.”
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Formed in 1984, the Land Conservancy has protected more than 14,500 acres of land throughout San Luis Obispo County. It works with landowners to protect working farms, partners with state and local agencies to provide open space for public use and restores dunes, wetlands and streams.
At the end of August, the Land Conservancy completed a drive to raise $12 million to protect the Pismo Preserve, a ranch behind Pismo Beach and Shell Beach. The group will take ownership of the preserve and plans to open it to the public next summer.
Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the Land Trust Accreditation Commission is an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance and awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands.