MLC gets Renewed Accreditation.

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FOR RELEASE: 8/6/2015

For more information, contact:

Montezuma Land Conservancy – 970.565.1664

Montezuma Land Conservancy Earns National Recognition

Accreditation Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

Cortez, CO – The Montezuma Land Conservancy (MLC) has again achieved land trust Accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.  Montezuma Land Conservancy was first accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2010.

“MLC’s continued accredited status demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation that benefits the entire community,” says Jon Leibowitz, Executive Director. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation program for a second time.”

Montezuma Land Conservancy was founded in 1998 and works within Montezuma, Dolores, and San Miguel counties. The land trust has worked with dozens of conservation-minded landowners to protect nearly 40,000 acres of working farms, ranches, and open space in the region. In 2015, the Conservancy has completed four projects in partnership with landowners that permanently protect 1,843 acres ranging from irrigated land in the heart of the Mancos Valley to sage brush and dryland farm outside of Dove Creek.

Montezuma Land Conservancy was awarded renewed accreditation this August and is one of 317 land trusts from across the country that has been awarded accreditation since the fall of 2008. 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.

“This round of accreditation decisions represents another significant milestone for the accreditation program; the 317 accredited land trusts account for more than three quarters 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 provides the public with an assurance that, at the time of accreditation, land trusts meet high standards for quality, and that the results of their conservation work are permanent.”

Each accredited land trust submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. “Through accreditation, land trusts conduct important planning and make their operations more efficient and strategic,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged and trained citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”

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.  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.

“It’s a real honor to continue the work MLC has been doing in our community for 17 years,” says Jon Leibowitz, Executive Director.  We are proud to display the accreditation seal and to demonstrate to local landowners that when they choose to work with MLC, they will be working with a professional and nationally recognized organization.”

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About the Montezuma Land Conservancy

Montezuma Land Conservancy is a local non-profit based in Cortez, Colorado.  The Conservancy’s mission is to permanently protect important open lands in partnership with landowners, in order to conserve agricultural, natural, and scenic open space resources in and around Montezuma and Dolores Counties. We accomplish our mission by working cooperatively with landowners in a non-regulatory manner.  To date, the Conservancy has protected 39,635 acres across three counties through 81 conservation easements.  More information can be found at www.montezumaland.org.

About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. See a complete list of all recently accredited land trusts online at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/land-trust-locator. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website, 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 place people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,200 member land trusts supported by more than 5 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operated several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at www.landtrustalliance.org.

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