San Isabel earns national accreditation renewal

San Isabel Land Protection Trust, one of the first small land trusts in the country awarded national accreditation, has earned that distinction for the third time.

San Isabel, founded in 1995, is part of a network of 446 accredited land trusts across the country. Accreditation demonstrates its commitment to professional excellence and maintaining the public trust in conservation work.

San Isabel first earned accreditation in 2009. It also was renewed in 2015. The land trust has protected 42,437 acres through 134 easements in Custer, Fremont, Huerfano and Pueblo counties.

“Renewing our accreditation shows San Isabel’s long-term commitment to excellence in land conservation,” said Larry Vickerman, president of the Board of Directors. “We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process.”

San Isabel provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation to earn reaccreditation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission decision affirms San Isabel’s commitment to preserving forever the land, water, wildlife and scenic open spaces protected by its conservation easements.

“It is exciting to recognize San Isabel’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the commission. “Donors and partners can be assured that the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance and lasting stewardship.”

San Isabel Land Protection Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, employs collaboration, innovation and science to safeguard health and resiliency of land, waters and wildlife in Southern Colorado. Through land protection and care programs, strategic partnerships and outreach, San Isabel helps to ensure the lasting vitality of our land and rural communities.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. To learn more, visit landtrustaccreditation.org.

Janet Smith

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  • "The Hood Family placed a conservation easement on our ranch because it gave us a chance to preserve the land as undeveloped property while allowing the operation of the ranch to continue to make ranching decisions as we have always done. It also provided funding to establish retirement funds and an investment portfolio, providing long-term income."

    – Keith Hood, fifth-generation rancher