MARTINEZ, Calif. – John Muir Land Trust (JMLT), with 2,500 acres under stewardship in Contra Costa County, announced Wednesday it has achieved national accreditation – a mark of distinction in land conservation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that John Muir Land Trust’s lands will be protected forever.
Land trusts around the country work to preserve natural lands for open space protection and public enjoyment. Almost 15 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities – an area about the size of the state of West Virginia – are permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.
“Accreditation demonstrates John Muir Land Trust’s commitment to permanent land conservation in East Bay communities,” said Linus Eukel, JMLT’s executive director. “We’re an even stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program, and primed to make our beautiful part of the world an even better place for us, for our children, and for the plant and animal communities with whom we share these lands. We’re excited to have achieved this milestone.”
JMLT protects and cares for open space, ranches, farms, parkland and shoreline in Contra Costa County. JMLT and its supporters have conserved 13 special places – beautiful landscapes permanently preserved for invaluable public benefits, including clean water and healthy outdoor recreation, ecological integrity and wildlife corridors, and spectacular scenic views. Popular places such as Fernandez Ranch, Acalanes Ridge, and Mount Wanda are among them.
John Muir Land Trust was one of 38 land trusts across the United States to achieve accreditation or to have accreditation renewed in August. JMLT joins the more than 350 accredited land trusts that demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence through accreditation, helping to maintain the public’s trust in their work.
“It is exciting to recognize John Muir Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts stand together, united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. This network of land trusts has demonstrated fiscal accountability, strong organizational leadership and lasting stewardship of conservation land.”
Each accredited land trust meets extensive documentation requirements and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The process is rigorous and strengthens land trusts so they can help landowners and communities achieve their goals.