Land Trust Alliance 2000 Annual Report

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Land Trust Alliance 2000 Annual Report

A Legacy on the Land

The Land Trust Alliance’s Vision The Land Trust Alliance envisions a world in which all people appreciate and support the conservation of natural lands, working landscapes and other open spaces that enrich our natural and human communities. Because we believe that a strong, effective network of land trusts is a major force in achieving that vision, the Land Trust Alliance promotes voluntary land conservation and strengthens the land trust movement by providing the leadership, information, skills and resources land trusts need to conserve land for the benefit of communities and natural systems.

Table of Contents



FINANCIAL SECTION 21Dear friends and colleagues, never has the loss of open land been of such great concern to so many people. And never has that concern brought forth so many who are turning their concern into direct conservation action. The dramatic growth in activity, skill, and success of land trusts embodies that action.

In 2000, the Land Trust Alliance was proud to provide a new level of leadership and guidance for people who are conserving land and building land trusts. In record numbers, these people flocked to LTA’s Rally and a variety of other unique training programs. They consulted our expanded Web site, books and journal, relied on us for advice and hard-to-find information, worked with our Washington policy staff to foster new incentives for conserving more open land, and depended on us to build a climate of understanding in which voluntary land conservation can grow and flourish.

By the end of 2000, we were closer than ever to completing LTA’s network of regionally-based programs. We expanded our long-standing New York office to include New England, becoming our Northeast Program. We hired staff for the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic and set the stage for a California-based Pacific Program, established in early 2001, and for a Southeast Program planned for later 2001. Joining with our staff in the Northwest, Southwest, and Washington, DC, this expansion brings us a new depth of talent and experience, greater ability to work closely with conservationists and land trusts throughout the country, and a deeper understanding of trends and issues that impact voluntary land conservation.

We are proud to share information about our 2000 programs in this report.

We could not, of course, have achieved any of this without the financial support of those who share our passion for open places. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Turner Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and Surdna Foundation joined many other charitable foundations in providing crucial support for our 2000 programs. Many individuals, too, made generous donations that were vital to our work. And over 800 land trusts earmarked some of their own limited resources to their LTA dues payments.

We are enormously grateful to all of our funding partners who made possible our most active year ever, and gratefully recognize them herein. In a year of substantial expansion, every bit of this support was critical.

Finally, we must thank the many experienced land conservation leaders and practitioners, rapidly growing in number, who give their time and wisdom to advise our programs, lead our workshops, and in so many other ways contribute to the evolution and depth of our efforts.

Everything the Land Trust Alliance does is designed to bring swift, skillful, strategic, and lasting conservation to open lands that would otherwise be irreversibly changed. It is continually challenging and—because of its results— immensely rewarding work for all of us.


Rob Bowers


Board of Directors

Jean Hocker



To Teach, to Inspire, to Serve

The Land Trust Alliance, the only national organization solely devoted to private land conservation and the land conservation profession, is considered “education central” for a movement that is racing to keep up with the public passion for open space protection.

LTA’s premiere annual event, the Land Trust Rally— sponsored by the Land Trust Alliance since 1985—brings together hundreds of land conservationists who are eager to learn about cutting-edge trends and best practices and to reinvigorate for the challenges ahead. Rally 2000 surpassed all expectations, drawing record attendance for the third consecutive year, with more than 1,400 participants attending approximately 110 workshops, training seminars and other events Oct. 19-22 in Portland, OR.

Participants from across the United States and around the world attended Rally. LTA President Jean Hocker hailed participants from Canada, Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Belize, declaring, “You have made our national Rally an international Rally—and our movement an international force for land conservation.”

During this important conference, LTA, for the second consecutive year, convened a Land Trust Leadership Retreat, assembling a score of the country’s most experienced land conservation professionals to share ideas on some of the pressing challenges and opportunities land trusts face.

LTA honored Sierra Foothill Conservancy (CA) for its superb membership recruitment program, which nearly doubled its membership from just 499 in 1996 to 992 in 2000. The land trust was honored with the Allen Morgan Award for Excellence in Membership Development and a $1,000 check, made possible through the generosity of the Sudbury Valley Trustees (MA).

While Rally is the single largest gathering for those interested in land conservation, it is hardly the only opportunity LTA provides for continuing education. Since its debut three years ago, the Land Conservation Leadership Program, sponsored by LTA and The Conservation Fund, has grown into a highly respected educational forum, offering intense multi-day courses in locales across the country.

Again and again, LTA hears praise for the program’s high quality education, which covers such diverse subjects as conserving agricultural lands, fundraising for land trusts, conservation easement stewardship and management, and land protection methods.

By awarding approximately $84,000 in scholarships in 2000, LTA allowed smaller and growing land trusts—often staffed by individuals new to the land conservation discipline —to gain ideas and expertise from seasoned instructors and other land conservationists.

Regional conferences have become a highly successful and well-attended component of LTA’s educational cornucopia. In 2000, a record number of people attended LTA’s five regional conferences, including the first to be held in the Mid-Atlantic and Pacific regions. The Mid-Atlantic conference was co-sponsored by the Maryland Environmental Trust while the Pacific conference was co-sponsored by the Trust for Public Land and hosted by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County (CA).

In 2000, LTA continued to convene one-day courses in concert with regional conferences and specialized conferences, in an effort to help land conservationists use their time and money wisely while partaking of outstanding educational offerings.

Throughout the southeast, more than 300 people attended a series of seven day-long workshops on topics such as “The Fundamentals of Effective Land Trusts” and “Designing and Managing Conservation Easements.” The workshops were funded by LTA and hosted by local land trusts and land trust service centers.

In the northeast, LTA and its partners presented a series of four training courses that drew representatives from 51 land trusts and local and state agencies on such topics as effective negotiations, conservation easement stewardship and fundraising and communications. LTA’s second annual meeting of land trusts in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming attracted hundreds of land conservationists to Missoula, MT, while the 8th annual New York Land Trust Conference focused on the theme, “Raising Local Funds for Open Space Protection.”

The second annual Southwest Land Trust Conference, held in Santa Fe, NM, was preceded by one full-day and three half-day pre-conference training sessions. Said one participant, “I can’t wait to get back to my organization to share all the new information and tools I have. Thank you. Thank you.”


Recognizing that many land trusts are still honing effective techniques for conserving productive lands, LTA in 2000 convened two focused research efforts—informally called “learning circles”—to bring together experts and leaders on the issue of conserving working ranches and forests in an effort to assemble state-of-the-art information.

LTA worked to gather the most advanced thinking available on the subject, with an eye toward publishing information on practical tools that land trusts can apply in working to save productive lands. The first product, a book on working forest conservation easements, will appear in 2001.

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