Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Preservation Matters

News

August 4, 2010

Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust Earns National Recognition
Accreditation Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

Land Trust AccreditationSEGUIN, TEXAS - The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, announced today that Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust has been awarded accredited status, making GBR Trust the first accredited land trust in the state of Texas.

"Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever," said Commission Executive Director, Tammara Van Ryn. "The accreditation seal lets the public know that the accredited land trust has undergone an extensive, external review of the governance and management of its organization and the systems and policies it uses to protect land."

"Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust (GBR Trust) accredited status demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation," said JanaƩ Reneaud, Executive Director. "Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation program."

The GBR Trust was founded in 2001 and works in the Guadalupe Watershed. The GBR Trust has successfully preserved over 9,500 acres of natural areas, ranches and farmlands. Also GBR Trust has conserved more than 16 miles of creeks, rivers and wetlands. We have a growing donor base of citizens in the Guadalupe River Watershed, and bring strong partnerships that rang from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Ducks Unlimited, Upper Guadalupe River Authority, and Texas Land Trust Council.

Land is America's most important and valuable resource. Conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water, food security, scenic landscapes and views, recreational places, and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 37 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about. 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.

GBR Trust is the first land trust in the state of Texas awarded accreditation. Since the fall of 2008 only 93 of 1,700 land trusts from across the country have been awarded accreditation. Accredited land trusts are able 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.

Roger Welder, GBR Trust Board President, stated that being an accredited organization shows that the GBR Trust is a professional and transparent organization working to put the best product forward for our landowners and supporters. It also shows that we are leading the way in Texas for meeting the national standards for excellence.

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, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance established in 2006, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. The Alliance, of which Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust is a member, is a national conservation group based in Washington, D.C. that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission's website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org. More information on the Alliance is available at www.landtrustalliance.org.

Reneaud said accreditation will increase public awareness, provide confidence in the GBR Trust as landowners consider with what land trust to work, and enable the GBR Trust to better preserve the land in perpetuity. Accreditation provides recognition that the GBR Trust is engaged in the long-term protection of the Guadalupe watershed for the public's interest. It will also show that being the first accredited land trust in Texas, we are leading the way for meeting the national standards for excellence.

The mission of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust is to promote and encourage the conservation, stewardship and enjoyment of the land and water resources of the Guadalupe River watershed, while maintaining its unique and irreplaceable natural heritage.