Access Fund Awarded Elite Land Trust Accreditation Status

08/06/2015

We are proud to announce that Access Fund has been awarded land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

We are proud to announce that Access Fund has been awarded land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

"Land Trust accreditation is an important milestone for the Access Fund," says Access Fund Executive Director Brady Robinson. "It helps strengthen our land acquisition and protection program and it illustrates to local climbing organizations, landowners, and partners that Access Fund is the leading organization in land conservation standards, tools, and resources when it comes to protecting and stewarding America's climbing areas."

Since inception in 1991, the Access Fund has supported 55 land acquisitions in partnership with land trusts, public entities, and local climbing organizations, totaling 15,943 acres across twenty-seven states.

Access Fund’s signature acquisitions in the 1990s, such as Unaweep Canyon, Golden Cliffs, and Rumney Rocks, were executed under a separate land holding entity called the Access Fund Land Foundation. In 2009, Access Fund adopted national land trust standards, absorbed these holdings, and launched the Climbing Conservation Loan Program to provide bridge financing and transaction expertise to local climbing organizations and land trusts looking to protect America’s climbing areas.

Through the Climbing Conservation Loan Program, the Access Fund employs innovative conservation strategies to directly protect climbing areas like Jailhouse Rock in California, the Holy Boulders in Illinois, and more recently, the Homestead climbing area in Arizona. This expertise in land conservation and stewardship, coupled with land trust accreditation, make Access Fund a leader in the field of conservation, public access, and recreation.

The Access Fund is one of 317 land trusts from across the country that has been awarded accreditation since the program’s inception in 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,” 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. 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.

“We are proud to display the accreditation seal and continue our tradition of protecting threatened climbing areas,” says Access Fund Access Director Joe Sambataro. “With climbing growing in popularity, it is paramount that we protect and steward these resources for future generations to enjoy.”