San Diego County CA— Local land trust San Diego Habitat Conservancy has received the most prestigious mark of distinction in the business: accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission (LTAC), an independent program of the national land conservation organization the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) which represents more than 1,100 land trusts nationwide. The application process for accreditation is very rigorous and holds applicants to extremely high standards. Of the thousands of land trusts nationwide, only 342 have received accreditation with the LTAC since the program began in 2008. San Diego Habitat Conservancy is one of only 6 land trusts in Southern California to have ever received accreditation, and is the first and only accredited land trust headquartered in San Diego County.
According to former LTA President Rand Wentworth, “Accreditation is the single-most important step the land trust community has taken in the last decade to advance the quality of land trust operations and secure the public’s trust.” San Diego Habitat Conservancy staff and Board of Directors spent over 300 hours preparing for accreditation since 2013, updating record systems, perfecting SDHC’s standards and practices, reviewing and adopting policies, and meticulously documenting every detail about the organization for complete public transparency. Going through the rigorous process strengthened the organization and prepared SDHC to take on more and bigger conservation projects.
SDHC currently manages 13 preserves totaling roughly 600 acres, and is contracted to manage an additional 4 preserves once restoration at these sites is completed. Additional pending preserves will add hundreds of acres to this total over the next few years. Land types managed by SDHC span a wide range and include Diegan coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands, native grasslands, riparian areas, and wetlands. Each land type comes with its own unique rewards, responsibilities, and challenges. SDHC’s staff and Board of Directors are proud to be officially acknowledged for their success in meeting these challenges.
SDHC was established in 2000 and manages a number of open space easements throughout the San Diego region, preserving and managing sensitive habitat and species that are unique to our Southern California environment. SDHC strives to share our knowledge and appreciation of our natural environment with the San Diego community, encouraging participation in the stewardship of our region’s precious open space. San Diego Habitat Conservancy’s mission is to conserve and manage sensitive habitats and species while inspiring land stewardship through education and outreach.