Ranchland Trust of Kansas Earns National Recognition
Strong Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence
Topeka, Kansas (March 3, 2017) – At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 2003, Ranchland Trust of Kansas (RTK) has been doing just that for ranchers in Kansas. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission (LTAC) recently announced RTK has achieved national recognition – joining a network of only 372 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.
“By achieving accreditation RTK begins a new and enhanced chapter in the world of agricultural land conservation. Our Executive Director, Mike Beam, and his staff are to be commended for not only the successful completion of this critical stage in the life of RTK but for doing the heavy lifting that will take our organization well into the future!” said Bill Eastman, RTK Board Chairman.
RTK officers and staff provided extensive documentation and were subject to a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. LTAC awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that RTK’s lands will be protected forever. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.
To date, RTK holds conservation easements conserving over 13,000 acres in the Smoky Hills and Flint Hills and has assisted 15 families and private landowners with voluntary land preservation for future generations of farmers and ranchers.
“It is exciting to recognize Ranchland Trust of Kansas with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes RTK has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
RTK is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released December 1, 2016 by the Land Trust Alliance. This comprehensive report also shows that accredited land trusts have made significant achievements.
- Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010 to 2015 than land trusts that were not yet accredited.
- Accredited land trusts also have stronger systems and more resources to steward and defend their conservation lands forever.
- As a result, the public’s trust in land conservation has increased helping to win support for federal, state and local conservation funding measures.
A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Ranchland Trust of Kansas
The Ranchland Trust of Kansas (www.ranchlandtrustofkansas.org) is a private, non-profit organization founded by members of the Kansas Livestock Association in 2003. The organization was created to provide assistance to ranchers and landowners who voluntarily pursue granting conservation easements on their farm or ranchlands. Guided by their mission to preserve Kansas’ ranching heritage and open spaces for future generations through the conservation of working landscapes, the Ranchland Trust of Kansas values a commitment to conservation, respect for private land ownership, integrity, organizational excellence and collaboration with those who share their values. The Ranchland Trust of Kansas remains an affiliate of the Kansas Livestock Association.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. Based in Washington, D.C., and with several regional offices, the Alliance represents about 1,000 member land trusts nationwide.
The Alliance’s leadership serves the entire land trust community—our work in the nation’s capital represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state; our education programs improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska; and our comprehensive vision for the future of land conservation includes new partners, new programs and new priorities. Connect with us online at www.landtrustalliance.org.