The IATA is currently in the process of applying for Accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Accreditation is an indicator that an organization is a reputable land trust engaged in long-term protection of land in the public interest. Accreditation is achieved only through a multi-year process encompassing all areas of the organization while strengthening the organization's capacity for holding land in perpetuity.
Why become accredited?
Becoming accredited is a goal the IATA identified in our 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. In the process of becoming accredited, we will establish policies and procedures that will lead to more effective land conservation. Accreditation tells the public that an organization is an effective, ethical, and fiscally responsible land trust. With this recognition, the IATA will become a stronger candidate for land and monetary donations.
Who decides what organizations get accredited?
The Land Trust Alliance developed a set of standards and practices for accreditation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission is responsible for walking land trusts through the accreditation process, and, ultimately, making the final decision of whether to grant accreditation. As part of the process, the Land Trust Accreditation Commission gathers comments (see below) from key stakeholders of the organization.
When will the IATA become accredited?
We registered for accreditation in May 2012. We submitted our initial pre-application for accreditation in January 2013. Our full application is due in April 2013 and will be reviewed over the course of six to nine months, during which time the IATA and the Land Trust Accreditation Commission will discuss application details. The Commission will make its final decision in early 2014.
What other organizations are accredited?
Nationally, 158 land trusts are accredited, four in Wisconsin. If accredited, the IATA will join highly effective organizations such as Bayfield Regional Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, and the Minnesota Land Trust.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. Part of that review is public input — signed, written comments relating to how the Ice Age Trail Alliance complies with national quality standards. The public comment period is now open.
You are encouraged to comment. To submit a comment, visit the Land Trust Accreditation Commission website. Comments on the IATA’s application will be most useful by May 31st, 2013.