Today, on Feb. 22, the Land Trust Alliance turns 40 years old. I am well past that age, but I remember that people expected me to be solemn and even dejected about that milestone. I didn’t see it that way for me personally at the time, and I certainly don’t see it that way for the Alliance.
The Alliance — and the community of land trusts that it serves — has grown tremendously and accomplished much in the last 40 years. Together, we have conserved more than 60 million acres (as of the end of 2020). And as we’ve matured, we’ve evolved to be about much more than only “bucks and acres.” Our community is increasingly focused on building an inclusive movement in which all people benefit from conserved lands, and the Alliance is diligently working on programmatic offerings for land trusts to make that goal a reality.
We’ve come a long way, and we’ve never been more ready for the challenges that lie ahead. In the next few months, the Alliance will launch a pilot test of our new campaign, Gaining Ground, which we hope will convince millions of Americans to join the more than 6 million people who already support land trusts. Our aim is to keep growing the land trust movement and strengthening people’s understanding that protected lands aren’t just nice to have. To the contrary, they are essential for healthy communities and human wellbeing. And being part of land conservation allows people to make a tangible difference in tackling society’s thorniest problems, including diminished biodiversity, climate change and inequitable access to nature.
This week, the Alliance is proud to honor the great work of our land trust members and Affiliates with Member Celebration Week. Check out some of the fun activities we have lined up for Member Celebration Week.
Here's to our next 40 years as a vibrant and dynamic community of passionate conservationists. Let’s protect another 60 million acres this decade and continue to show our capacity to fearlessly tackle the biggest challenges of the day.