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Vital Ground Earns National Recognition

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Accreditation Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
 Missoula, Mont. – The Vital Ground Foundation has attained land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.
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Accreditation Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
 Missoula, Mont. – The Vital Ground Foundation has attained land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.
“Going through the accreditation process required Vital Ground to formalize and commit to writing many standard operating procedures that we had put in place over the years, said Gary Wolfe, Vital Ground executive director. “This will help ensure the organization continues to operate in a consistent and professional manner.”
Founded in 1990, Vital Ground has helped protect and enhance nearly 600,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska and British Columbia. Last year was a banner conservation year for Vital Ground, as it teamed up with seven landowners in northwest Montana’s Swan Valley to help conserve more than 300 acres of wildlife habitat.
Vital Ground was awarded accreditation this February and is one of only 254 land trusts accredited nationwide.
“This round of accreditation decisions represents another significant milestone for the accreditation program; the 254 accredited land trusts account for more than half of the 20 million acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust,” said Land Trust Accreditation 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.”
Strong, well-managed land trusts like Vital Ground provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.  “Accreditation is a great way to show that the nation’s land trusts are collectively dedicated to ensuring that every organization is strong and that our work will endure the test of time,” said Vital Ground Director of Lands Ryan Lutey.
ranging wildlife. For more information: http://www.vitalground.org/.
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