Pee Dee Land Trust Earns National Recognition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lyles Cooper, Executive Director, Pee Dee Land Trust
Strong Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence
Florence, South Carolina (April 10, 2023) – One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the natural spaces they love. Since 1999, Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT), has been doing just that for the people of the Pee Dee Watershed. PDLT was one of the first land trusts in SC to be accredited back in 2012. PDLT announced it has renewed its land trust accreditation for the third time - proving once again that, as part of a network of over 450 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to conservation excellence.
"Renewing our accreditation shows PDLT's ongoing commitment to permanent land conservation in across the Pee Dee Watershed," said Lyles Cooper, PDLT Executive Director. "We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process. Our strength means special places - such as working farms and forests, historic lands, critical habitats and land along our waterways - will be protected forever, making our area an even greater place for now and in the future."
PDLT provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that PDLT's lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts now steward over 20 million acres - the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined.
"We are proud to recognize Pee Dee Land Trust's continued commitment to conservation excellence," said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. "The accreditation seal is a mark of distinction 15 that stands for excellence, trust and permanence. Pee Dee Land Trust is part of a network of over 450 accredited land trusts that are united by their strong ethical practices. Accredited land trusts inspire confidence and respect among their peers and in their communities."
About Pee Dee Land Trust
Pee Dee Land Trust focuses on the Pee Dee watershed, which covers nine+ counties of the Pee Dee watershed in South Carolina: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg. Its mission is to protect, and to promote an appreciation of, the significant natural, agricultural, and historical resources of the Pee Dee Watershed through voluntary land conservation and educational programs. PDLT has a toolbox full of options to help landowners who are interested in conservation such as accepting donations of land or conservation easements. There are endless options of ways to support PDLT as an individual or as an organization, including annual Membership, event sponsorship, hosting experiences, donations to one of the endowments, land donations and planned estate giving opportunities.
With its 95th conservation project to date, PDLT has now protected over 40,000 acres in the Pee Dee Watershed. While remaining in private ownership, the lands protected through conservation easements held by PDLT ensure that special places will be available for farming, forestry, and recreation for future generations. Through the use of permanent agreements, PDLT and landowners work as partners to ensure that land use activities on private property are limited in order to preserve key conservation values which benefit the public. These values include open space such as rural scenic views along roads and rivers, habitat for wildlife including game and non-game species, and the protection of farm and forest land to ensure it remains in farming and forestry rather than being converted to other uses.
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.