Back in 1995, Sam Skaggs of Juneau envisioned a non-profit, community organization that would help land owners in Southeast Alaska take actions to ensure that the natural values of their lands remain in place.
With this vision and the support of a half dozen volunteers, Deborah Marshall established the Southeast Alaska Land Trust as a member supported, nonprofit 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization in 1996.
The Southeast Alaska Land Trust signed and recorded its first conservation easement in December 1998. Today we steward eleven conservation easements on nearly 3,200 acres of lands (see Lands we Steward).
Southeast Alaska Land Trust is directed by a 9-member local Board of Directors who serve without compensation and a small professional staff responsible for carrying out our program for land conservation. We are also served by a group of dedicated volunteers, and support from our nearly 400 members throughout Alaska and ten other states (see You Can Help).
The Land Trust works to preserve and enhance our region’s vital natural areas and for present and future generations (see Land Trust Projects). We accomplish this by:
- accepting land donations or purchasing land whether outright or a conservation easement to protect natural, scenic, recreational and/or historical values.
- creating partnerships with local landowners, planners, public agencies, and other conservation organizations.
- educating the community through seminars, workshops, and other outreach forums.
The Land Trust is a sponsoring member of the national Land Trust Alliance and are in the process of working towards accreditation with the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Once completed, accreditation will certify that our ongoing practices meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust, and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. As a first step toward accreditation, we we have had a Land Trust Alliance specialist assess our organization, and we are in the midst of the process of reviewing our Board policies and related procedures. We applied for national accreditation in 2013 and are awaiting word of approval.