Access Fund Awarded Elite Land Trust Accreditation

Access Fund is pleased to announce that it has been awarded renewal of its elite land trust accreditation—proving once again that it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its climbing conservation work.

Access Fund, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Friends of the Ledges permanently protected this key parcel of land between Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge in New Hampshire in 2019. Ancestral lands of Wabanaki, Abenaki, and Pequawket. © Erik Howes

Access Fund was first awarded this accreditation in 2015, and is one of more than 400 accredited land trusts from across the country that have earned distinct recognition from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Accredited land trusts must renew their accreditation every 5 years, proving that they continue to meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust, and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.

“It is exciting to recognize Access Fund’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” says Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. “Donors and partners can trust that Access Fund has demonstrated strong standards, sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

Since its inception in 1991, Access Fund has supported 81 land acquisitions in partnership with land trusts, public entities, and local climbing organizations, totaling 17,454 acres across 26 states.

Through the Climbing Conservation Loan Program, Access Fund employs innovative conservation strategies to directly protect climbing areas like Ant Lion Wall in the Gunks, Bald Rock in the Red River Gorge, and Alphabet Rock in Washington. This expertise in land conservation and stewardship, coupled with land trust accreditation, makes Access Fund a leader in the field of conservation, public access, and recreation.

“Access Fund is the only accredited land trust dedicated to protecting climbing areas in the United States,” says Chris Winter, Access Fund executive director. “The growth in climbing has been exponential, and it is paramount that we protect and steward these resources for future generations to enjoy.”

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