By Gregg Werner
Who is Shasta Land Trust?
In the time that I have been involved with Shasta Land Trust and over the years that I have served on the Board of Directors I have never ceased to be amazed at the enthusiasm and dedication of our organization. We have accomplished so much in our short history! Together we have:
· Created a strong, locally-based land conservation organization
· Protected 24,000 acres of scenic and biodiverse habitat
· Established 12 conservation easements that will last in perpetuity
· Acquired the Great Shasta Rail Trail
· Added two important properties to the Ishi Wilderness
· Positioned ourselves to acquire 14 additional conservation easements and protect 30.119 acres of PG&E property in the Pit River and Cow Creek watersheds
· Spread a land conservation ethic in Shasta County and Northern California
· Built many friendships, partnerships and positive relationships
Our past has been eventful and our future looks very bright.
Occasionally the question arises, “Just who really is Shasta Land Trust?”. Is it our dedicated and professional staff that lead our operation, make things happen and accomplish the many tasks to which our responsibilities and aspirations commit us? We have had some amazing staff members over the years and today we are blessed with very talented and dedicated group of professionals. Is it our Board of Directors who volunteer their time and talents to guide our organization? We have been fortunate to have had bright and dedicated board members serve our Land Trust throughout our history. Or, is out our many members and supporters who dedicate their time and resources to our events and unfailingly demonstrate their commitment to land conservation? Without them we would not have been formed and we could not function today. They are our friends and our neighbors and we all share a commitment to land conservation.
Our organization has grown and evolved over the years. We have grown from a part-time Executive Director to a professional staff of five positions. The scope of our operation and the breath of our objectives dictate the time and talents of professionals to lead and implement our operations. Our portfolio of conservation easements includes permanent commitments to monitor and manage these holdings and to maintain effective partnerships with their owners. Additionally, the challenge to protect landmark properties like Fall River, Pit River, Lake Britton and Hat Creek requires a great deal of work over the coming years. There is a lot on our plate!
In 2010 we sought and received accreditation from the Land Trust Alliance (LTA). In 2015, we again sought accreditation for a second, five-year period. On August 18, 2016, LTA announced approval of our reaccreditation. LTA describes accreditation as:
Land trust accreditation is a mark of distinction, showing that a land trust meets high standards for land conservation. It sends a message to landowners and supporters: “Invest in us. We are a strong, effective organization you can trust to conserve your land trust forever.”
Accreditation is a notable accomplishment for us and it shows that we have the resources and organization to proudly bear the name, “Land Trust”.
But with this evolution and change the question of, “Who are we?”, is important to our organization. My answer to the question is that Shasta Land Trust is all of us, together. It is the combination of a skilled staff, a dedicated board and a committed membership makes Shasta Land Trust what it is. Each of these parts is indispensable to our operation and to our success. As we continue to grow, adapt to new opportunities and meet new challenges we need to continue to work together to take advantage of all the energy and skill available throughout our entire organization. Together we are a powerful force to achieve our Mission of, “Conserving the beauty, character, and diversity of significant lands in far northern California”.