Who We Are
In 1985, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County was formed when the Santa Ynez Valley Land Trust and Carpinteria Valley Land Trust combined to serve the entire county. Today, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County has helped to preserve nearly 23,000 acres of natural resource and agricultural land, including the Arroyo Hondo Preserve, Sedgwick Reserve, Carpinteria Bluffs, Coronado Butterfly Preserve, Point Sal, Carpinteria Salt Marsh and several ranches on the Gaviota Coast. The Land Trust works to preserve and enhance our county’s natural open spaces and agricultural heritage for present and future generations. The Land Trust:
• Acquires and protects land with natural, agricultural, scenic, recreational and/or historical significance through fair market transactions.
• Shares our knowledge of land conservation strategies with local landowners, planners, public agencies and other conservation organizations.
• Facilitates private conservation of agricultural lands.
• Educates the community through field trips with experts in ecology, agriculture and the arts.
The Land Trust is a sponsoring member of the national Land Trust Alliance (LTA), and has adopted policies, based on the model LTA Standards & Practices, governing land project selection, due diligence, monitoring and stewardship, ethical fundraising, financial and asset management, and conflict of interest.
Who We Are
The Land Trust is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is supported by over 900 members and governed by a volunteer board of trustees. Our conservation projects receive financial support from landowners, individuals, foundations and government grant and tax incentive programs. We presently have three full-time and four part-time staff members. Our non-profit tax identification number is 95-3797404.
Staff and Board
Land Trust Staff
& John Warner
Arroyo Hondo Preserve Managers
2013 Board of Trustees and Advisory Council
The Land Trust Board of Trustees and Advisory Council are community members with diverse backgrounds including ranching, law, land use and environmental planning, biology, teaching, banking, business, park management, real estate and community volunteer work. Both the Board and Advisory Council bring expertise, volunteer hours and a conservation commitment to the success of the Land Trust.
Board of Trustees
Warren Miller, Santa Barbara, President
Kenneth Marshall, Santa Barbara, Vice President
Sheri Overall, Santa Barbara, Vice President
Rich Nagler, Ballard, Secretary
Erik Gregersen, Solvang, Treasurer
Susan Basham, Santa Barbara
Carla D’Antonio, Santa Barbara
Terry Eagle, Carpinteria
Bradley Lundgren, Santa Barbara
Paul McEnroe, Buellton
Maurie McGuire, Santa Barbara
Greg Parker, Santa Barbara
James Phillippi, Santa Barbara
Duncan Abbott, Carpinteria • Peter Adams, Santa Barbara • Jose Baer, Gaviota
Vera Bensen, Carpinteria • Carolyn Chandler, Santa Barbara
Chris Chapman, Goleta • J.J. Hollister, Santa Barbara • Eric Hvolboll, Gaviota
Nancy Johnson, Santa Maria • Oralee Kiewit, Montecito • Elinor Langer, Santa Barbara
Laurie Leighty, Santa Barbara • Barbara Margerum, Montecito
Kevin Merrill, Santa Maria • Kerry Mormann, Santa Barbara • Mike Noling, Santa Barbara
Jim Poett, Lompoc • Robert Renaud, Santa Barbara • Ted Rhodes, Carpinteria
Orrin Sage, Santa Barbara • Richard & Thekla Sanford, Buellton
Vince Semonsen, Santa Barbara • Bob Sollen, Santa Barbara
Seth Streeter, Santa Barbara • Arturo Tello, Carpinteria
Susan Van Atta, Santa Barbara • Scott Van Der Kar, Carpinteria
Joe Weiland, Santa Barbara
The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County protects natural resources, agricultural land
and open spaces for the benefit of present and future generations.
What We Do
Since 1985, The Land Trust has worked with willing landowners, public and private grant agencies and other community organizations to protect, restore and manage open space, wildlife habitat and agricultural land in Santa Barbara County by:
• Acquiring land and conservation easements through negotiation with willing private property owners, through charitable donation and purchase.
• Creating conservation plans, restoration projects and incentives for landowners. Raising private donations and grants from government, foundations and corporations to support land conservation.
• Promoting the preservation, stewardship and restoration of wildlife habitat and watershed resources on the land we protect.
• Educating both children and adults about ecology, agriculture and conservation through programs and events at Land Trust preserves. To date, The Land Trust has protected 23,000 acres of land and has completed or is underway on close to twenty habitat restoration, open space and trail projects.
Land Trust Ethics & Practices
The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County prides itself on a history of high professional standards and ethical practices. To ensure that this tradition of excellence continues, the Land Trust board, staff and volunteers are informed of, and are expected to follow, a number of policies adopted by the Board of Trustees. These include:
• Code of Ethics
• A Donor’s Bill of Rights
• Policy on Conflict of Interest, Board Compensation and Insider Transactions
• Whistleblower Policy
• Policy on the Receipt, Ownership Sale and Transfer of Marketable Securities
• Land and Conservation Easement Project Selection Criteria and Checklists
In 2005, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County Board of Trustees resolved to implement the revised and expanded Land Trust Standards and Practices, developed in 2004 by the 1,700-member national Land Trust Alliance to serve as the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust.
For more detailed information on the Standards and Practices visit the Land Trust Alliance.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, awarded accredited status to the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County in May 2009.
“Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “The accreditation seal lets the public know that the accredited land trust has undergone an extensive, external review of the governance and management of its organization and the systems and policies it uses to protect land.”
“Our accredited status demonstrates to the landowners, donors, foundations and government partners we work with that they can rely on the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County to provide solid, lasting conservation projects,” said Executive Director Michael Feeney. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation program.”
The local Land Trust has completed 41 land purchases and conservation easements since 1985, protecting nearly 23,000 acres of high quality wildlife habitat, ranch and farmland and community open space preserves.
Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 37 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.
Accredited land trusts are able to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.
“We are proud to display the accreditation seal, for it’s a great honor to have our program receive this national recognition,” said Land Trust President Warren Miller. “The accreditation process was a challenging one, but the net result is that the policies and procedures we’ve put in place will make us a more effective, and credible, steward of the natural resources we are committed to protecting.”
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance established in 2006, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. The Alliance, of which the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County is a member, is a national conservation group based in Washington, D.C. that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America.