The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County conserves natural resources, agricultural land and open spaces for the benefit of present and future generations.
We envision a future with conserved lands throughout the county that engage and nourish both human and more-than-human lives. These conserved lands include productive family farms and ranches that succeed from generation to generation, healthy habitat to sustain and harbor wildlife and plants, and beautiful trails and open spaces that provide recreational gateways accessible to all.
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 over 27,000 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 Gift Acceptance
• 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 and our accreditation was renewed in 2014 per the Alliance’s five-year cycle.
“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 Chet Work. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation and renewal program.”
Since 1985, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County has protected over 27,000 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 Greg Parker. “The accreditation process was a challenging one, but the net result is that the policies and procedures we’ve put in place 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.