Ducks Unlimited received the highest mark of distinction in land conservation when the Land Trust Accreditation Commission approved accreditation to both Ducks Unlimited Inc. and Wetlands America Trust, DU's supporting foundation that raises significant philanthropic gifts and manages DU's endowments and land holdings.
“The Land Trust Accreditation seal signifies that both DU and WAT operate under the highest legal, ethical, fiscal and procedural standards,” said Darin Blunck, DU director of conservation programs. “Accreditation indicates to funders, partners and landowners that DU takes seriously our legal responsibilities as stewards of conservation easements and that we engage in real estate transactions using the highest ethical and legal standards. Success of our partnerships, and thus the achievement of our conservation mission, depends on establishing and maintaining a mutual trust among all players.”
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission was incorporated in April 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. The commission was designed to operate a land trust accreditation program that recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.
The commission is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. The commission conducts an extensive review of an applicant's policies and programs before making a determination to award accreditation and the right to display the trademarked seal. The commission tested the voluntary accreditation program in 2007 and began operations in 2008. There are now more than 100 accredited land trusts across the United States.