Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Two regional land conservation groups join forces

The Montgomery County Lands Trust (MCLT), which has been preserving land in Montgomery County, Pa since 1993, has agreed to become an affiliate of the larger Natural Lands Trust which, since 1953, has protected more than 100,000 acres of land in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

“Our paths and missions have been intertwined for many years as both organizations have worked to protect Montgomery County’s natural and agricultural lands,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “We have partnered on many projects over the years; this affiliation will formalize that partnership and allow us to use donor and public support even more efficiently. Our combined resources will make both organizations stronger.”

“MCLT has always excelled in making strong, local connections. That work will continue, but we’ll now have the support and experience of the region’s largest and oldest conservation organization,” added Dulcie Flaharty, executive director of MCLT. “As a land trust, we have a perpetual obligation to the land under our protection. This affiliation will ensure we are using resources wisely and are well positioned to meet that obligation.”

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Under the new arrangement, Flaharty will continue to serve as Executive Director of MCLT.  Two representatives of MCLT—current Board Member John Harris and long-time Director of Land Protection Jake Lea—will join Natural Lands Trust’s Board of Trustees, which will become the governing body for both organizations. A new committee that includes Harris, Lea, and others associated with MCLT will explore opportunities for land protection in the county and advise the Board of Trustees. MCLT will continue to hold conservation easements; staff from Natural Lands Trust will monitor these easements annually.

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