More reason to trust Mesa Land Trust

We have long supported Mesa Land Trust and its efforts to preserve farmland and open space throughout Mesa County. There is even more reason to back the 29-year-old organization now that it has been accredited through the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

Mesa Land Trust is one of only 53 groups in the nation, including seven in Colorado, that have met the requirements of the national commission.

The accreditation demonstrates that an accredited group is operating in an ethical, legal and technically sound manner, according to the commission’s Web site. It also shows that the organization in question meets national quality standards, that it is accountable to the public and that land it protects is being permanently preserved.

A few land trusts — in Colorado and around the country — have made headlines by misusing tax breaks to benefit a few wealthy landowners, by failing to keep lands permanently protected or by otherwise abusing laws that allow land trusts to work with private landowners.

For almost 30 years, Mesa Land Trust has operated in a straightforward manner to protect lands from Glade Park to the Plateau Valley. Working with Mesa County in recent years, it has placed special emphasis on protecting lands in the two buffer zones in the valley — between Palisade and Clifton and between Fruita and Grand Junction.

Congratulations to Rob Bleiberg and all of his staff at Mesa Land Trust. We hope the national accreditation will persuade even more people to donate money to the organization and more landowners to work with it to obtain conservation easements that protect their land.


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