FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Landon Russell
The Walthour-Moss Foundation Earns National Recognition
Strong Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence
SOUTHERN PINES, NC (Feb. 27, 2019) – One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1978, The Walthour-Moss Foundation has been doing just that for the people of Moore County. Today The Walthour-Moss Foundation announces it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.
“Accreditation demonstrates The Walthour-Moss Foundation’s commitment to permanent land conservation in Moore County,” said Landon Russell, Executive Director. “We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program.”
The Walthour-Moss Foundation provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that The Walthour-Moss Foundation’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts steward approximately 20 million acres of land – the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
“It is exciting to recognize The Walthour-Moss Foundation with this national mark of distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
The Walthour-Moss Foundation has a mission dedicated to preserving open land, protecting wildlife habitat, and providing a place for equestrian purposes. It is the only nature preserve in North Carolina, and one of the few in the entire country, with a stated mission designating it as a place for equestrian activity. The Walthour-Moss Foundation was named to the North Carolina Longleaf Honor Roll by the North Carolina Longleaf Coalition in October 2018 in recognition for active a forest management.
In February 2017 the Foundation was recognized by the United States Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service for outstanding resource management and exemplary improvements to the wildlife, soil and water, timber, recreation and aesthetics of North Carolina’s forests for this and future generations. In 2013, 2,500 acres of the Foundation’s 4,181 acres were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office and the United States Department of the Interior deemed this property to be of state and national significance due to its long history of conservation and the integrity of the landscape.
The Walthour-Moss Foundation is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About The Walthour-Moss Foundation
The Walthour-Moss Foundation is located in the Sandhills of North Carolina, between the towns of Southern Pines and Vass. It occupies over 4,100 acres of longleaf pine forest, virtually unspoiled by progress and development.
The Foundation was originally known for its equestrian use, which continues to attract world-class riders and drivers to its sandy lanes and trails. However, the implementation of proper silva culture and ecological practices have made the Walthour-Moss Foundation a true environmental preserve. The almost extinct red-cockaded woodpecker is making a strong comeback on these protected lands. Their habitats are tagged for study and monitoring by naturalists. The land is also home to many other varieties of birds, deer, raccoons, opossums, red and grey foxes, and rare fox squirrels. For more information, please visit www.walthour-moss.org.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices.
The Alliance’s leadership serves the entire land trust community—our work in the nation’s capital represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state; our education programs improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska; and our comprehensive vision for the future of land conservation includes new partners, new programs and new priorities. Connect with us online at www.landtrustalliance.org.
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