SEATTLE, Wash. – Every minute in the United States, suburban sprawl overtakes four acres of productive farm, forest and open lands. Since 1989, Forterra has been conserving natural spaces and working lands across Washington state. Now Forterra announced it once again achieved national recognition – joining a network of over 450 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.

“The health of the environment and the health of people is grounded in how land is developed, owned and managed. Forterra has conserved more than 275,000 acres of community, habitat and recreational land. Accreditation further demonstrates Forterra’s commitment to permanent land conservation in Washington state,” said Joe Sambataro, senior managing director of conservation transactions with Forterra. “Our strength means special places – such as Morse Wildlife Preserve, Lake Serene Trail, Hazel Wolf Wetlands and many others – will be conserved forever, making this region an even greater place for us and our children.”

Forterra 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 Forterra’s lands will be conserved forever. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land – the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined.

Each year, Forterra actively stewards more than 17,000 acres of diverse landscapes in 12 counties across central and western Washington. Our Lands Stewardship program manages about 50 fee-owned properties and nearly 100 Conservation Easements, each with their own unique conservation values, opportunities and challenges. Accreditation ensures that Forterra, with each transaction and property, upholds the highest possible conservation standards.  

“It is exciting to recognize Forterra with this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 450 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance and lasting stewardship.”

Forterra 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


Forterra Communications


Forterra is an unconventional land trust that works across Washington’s communities and landscapes, from the ranches and shrub-steppe of the Yakima basin, to the estuaries, farms and forests of Washington’s coast, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, towns and rural communities. Working cooperatively with people and nature, Forterra drives land stewardship, management and planning; innovative programs and policies; farming and forestry approaches; community ownership opportunities; and development solutions. Visit


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

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