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  2. Standard 1: Ethics, Mission and Community Engagement

Standard 1: Ethics, Mission and Community Engagement

Land trusts maintain high ethical standards and have a mission committed to conservation, community service and serving the public interest[1]. A land trust has the responsibility to act in ways that benefit public rather than private interests. Everyone connected with a land trust’s governance should have a similar understanding of the organization’s mission in the event that the group is asked to take on programs and transactions that further individual interests but that do not advance the public purposes for which the land trust was organized. Land trust goals and programs implementing the mission may change over time, but change should be a deliberate decision. In establishing its mission, goals and programs, the land trust should reflect the needs and priorities of its constituency. Support from the community is essential for sustaining conservation over time, meeting conservation goals, defending conservation actions and obtaining financial support. [1]In this context, serving the public interest is understood as benefitting the public in general or a sufficient segment of the public, as opposed to conferring private benefits to individuals, corporations or a limited group of persons.