by Michelle Poolet – CCLC Board Member
Imagine sitting in a darkened room with 2,000 of your closest land conservation allies, listening to a woman who has seen our planet from space as she captained the Space Shuttle to and from the International Space Station. Listen while she describes how beautiful it is, a planet without boundaries, unique in our solar system, worthy of our respect and care. Then picture sitting in session after session, listening and talking to people who are breaking new ground in land conservation techniques, who are sharing their successes and failures with everyone who will listen.
This was the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) Rally 2017, the National Land Conservation Conference, which took place this year in Denver. Wednesday and Thursday, October 25-26, Were chock-full of field trips, half and full-day seminars, dinners and receptions. On Thursday CCLC sponsored a 9.4 mile “Hike the Historic Beaver Brook Trail” event that even included snow showers, much to the delight of the participants who hailed from the deep South!
Ninety-minute content-rich workshops were scheduled throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, October 27-28. Session topics ranged from basic (“Anatomy of a Land Deal”) to economic (“Advanced and Innovative Conservation Funding Opportunities”) to marketing (“The Secret Sauce of High Touch Direct Mail”) to water rights (“Water Trusts Session: Voluntary Rights Transactions and Instream Transfers for Conservation Purposes”) to organizational (“Planning to Diversify Your Organization”) to esoteric (“Back to the Future: Necessary Evolution Back to Traditional Community Conservation”)…something for everyone!
As a Rally first-timer, I was stunned by the enthusiasm of every person at the conference. It was truly gratifying to know that there are so many folks who are dedicated to land conservation, and that LTA works hard in our nation’s Capital to fortify land conservation. Makes me proud to be one of the troops in the field.