Big Sur Land Trust Retools Mission Statement
March 11, 2013
Big Sur Land Trust's original mission was “to conserve our precious lands and waters for all generations.”
It's done that in spades over the course of its 35 years—to the tune of 38,000 acres, by BSLT's count. Recently, the land trust has helped preserve treasures like Palo Corona Regional Park (pictured above), Whisler-Wilson Ranch and the South Bank Trail. And it's spearheaded watershed restoration projects spanning the lower Carmel River floodplain to Carr Lake in Salinas.
Now, the BSLT is adding another ingredient to its mission: people.
"There is an emerging consensus in the land conservation movement that environmental organizations are losing relevance to the average American, particularly among young people and traditional minorities," BSLT Executive Director Bill Leahy states in a March 8 press release.
"While buying and setting aside land has been (and continues to be) a hopeful and important part of our work, it is insufficient to the task of broadly inspiring a sense of devotion to our most valued landscapes…We have come to see that our long-term mission cannot be achieved without the entire citizenship."
It's a change more than five years in the crafting. A 2008 Weekly cover story on the land trust's 30th anniversary focuses on the founders' soul-search to keep BSLT relevant—by redefining it. In 2010, the trust's offices moved from Carmel to Monterey, closer to the county's more densely populated cities.
BSLT's official new mission: "to inspire love of the land and conservation of our treasured landscapes."
Leahy assures the land trust's supporters that the rewrite only adds to BSLT's vision; it doesn't subtract the conservation element.
"By providing space within our mission statement for people, conservation of land and water is elevated in the eyes of our entire community," he states. "It is my firm belief that in the end, with this commitment to community, more land will be protected and cared for than we ever felt possible."