June 6, 2010
The mission of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts is to support and advance professional excellence in voluntary private land conservation for people and nature.
Vision and Purpose
The vision of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts (ICOLT) is that Idaho’s conservation community is populated by land trusts (and other conservation organizations) of the highest professional caliber that conserve land with important wildlife, recreation, scenic, historic and agricultural values for future generations. Land conservation, stewardship, and conservation defense practices are consistent with the Land Trust Alliance’s Standards and Practices. Idaho’s land conservation community has a strong, unified voice, meets policy challenges head on and advances a proactive agenda. Decision makers, government officials, and landowners understand the basic facts and tools of land conservation and the organization is strongly supported by a broad base of engaged individual and organizational members.
The purpose of ICOLT is to serve as the professional association for the land trusts and land conservation organizations in the state. It will build the capacity of these entities by cultivating leadership, promoting professional standards and encouraging collaboration, as well as by working to increase funding for conservation in the state. ICOLT is also the statewide voice for land conservation in Idaho and will participate in public policy, information sharing, education, communication and outreach activities
ICOLT embodies a set of guiding principles that inform how it is structured, how it measures success and how it works with its members, partners and allies:
- Value in working together
- Worthy of investment
- Long-term sustainability
- The “large tent”
- Voluntary land conservation
- Primacy of land-conservation agenda
The Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts is a group of local, regional and national land conservation organizations operating in Idaho that seek to work cooperatively to maintain and increase voluntary incentive-based mechanisms for private land conservation. ICOLT will create a cohesive, coordinated network of land trusts and affiliated organizations to:
- Identify and address policy challenges & other changes in the land trust working environment.
- Increase the quality, pace and scope of land conservation across Idaho
- Increase the professionalism and skills of land trust board and staff members
- Heighten the profile of land conservation and land trusts in Idaho
- Impart a working knowledge of land trust tools and an understanding of the benefits of land conservation among key constituents (e.g. local and state elected officials).
- Network, share information and build capacity of participating land trusts.
To qualify as a member of ICOLT, an organization must be a nonprofit land trust recognized as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (U.S.) In addition, the organization must:
- As all or a part of its mission, actively work to conserve private lands in Idaho through willing-seller/willing-buyer transactions;
- Adopt and comply with the Land Trust Alliance’s standards and practices and with national accreditation standards.
- Pay annual membership dues as periodically agreed upon by consensus of the ICOLT membership. Dues will be used to fund the operations of ICOLT.
- Adopt the ICOLT Charter via a resolution of organizational participation, a sample of which is attached.
New prospective members who meet the eligibility requirements and who can contribute to achieving the goals and objectives of the ICOLT may be added by the consensus of the ICOLT membership at the time of the request.
b. Leaving ICOLT
Participating organizations may be removed from participation in the ICOLT at their own written request or by the consensus of the then current partnership.
c. Affiliate Membership Status
Government agencies, conservation professionals and consultants, conservation minded individuals and businesses, foundations, and other organizations that are not land trusts may participate as non-voting, affiliate members of ICOLT. An appropriate membership fee may be required.
d. Expectations of Members
In order for ICOLT to flourish and function effectively members are expected to:
- Attend and fully participate in ICOLT meetings and in making decisions;
- Comment in a timely manner on written requests for comment and input on decisions;
- Assign a primary contact person who generally has the authority to represent the organization in ICOLT matters;
- Be committed to the goals of the ICOLT;
- Share expertise and cooperate on policy, conservation, fundraising and stewardship strategies and objectives;
- Help ICOLT leverage and optimize resources;
- Cooperate in a manner that fosters respect, trust, and confidentiality;
- Be current in payment of dues; and
- Respect individual organizational autonomy.
The ICOLT membership may adopt resolutions regarding policies, operating procedures and conduct of the membership.
ICOLT will hold membership meetings at least once per year. Meeting dates shall be established by the Executive Director and Executive Committee based upon the availability of members to attend.
ICOLT will make decisions by the consensus of members. A quorum of 60% of the membership must be present at a meeting in order to make a decision by consensus. Decisions may also be made by phone conference call, email and other methods as appropriate. If we are unable to reach consensus and a decision must be made, then the fallback decision-making process will be a super majority vote of 80% of the members of ICOLT. Each organization must have the opportunity to vote in order to validate a ballot.
In the long term, ICOLT will be governed by a Board of Directors made up of representatives from the various membership types. However, during the start up phase, an Executive Committee will be created to serve as the Interim Leadership Team.
The role of the Executive Committee is to balance the desire for decision-making that is as inclusive as possible with the need to prioritize limited resources and the need to respond quickly to changing circumstances and emerging opportunities.
ICOLT plans to move from the start up phase to the staffed phase within two years. When funding is in place, ICOLT will hire an Executive Director (ED) to lead the association.
Fiscal Sponsorship and Administrative Sponsorship
Until the time that the ICOLT becomes an independent legal entity, there is a need for a fiscal sponsor to hold and manage funds on behalf of ICOLT and for an administrative sponsor to serve as the employer of ICOLT staff. The Heart of the Rockies/Five Valleys Land Trust is willing to serve this role on an interim basis for a limited period of time.
Amending the Governance and Participation Charter
This governance and participation charter may be amended from time to time as necessary by the current participating organizations of the ICOLT through the decision-making process established in this charter. Amendments will be made in writing.