Connecting People with that land that sustains us


Mission Statement

Otsego Land Trust conserves our natural heritage of woodlands, farmlands, and waters that sustain rural communities, promote public health, support wildlife diversity and inspire the human spirit.


Otsego Land Trust's core values are based in our dedication to protect healthy lands and clean waters now and for future generations. They are convictions deeply held by our board and staff and practiced in our conservation efforts.

Integrity & Trust

We will meet the highest ethical and professional standards in all of our organizational endeavors and, in doing so, we hold ourselves accountable to our mission and to the community.

  • Be honest at all times.

  • Be accountable to each other, to the mission, to our supporters, members, partners, and to the community.

  • Earn trust by building relationships and following through on our commitments.

Respect for People & the Land and Waters That Sustain Us

Enduring conservation success depends on the active involvement of people and partners whose lives and livelihoods are linked to the lands and waters we seek to conserve.  We respect the needs, values and traditions of local communities, and we forge relationships based on mutual benefit and trust.

  • Treat people with fairness, honesty, and the same respect we have for land and water.

  • With sensitivity to different economic realities, commit to inclusive, on-the-ground conservation efforts.

  • Work collaboratively with all sectors of the community to develop practical conservation solutions.

  • Share stories from the places we protect and the people and organizations instrumental in local conservation efforts.

  • Connect people and the land in ways that benefit the health and well-being of all.

Commitment to Diversity

As the natural world is composed of a diverse and rich array of plants and animals, we recognize that conservation is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. We will recruit and mentor staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects the diversity of the Otsego region.

  • Respect and be open to a variety of viewpoints and diversity of thought.

  • Rediscover the wisdom of people and cultures that have come before us on the land.

  • Cultivate a work environment that encourages each of us to achieve our potential and values the contributions of all.

  • Expand and strengthen the geographic and cultural diversity of our staff, volunteers, and board.

Commitment to Community

Our strength and vitality lie in working in partnership with our supporters, landowners, other organizations, and the broader community in close relationship with the land and water we seek to protect.  We value the collective and collaborative efforts that are so essential to our success.

  • Honor the role of land and water as the foundation for our sustenance and our survival.

  • Select conservation projects that are relevant to the community.

  • Recognize local food production as an essential component of community and land as indispensable for a durable, local economy.

  • Celebrate individual, team and project success as the success of all who work with and for Otsego Land Trust.

  • Collaborate with the land trust community and the broader conservation community.

Tangible, Lasting Results

Our mission guides everything we do.We employ a creative spirit, best available information, and a non-confrontational approach to craft innovative solutions to complex conservation problems at scales that matter and in ways that will endure.

  • Apply the best available conservation science to set priorities, make decisions, take action, and measure results.

  • Use a creative spirit and original thought in the pursuit of excellence.

  • Conduct our business in an environmentally sensitive manner.

  • Strive to undertake conservation efforts that will endure and benefit generations to come.

Periodic Policy Review

The Governance Committee and Executive Director with input from the full board of directors review the values statement annually to ensure that the Trust is upholding its commitment to these values.  The Governance Committee will review this values statement as well as all land trust policies at least once every three years to ensure that they are still current with standards for nonprofits and land trusts at the state and national levels.  This review shall also assess how well the values have been embraced within the organization and if they need to be clarified for greater effectiveness.  If the Governance Committee deems changes necessary, it will draft proposed revision and submit them to the Board for its review and approval.