We live in association heaven

One of the more interesting things about living in the seat of government, I think, is all the various trade associations, professional associations and groups who are located here so they can best lobby the congresscritters. Sometimes they provide us a little ironic amusement, as when the Airline Pilot Association’s clerical staff went on strike, closing operations for a few days. Others, like the National Confectioner’s Association, make you think “don’t we already feel pretty good about candy? They need spokespeople?”

My most recent discovery is the Land Trust Alliance, an organization devoted towards setting up land trusts to set aside land independent of government involvement. There’s often a lot of friction between people invested in environmental causes and folks of a libertarian or republican bent but this is a kind of solution that fits inside everyone’s goals: nature preservation under private stewardship.

Particularly interesting is the statistic on their website that there’s more than 9.3 million acres of land in land trusts already. With 640 acres in a square mile that comes out to about 14,531 square miles – slightly larger than the entire State of Maryland, or 0.4% of the U.S.’s total 3,718,712.05 sq miles.

What other interesting associations have you noticed, or do you work for?

1 Comment so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 5:06 pm

    While I worked for the National Council of Nonprofit Associations once, that would be an association of state associations of nonprofit organizations http://www.ncna.org ; the Land Trust Alliance that you mention was in deep trouble a while back. http://tinyurl.com/rvncs

    Along with the Nature Conservancy they were “selling” land trusts to rich landowners who received massive tax breaks for donating easements to the respective organizations. Easements that essentially sheltered their large estates from property & other taxes while not actually restricting them from doing what they wanted anyway.

    The WashPost did a several part series on the Nature Conservancy here http://tinyurl.com/bob6 though the links don’t seem to work now.

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