In fall 2008 Coastal Mountains Land Trust became one of the first land trusts in the country — and the first in Maine — to receive national accreditation.

Five years later, it's time for the Camden-based nonprofit to renew. As part of that accreditation renewal process, a public comment period is now open.

The land trust accreditation program recognizes organizations that meet national quality standards for permanently protecting important natural places and working farms and forests. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant's policies and programs.

Scott Dickerson, executive director of Coastal Mountains Land Trust, spoke to the importance of his organization sustaining its accreditation through this renewal process: "Accreditation assures landowners who want to conserve their property and donors who support our programs that we adhere to the highest standards for carrying out our conservation work, so that the natural legacies we're creating together will be sustained for the future."

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how Coastal Mountains Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards, see: landtrustaccreditation.org/tips-and-tools/indicator-practices.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment about Coastal Mountains Land Trust's renewal application, please visit landtrust accreditation.org or email comments to info@landtrustaccreditation.org. Comments may also be faxes or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 112 Spring St., Suite 204, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Comments on Coastal Mountains Land Trust's application will be most useful if received by Jan. 2, 2014.