The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association was created by land trust volunteers and staff who recognized the need for an association that can focus on the broad needs of the conservation movement—to take on activities that no one organization could effectively handle or wish to handle on its own.
The Association started as an informal coalition of land trusts in 1991. The Association was incorporated in Pennsylvania on January 30, 1995. It is a nonprofit organization registered with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations and has 501(c)3 tax status with the Internal Revenue Service.
The Association filled its first staff position, executive director, in December 2000. Staff expanded to two in spring 2002 and to three in spring 2005.