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 2000. Staff expanded to two in 2002, three in 2005, four in 2016, and five in 2018.
Today, the Association is made up of 75 organizations who in turn count more than 100,000 Pennsylvanians as members and contributors.