The Ice Age Trail Alliance is seeking accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission for its efforts to protect public lands in perpetuity. The IATA oversees development and maintenance of the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail which stretches across Wisconsin.

The years-long process of become accredited will require the IATA to set new policies and procedures in line with those developed by the Land Trust Alliance.

"Accreditation tells the public that an organization is an effective, ethical, and fiscally responsible land trust. With this recognition, the IATA will become a stronger candidate for land and monetary donations," the organization states on its website www.iceagetrail.org.

The IATA registered for accreditation in May 2012 and submitted a full application this past April. A final decision by the commission is expected in early 2014.

According to IATA, 158 land trusts are accredited nationally. If the IATA is accredited, it will join Bayfield Regional Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited and the Minnesota Land Trust.

Public comment on the IATA's accreditation application is being accepted via the commission's website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org.