Potomac Conservancy was formed in the summer of 1993 by a group of local recreationalists concerned about inappropriate development, clear cutting, and other activities that were beginning to have a negative impact on the unspoiled character of the Potomac Gorge. Several impassioned individuals joined the Conservation Committee of the Canoe Cruisers Association (CCA) to devise a strategy for stabilizing these development trends before the essential character of the Gorge landscape was lost forever!
This heightened awareness spurred the CCA to form an ad hoc Potomac Gorge Preservation Committee, but it was clear a qualified legal entity was needed to hold conservation easements and to monitor them over time. So, the committee was transformed into a nonprofit land trust, now known as Potomac Conservancy. The Conservancy was incorporated on August 24, 1993, in Maryland as a nonprofit corporation.
The Conservancy is registered in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, and is an easement holder in Maryland's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. The organization is a sponsoring member of the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), and has formally adopted the LTA's Standards and Practices for its own policies and procedures. Potomac Conservancy received formal accreditation in 2010 by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.