50 years and counting: W.Va. Nature Conservancy marks a milestone

Oct 9, 2013

The West Virginia chapter of The Nature Conservancy is celebrating a half century in existence by looking back at its accomplishments, planning its future and honoring 50 people or organizations that have helped it along the way.

The West Virginia chapter was chartered in 1963. The Nature Conservancy web site says the idea started three years earlier when a group at West Virginia University wanted to buy the Cranesville Swamp Preserve near Morgantown, W.Va.

The Nature Conservancy West Virginia Chapter facilitated an easement on this property overlooking Smoke Hole Canyon in Grant County, W.Va.
Credit Cecelia Mason

Since then the Conservancy has preserved about 120,000 acres of natural areas throughout the state.

The Conservancy will have a celebration on Oct. 25, 2013, in Morgantown where it will honor 50 people or organizations that have helped with conservation efforts. Honorees include the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), the chapter’s first director Ed McGuire and the state Division of Natural Resources.

The Conservancy is also looking forward to the next 50 years with goals that include making progress in eliminating harmful pests and diseases from forests to protecting, connecting and restoring more forest land.