The Nature Conservancy has long recognized the importance of America’s public lands. Americans have a deep-rooted tradition of turning to our landscape to sustain and enrich our lives.
Even during times of national crisis, America’s greatest leaders have committed to conservation as a means of uplifting our people and healing our nation.
- President Lincoln authorized the protection of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove as California state parks in June 1864 — just days before Confederate forces advanced to within five miles of D.C.
- During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps helped save our land and a generation of young men. Nearly 70 CCC camps were active in West Virginia.
Today, the Conservancy supports policy initiatives such as America’s Great Outdoors and urges a permanent commitment to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Full funding for LWCF recently moved closer to reality with House passage of the CLEAR Act, authored and championed by West Virginia Representative Nick Rahall.
Of course, the Conservancy also has a long history of working with local, state and federal entities to establish and expand popular and iconic American places. While the sites below represent only a fraction of our projects in West Virginia, we hope these highlights will inspire you to explore and protect our great outdoors.
After all, this land is your land. You can help protect your favorite lands and waters when you support our work.
By acquiring 15,000 acres of coal rights in the 1970s, the Conservancy enabled the U.S. Forest Service to establish the Dolly Sods Wilderness in Monongahela National Forest. In the 90s, the Conservancy transferred more than 6,000 additional acres known as Dolly Sods North. Dolly Sods’ scenic mountain heaths and bogs offer some of West Virginia’s finest hiking and camping.
New River Gorge
The Conservancy protected nearly 1,600 acres adjoining National Park Service land on the rim of the New River Gorge. The tract ultimately will join 4,600 acres the Conservancy purchased in 2008 to expand Beury Mountain Wildlife Management Area. Beury Mountain and adjacent Babcock State Park will provide nearly 12,000 acres of state land for wildlife-watching, hunting and fishing.