West Virginia Land Trust Honors The Nature Conservancy’s Beth Wheatley with Award

Wheatley will receive the land trust’s “Special Places Guardian of the Year” award.

CHARLESTON, WV | January 23, 2012

The West Virginia Land Trust will honor Beth Wheatley, director of government relations for The Nature Conservancy, when it names her the “Special Places Guardian of the Year” on Feb. 2 in Charleston.

In announcing the award, the Land Trust cited Beth’s 10 years of leadership in championing conservation of land, water, and wildlife in West Virginia. The group called out several highlights of Wheatley’s career, including her leadership in developing the Coalition of West Virginia Land Trusts to encourage strategic partnerships to conserve land with multiple public values, working with diverse interests to support conservation policy, and developing the Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund, West Virginia’s first ongoing revenue source for land protection.

“Beth’s quiet determination has earned her the respect of every conservation-minded individual and organization in the state,” said Terrell Ellis, executive director of the WVLT and chair of the Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund.

Rodney Bartgis, state director for The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia, thanked the Land Trust for recognizing Wheatley’s dedication to conservation. “Beth’s love for West Virginia’s nature is matched only by her skill at building strong partnerships, of finding common cause among diverse constituents,” he said. “She has been a tireless advocate for conservation in our state.”

Founded in 1995, the West Virginia Land Trust (Land Trust) is the only statewide nonprofit 501 (C) 3 land trust dedicated to protecting West Virginia’s natural lands and scenic areas forever. This is its seventh year of presenting the “Special Places” awards. Wheatley will be honored at the Trust’s Special Places Dinner to be held Feb. 2 at the Woman’s Club of Charleston. Also to be honored at this year’s event: the Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust, which will receive the Special Places Society Award, and the Buckskin Council, Boy Scout Troop 31, which will receive the Future Conservationist Award.

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The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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Randy Edwards
Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy

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