This 500-acre property in Monroe County, WV is an important piece of a climate-resilient network of lands that connect the blue ridge to the boreal forests of Canada.
Climate Resilient Network This 500-acre property in Monroe County, WV is an important piece of a climate-resilient network of lands that connect the blue ridge to the boreal forests of Canada. © WVLT

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West Virginia Land Trust Monroe County Partnership

TNC signed over the deed to a nearly 500-acre tract of land in Monroe County to West Virginia Land Trust

Elkins, WV

WVLT and TNC Team Up In early February 2020, The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia donated 500 acres of land in Monroe County to the West Virginia Land Trust.

Mike Powell, director of lands for The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia (TNC), said this about the donation of land, “This property in Monroe County is special on many levels. However, it is outside our focus area and meant to be managed as a nature preserve. Therefore, we turned to our partners at the West Virginia Land Trust (WVLT) as the best stewards to manage this property and ensure the public can access it and enjoy it for years to come. It’s a win-win for us all and will result in a resilient, protected and publicly accessible piece of nature.”

Donated to TNC through an estate gift, the property is an important piece of an identified climate resilient networks of lands that connect the blue ridge to the boreal forests of Canada along the Appalachian Mountains. Conserving special places like this will benefit wildlife as the move to higher elevations, while also filtering air and water for people.

“The property has a forest of beautiful mature oak and white pine. The preserve also has interesting historic features, such as an old carriage trail lined with a massive stone wall, creating a ready-made hiking trail. This main trail is a leisurely hike for visitors and provides a wonderful place for nature lovers, birders and weekend hikers,” said Ashton Berdine, WVLT lands program manager.

West Virginia Land Trust plans to explore how this preserve can serve other community needs, such as recreational opportunities for mountain bike trails, but this would come much later after developing a management plan and working with local partners.

“We’d like to see a network of these kind of preserves all over the state, and we’ll achieve that with the support of people who love West Virginia and from conservation partners like The Nature Conservancy,” said Brent Bailey, WVLT executive director.

The West Virginia Land Trust is a statewide nonprofit dedicated to protecting special places, focusing on projects that protect scenic areas, historic sites, outdoor recreation and drinking water supplies by protecting land that borders rivers and streams.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.