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Nature, Economy Go Hand in Hand

Conserving precious plants, animals and places is a critical responsibility in West Virginia. No one does it better than the Nature Conservancy.

Some people who see themselves as environmentalists favor confrontation as a way to achieve their goals. But the Conservancy is based on the feeling that cooperation works better.

Does it? Judge for yourself: More than 120,000 acres — for comparison, that is about twice the land area of Brooke County — in our state has been safeguarded for the future by the Conservancy. No one else even comes close.

Conservancy officials work with land owners, sometimes large companies, to preserve significant natural areas. Often, the business community is delighted to cooperate.

“I truly believe we can have it both ways by growing our economy, while also sustaining nature,” commented U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., during her keynote speech at the Conservancy’s annual Corporate Council for the Environment dinner.

Precisely. As the senator, herself a leader in conservation, pointed out, 91,000 jobs rely on the outdoor recreation industry in West Virginia.

We can do even better — and the Nature Conservancy merits praise for helping make that possible.

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