The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a charitable environmental organization, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, United States.

Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has over one million members, and has protected more than 119,000,000 acres (48,000,000 ha) of land and thousands of miles of rivers worldwide.[4] The largest environmental nonprofit by assets and revenue in the Americas,[5] The Nature Conservancy ranks as one of the most trusted national organizations in Harris Interactive polls every year since 2005.[6][7][8][9] Forbes magazine rated The Nature Conservancy's fundraising efficiency at 88 percent in its 2005 survey of the largest U.S. charities.[10] The Conservancy received a three-star rating from Charity Navigator in 2016 (three-star in 2015).[11]

The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy: Protecting nature. Preserving life. The Nature Conservancy logo is copyright © 2007 The Nature Conservancy
Typecharitable environmental organization
Focusenvironmental conservation
HeadquartersArlington, Virginia, United States
Area served
MethodConservation by design
More than 1 million[2]
Key people
US$1.29 billion (2018)[3]


2017 Capital Pride (Washington, D.C.) - 057
The Nature Conservancy at 2017 Capital Pride.

The Nature Conservancy developed out of a scholarly organization known as the Ecological Society of America (ESA).[12] The ESA was founded in 1915 and two years later formed a Committee on Preservation of Natural Areas for Ecological Study, headed by Victor Shelford.[12][13] Whereas the Society primarily focused on promoting research, in the course of the 1930s Shelford and his colleagues increasingly sought to advocate for conservation.[12] The divide in viewpoints regarding scholarship or advocacy led the Society to dissolve the committee, and, in 1946, Shelford and his colleagues formed the Ecologists' Union.[12][13] The latter group eventually took the name "The Nature Conservancy", in emulation of the British agency of that name, which pursued a mission of conserving open space and wildlife preserves. The Nature Conservancy was incorporated in the United States as a non-profit organization on October 22, 1951.[13]

Featured project sites

Rossville Boardwalk Wolf River
Nature Conservancy of Tennessee's William B. Clark, Sr., Nature Preserve on the Wolf River at Rossville, Tennessee

The Nature Conservancy's expanding international conservation efforts include work in North America, Central America, and South America, Africa, the Pacific Rim, the Caribbean, and Asia.[14]

The Nature Conservancy and its conservation partner, Pronatura Peninsula Yucatán, are working to halt deforestation on private lands in and around the 1.8 million acre (7,300 km²) Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, along the Guatemala–Mexico border. In November 2004, 370,000 acres (1,500 km²) of threatened tropical forest in Calakmul were permanently protected under a historic land deal between the Mexican federal and state government, Pronatura Peninsula Yucatán, four local communities and the Conservancy.[15]

The Nature Conservancy's programs in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are working together to build partnerships and enhance the profile of the conservation needs in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by supporting voluntary, private land conservation of important wildlife habitat. In 2007, the Nature Conservancy made a 161,000-acre (650 km2) purchase of New York forestland from Finch Paper Holdings LLC for $110 million, its largest purchase ever in that state.[16][17] In June 2008, The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land announced they reached an agreement to purchase approximately 320,000 acres (1,300 km2) of western Montana forestland from Plum Creek Timber Company for $510 million. The purchase, known as the Montana Legacy Project, is part of an effort to keep these forests in productive timber management and protect the area's clean water and abundant fish and wildlife habitat, while promoting continued public access to these lands for fishing, hiking, hunting and other recreational pursuits.[18][19][20] As a follow-on, in 2015 The Nature Conservancy made a $134 million transaction to purchase 165,073 acres – 257 square miles – of forests, rivers and wildlife habitat in the Cascade Mountain Range of Washington and in the Blackfoot River Valley in Montana. The Conservancy also acquired this land from Plum Creek, including 47,921 acres in the Yakima River Headwaters in Washington and 117,152 acres in the Lower Blackfoot River Watershed in Montana.[21][22]

In December 2015, The Nature Conservancy announced the finalization of the first ever debt swap in Seychelles aimed at ocean conservation. The new protected area increases the country's marine protected waters from less than 1 percent to more than 30 percent including support for the creation of the second largest Marine Protected Area in the Western Indian Ocean.[23] The debt swap deal was made possible through a partnership with the Seychelles Ministry of Finance, support of debt-holding nations including France, and grants from private organizations led by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.[24]

Financing for this effort was organized by The Nature Conservancy's impact investing unit called NatureVest.[25][26] NatureVest was created in 2014 with founding sponsorship from JPMorgan Chase & Co. with the stated goal of sourcing and putting to work at least $1 billion of impact investment capital for measurable conservation outcomes over three years.[27][28] For their work on the Seychelles debt restructuring, The Nature Conservancy and JPMorgan Chase were given the FT/ITC Transformational Business Award for Achievement in Transformational Finance[29] The award is given by the Financial Times and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) for ground-breaking, commercially viable solutions to development challenges.[30]

Plant a Billion Trees campaign

The Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees campaign is an effort to restore 2,500,000 acres (10,100 km2) of land and plant one billion trees by 2025 in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Each donated dollar results in one planted tree in the Atlantic Forest.[31]

Environmental benefits

The Plant a Billion Trees campaign has also been identified as a tool to help slow climate change, as the Atlantic Forest – one of the biggest tropical forests in the world – helps regulate the atmosphere and stabilize global climate. The reforestation of the Atlantic Forest has the capability to remove 10 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. The Nature Conservancy states that this is equivalent to taking two million cars off the road. The Atlantic Forest's restoration could help to slow the process of climate change that is affecting the Earth.[32]

The Nature Conservancy's Plant a Billion Trees campaign also aims to protect 10 critical watersheds in the Atlantic Forest that provide water and hydro power to more than 70 million people, create 20,000 direct jobs, and an additional 70,000 indirectly as part of this effort. The Plant a Billion Trees campaign is also associated with The Nature Conservancy's Adopt an Acre program, which consists of nine locations, including Brazil.[33]

Involvement in the community

The Nature Conservancy also features e-cards from the Atlantic Forest, as well as video of the Atlantic Forest and detailed information about the seedlings on their website.[34] The website also features a news feed and an interactive map of the Atlantic Forest region in Brazil, as well as information on many of the plants, animals, and people that are impacted by the plight of the forest and who may benefit from its restoration.[34]

Tree planting

The Nature Conservancy plants one tree in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil for each dollar donated by supporters. Some of the seeds being planted consist of:

  • Guapuruvu Tree (Schizolobium parahyba) – An indigenous plant of Atlantic Forest, this has one of the fastest growth rates of all the native species.
  • Golden Trumpet Tree (Handroanthus chrysotrichus) – According to popular belief, when this tree's yellow blooms appear, no more frosts will occur. The wood of a Golden Trumpet Tree has the same fire rating as concrete and is denser than water. Illegal logging activity has grown due to this tree's growing popularity.
  • Ice-Cream Bean Tree (Inga edulis) – Leafy and abundant, this tree controls weeds and erosion. Its popular fruit is a long pod up to a few feet, containing a sweet pulp surrounding large seeds.
  • Capororoca Tree (Myrsine ferruginea) – Birds like the Rufous-bellied Thrush enjoy the fruit off of this tree.[31]

History of the campaign

The Nature Conservancy launched the Plant a Billion Trees campaign in 2008 with a micro-site that is affiliated but not hosted by The Nature Conservancy's website.

As a part of this launch, The Nature Conservancy pledged to plant 25 million trees as part of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)'s Billion Tree Campaign.[35] This campaign encourages individuals and organizations to plant their own trees around the world and record this action on the website as a tally.

On Earth Day 2009, Disneynature's film Earth debuted, promising to plant a tree for every ticket sold to the film in its first week. This resulted in a donation of 2.7 million trees to the Plant a Billion Trees program.[36]


The Plant a Billion Trees campaign has followed The Nature Conservancy's approach of partnering with larger organizations (such as Disneynature, Planet Green, Penguin Books, Payless Shoesource, AT&T, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and Visa) to leverage donations from supporters and increase efficiency and effectiveness of the campaign.[31]

  • Penguin Classics sponsored a Penguin Walk[37] to benefit the Plant a Billion Trees Campaign on June 6, 2009 as well.[38]
  • Payless Shoesource sponsored the Plant a Billion Trees campaign[39] by giving $1 to The Nature Conservancy for every Plant a Billion Trees reusable bag sold between April 13, 2009, and December 31, 2009 (sold at a retail value of $1.99) and $1 from each zoe&zac branded product sold between 4/13/09 and 5/4/09. Payless guaranteed a minimum total contribution of $100,000 in 2009 from these sales and the sales of other merchandise during 2009.
  • Panasonic has been involved by planting a tree for each customer who selects The Nature Conservancy in its "Giving Back" program.[35]
  • Organic Bouquet donated ten percent for every flower and gift purchased during the month of April 2008 at[35]

The Nature Conservancy and its scientists also work with other conservation organizations, local landowners, state and federal officials, agencies, and private companies to protect, connect, and buffer what is left of the Atlantic Forest.[35]


Over the years, The Nature Conservancy has faced a number of criticisms. They fall into the following main categories:

Nearness to big business

The Nature Conservancy has ties to many large companies, including those in the oil, gas, mining, chemical and agricultural industries.[40] Its board of directors currently includes the retired chairman of Duke Energy, and executives from Merck, HP, Google and several financial industry groups.[41] It also has a Business Council which it describes as a consultative forum that includes Bank of America, BP America, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Duke Energy, General Mills, Royal Dutch Shell, and Starbucks.[42] The organization faced criticism in 2010 from supporters for its refusal to cut ties with BP after the Gulf oil spill.[43][44]

Writer and activist Naomi Klein has strongly criticized The Nature Conservancy for earning money from an oil well on land it controls in Texas.[45] Klein has also criticized The Nature Conservancy and other large environmental NGOs in an article by The Nation for their continued engagement with fossil fuel companies.[46]

Questionable resale

There have been allegations of The Nature Conservancy obtaining land and reselling it at a profit, sometimes to supporters,[47] who have then made use of it in ways which many perceived as being insufficiently environmentally friendly. The Nature Conservancy argues that the profit from such sales allows The Nature Conservancy to increase its preservation of what the Nature Conservancy claims are more important locations.[48] The Conservancy has established a no-net-profit policy that has been in effect for years for all transactions of this type, and a policy of ensuring that its disbursements offset any illicitly-generated revenues.[49]


Like many large environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the World Wildlife Fund, the Conservancy has also been criticized for including allowances for hunting within its management policies. The organization does not totally ban hunting by their staff nor do they ban it on properties they own. {{Hunting Policy}} Retired General Norman Schwarzkopf, the Commander of coalition forces during the First Gulf War, and a member of the President's Conservation Counsel of the Conservancy, was also a member of the trophy hunting organization the Safari Club International.[50]

Sexual harassment controversies

In mid-2019, The Nature Conservancy was enveloped by controversies over issues of gender inequities and sexual harassment. Five senior executives left their positions within two weeks.

On June 7, 2019, Mark Tercek, CEO since 2008, announced his resignation following public disclosure of an internal investigation on sexual harassment and the subsequent resignation of President Brian McPeek.[51] The Nature Conservancy's President for one year, McPeek had resigned on May 31, 2019 after a report on the internal investigation was revealed by POLITICO and after two other senior executives were dismissed based on its findings.[52] And on June 10, 2019, Luis Solorzano, executive director of The Nature Conservancy’s Florida-based Caribbean chapter, became the fifth senior official to depart the organization.[53] On June 11, 2019, The Nature Conservancy’s board chairman Thomas J. Tierney announced that board member and former Secretary of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will serve as interim CEO effective in September 2019.[54] On July 7, 2019, POLITICO reported that the Conservancy’s internal investigation “offered just a glimpse at the problem(s)” within the group.[55]


The organization publishes The Nature Conservancy magazine (ISSN 1540-2428; six issues per year).

See also


  1. ^ Grove, Noel (December 1988). "Quietly Conserving Nature". National Geographic. 174 (6): 818–844.
  2. ^ "About The Nature Conservancy". January 23, 2014. Archived from the original on March 5, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  3. ^ The Nature Conservancy. Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2018 and report thereon. Accessed November 22, 2018.
  4. ^ "Non Profit Organization | About Us | The Nature Conservancy". Archived from the original on September 10, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  5. ^ "The 200 Largest U.S. Charities List: Environment/Animal". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 15, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  6. ^ "2008 Harris Poll". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  7. ^ "2007 Harris poll". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "2006 Harris poll". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  9. ^ "2005 Harris poll". Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  10. ^ "Nature Conservancy". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "Rating for The Nature Conservancy". Charity Navigator. Archived from the original on September 3, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d Adams, Jonathan S. (2006). The Future of the Wild: Radical Conservation for a Crowded World. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 9780807085103. p. 50-51. The author is a conservation biologist and (as of 2016) a program director at the Nature Conservancy.
  13. ^ a b c "Our History Archived December 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  14. ^ "Where We Work | The Nature Conservancy". Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  15. ^ Adams, Lisa (November 13, 2004). "Plan would protect swath of Yucatán forest". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  16. ^ "Global Solutions". Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  17. ^ "The Nature Conservancy Purchases 161,000 acres in New York". The Land Report. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  18. ^ "Nature Conservancy News Room – The Forestl". Archived from the original on May 1, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  19. ^ "Conservationists Go Big in Montana –Land&People | The Trust for Public Land". June 12, 2006. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  20. ^ "The Montana Legacy Project — Northwest Connections". June 30, 2008. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  21. ^ "Forests for America's Future | The Nature Conservancy". January 15, 2016. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  22. ^ Marc Gunther. "Behind one of the Nature Conservancy's largest ever forest purchases | Guardian Sustainable Business". The Guardian. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  23. ^ "Seychelles to protect more than 400,000 square kilometers of Ocean – Reef Builders | The Reef and Marine Aquarium Blog". Reef Builders. March 18, 2016. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  24. ^ "LDF Supports First Ever Debt-for-Nature Swap in Seychelles – Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation : Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation". March 15, 2016. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  25. ^ "Seychelles Debt Restructuring | NatureVest". June 20, 2014. Archived from the original on August 15, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  26. ^ "Nature Conservancy Debt Swap to Finance Conservation in Seychelles | News | PND". February 26, 2015. Archived from the original on September 21, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  27. ^ "About Us | NatureVest". Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  28. ^ "Why TNC and JPMorgan Chase are investing $1 billion in nature". April 29, 2014. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  29. ^ [1]
  30. ^ "FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards organised by FT Live". Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  31. ^ a b c "Plant A Billion Trees – one dollar at a time – with The Nature Conservancy". Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  32. ^ Olatz Cases, Maria. "Biodiversity conservation and climate change protection go hand in hand". German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  33. ^ "Adopt an Acre – The Nature Conservancy". Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  34. ^ a b "Plant A Billion Trees – one dollar at a time – with The Nature Conservancy". Archived from the original on January 25, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  35. ^ a b c d "Conservation & Green News | The Nature Conservancy". Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  36. ^ "Disney joins forces with the nature conservancy to plant 2.7 million trees in conjunction with first week ticket sales for Disneynature's debut feature, 'Earth'" (PDF). April 29, 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  37. ^ "Plant a Billion Trees – Penguin Classics – Penguin Group (USA)". Archived from the original on December 23, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  38. ^ "Payless Partners with the Plant a Billion Trees Campaign, Launches Eco-Friendly Line". StyleCaster. April 13, 2009. Archived from the original on August 16, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  39. ^ "Customer Service – Payless Shoes". Payless ShoeSource. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  40. ^ "Working with Companies – Companies We Work With | The Nature Conservancy". Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  41. ^ "Board of Directors Member Profiles | The Nature Conservancy". Archived from the original on September 16, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  42. ^ "Business Council | The Nature Conservancy". July 1, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  43. ^ "Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP". Archived from the original on June 4, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  44. ^ "Reaching for a longer spoon". The Economist. June 3, 2010. Archived from the original on March 22, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  45. ^ "Group Earns Oil Income Despite Pledge on Drilling". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  46. ^ Klein, Naomi (May 1, 2013). "Time for Big Green to Go Fossil Free". The Nation. Archived from the original on August 15, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  47. ^ The Chronicle of Philanthropy. October 18, 2007.
  48. ^ Staff (June 14, 2003). "In Wake of Criticism, Nature Conservancy Changes Policies". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  49. ^ "Nature Conservancy". Archived from the original on September 22, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  50. ^ "Schwarzkopf Shines at Safari Club International Life Members Breakfast". Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  51. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  52. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  53. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  54. ^ Colman, Zack (June 11, 2019). "Nature Conservancy taps Obama Interior secretary as interim CEO". POLITICO. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  55. ^ "The system was broken: How The Nature Conservancy prospered but ran aground".

External links

Beckley Bog

Beckley Bog is a sphagnum-heath-black spruce bog located near Norfolk in Litchfield County, Connecticut. It is the southernmost sphagnum heath bog in New England. The peat moss is over 51 feet deep. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in May 1977.It was purchased by The Nature Conservancy and the Conservation and Research Foundation in 1957. It was the first purchase by the Conservancy in Connecticut and is now part of the Northwest Highlands group of preserves.

Bodega Ridge Provincial Park

Bodega Ridge Provincial Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada. It is on Galiano Island (which lies between Vancouver and Vancouver Island) and comprises 233 hectares. The park's high cliffs are home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and turkey vultures.

The park was preserved as a result of a long fund-raising campaign 1991-1995, which eventually gained the support of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. In recent years it has received donations from adjacent landowners, and has nearly doubled in size.

Cathedral Pines

Cathedral Pines is a 42-acre (17 ha) nature preserve owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy in Cornwall, Connecticut. It is an old-growth white pine and hemlock forest which had been donated in 1967 by the Calhoun family who had purchased it in 1883 to prevent logging. It was mostly destroyed by tornadoes in July 1989 and has become a study site for ecological restoration. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1982.The remaining white pines are approximately 120 feet (37 m) to 140 feet (43 m) high. It is open to the public.

In his book "Second Nature", writer Michael Pollan uses the aftermath of the 1989 tornado damage at Cathedral Pines as a case for an insightful discussion of environmental ethics.

Deer Lick Nature Sanctuary

Deer Lick Nature Sanctuary is a protected forest and gorge in Cattaraugus County, New York. The preserve is within Zoar Valley near Gowanda, and is managed by The Nature Conservancy.

English Nature

English Nature was the United Kingdom government agency that promoted the conservation of wildlife, geology and wild places throughout England between 1990 and 2006. It was a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and gave statutory advice, grants and issued licences.

The Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) (formerly the Nature Conservancy) was established by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 to cover nature conservation issues across the whole of Great Britain. The NCC was split into four by the Environmental Protection Act 1990—its English duties being given to English Nature. In Scotland, its functions were merged with those of the Countryside Commission for Scotland to form Scottish Natural Heritage, and similarly in Wales there was a merger to form the Countryside Council for Wales. A much smaller body, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), supported all three agencies. The English functions of the Countryside Commission went to the newly formed Countryside Agency.

English Nature worked closely with the JNCC and the equivalent bodies for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (the Northern Ireland Environment Agency) to bring a consistent approach to nature conservation throughout the United Kingdom and towards fulfilling its international obligations.

The agency ceased to exist in October 2006 following a review by Lord Haskins, enacted in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. It was integrated with parts of both the Rural Development Service and the Countryside Agency from 1 October 2006, to form a new body called Natural England.

Ernest and Mary Hemingway House

The Ernest and Mary Hemingway House, in Ketchum, Idaho, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.The National Register does not disclose its location but rather lists it as "Address restricted".The property is the last undeveloped property of its size within the city limits of Ketchum.The house was built in 1953 for Henry J. "Bob" Topping, Jr. It was sold to Hemingway in 1959 for its asking price $50,000. The Hemingways moved in, in November 1959.It was where Ernest Hemingway committed suicide on July 2, 1961.The Nature Conservancy acquired ownership in 1986.It is a two-story 2,500 square feet (230 m2) house in Ketchum. The Nature Conservancy transferred ownership to the Community Library, a privately funded public library, in May 2017.

Habitat conservation

Habitat conservation is a management practice that seeks to conserve, protect and restore habitats and prevent species extinction, fragmentation or reduction in range. It is a priority of many groups that cannot be easily characterized in terms of any one ideology.

Ice Mountain

Ice Mountain is a mountain ridge and algific talus slope that is part of a 149-acre (60 ha) preserve near the community of North River Mills in Hampshire County, West Virginia, United States. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 2012.Ice Mountain is protected by The Nature Conservancy and open for visits by small groups of hikers. It is nicknamed "Nature's Ice Box" and "Nature's Refrigerator" owing to its ice vents that release cool air all year long.

Ironsides Island

Ironsides Island is an uninhabited rocky island in the Saint Lawrence River, and part of the Thousand Islands region near Alexandria Bay, New York. It is in both Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. Most of the island lies in the Town of Alexandria, in Jefferson County, while its northeasternmost corner lies in the Town of Hammond, in St. Lawrence County. The island is located near Kring Point State Park.The 30-acre (12 ha) island has 30-to-40-foot (9 to 12 m) cliffs along its waterfront, and its vegetation is dominated by white pine trees. It was donated by former Reader's Digest ad executive William Browning to The Nature Conservancy in the late 1960s to ensure protection of the island's great blue heron rookery. Over a thousand herons return to breed every April. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1967.Prior permission from The Nature Conservancy is required to land on the island, but it can easily be viewed from the water.

Mark's and Jack's Island Natural Area Preserve

Mark's and Jack's Island Natural Area Preserve is a 2,000-acre (8.1 km2) Natural Area Preserve located in Accomack County, Virginia. The preserve supports Chesapeake Bay beach habitat, as well as various types of marsh, shrub, and forest vegetation. Many species of birds can be found in the preserve's wetlands, and numerous plant species live in the marsh, including marsh-elder. Loblolly pine and black cherry may be seen along the tops of some old dunes. The beaches provide a home for the northeastern beach tiger beetle.The preserve has been designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the National Audubon Society as a part of the "Delmarva Bayside Marshes IBA", which also includes the nearby Parkers Marsh Natural Area Preserve and Saxis Wildlife Management Area.The preserve is owned and maintained by The Nature Conservancy. Access to the preserve is possible only by boat, and is restricted to educational or research purposes. Visitors must make arrangements with The Nature Conservancy prior to visiting.

Mianus River Gorge

The Mianus River Gorge is a 935-acre (3.78 km2) nature preserve jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Mianus River Gorge, Inc. It is located in Bedford, New York. The first 60 acres (0.24 km2) were purchased by the Preserve, with help from the Conservancy, their first land preservation deal. It has grown over the years and is still managed by Mianus River Gorge, Inc. In March 1964, it was designated a National Natural Landmark for its old growth climax hemlock forest and the gorge of the Mianus River.

Natural heritage

Natural heritage refers to the sum total of the elements of biodiversity, including flora and fauna,

ecosystems and geological structures.

Heritage is that which is inherited from past generations, maintained in the present, and bestowed to future generations. The term "natural heritage", derived from "natural inheritance", pre-dates the term "biodiversity." It is a less scientific term and more easily comprehended in some ways by the wider audience interested in conservation.

The term was used in this context in the United States when Jimmy Carter set up the Georgia Heritage Trust while he was governor of Georgia; Carter's trust dealt with both natural and cultural heritage. It would appear that Carter picked the term up from Lyndon Johnson, who used it in a 1966 Message to Congress. (He may have gotten the term from his wife Lady Bird Johnson who was personally interested in conservation.) President Johnson signed the Wilderness Act of 1964.

The term "Natural Heritage" was picked up by the Science Division of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) when, under Robert E. Jenkins, Jr., it launched in 1974 what ultimately became the network of state natural heritage programs -- one in each state, all using the same methodology and all supported permanently by state governments because they scientifically document conservation priorities and facilitate science-based environmental reviews. When this network was extended outside the United States, the term "Conservation Data Center (or Centre)" was suggested by Guillermo Mann and came to be preferred for programs outside the US. Despite the name difference, these programs, too, use the same core methodology as the 50 state natural heritage programs. In 1994 The network of natural heritage programs formed a membership association to work together on projects of common interest: the Association for Biodiversity Information (ABI). In 1999, Through an agreement with The Nature Conservancy, ABI expanded and assumed responsibility for the scientific databases, information, and tools developed by TNC in support of the network of natural heritage programs. In 2001, ABI changed its name to NatureServe. NatureServe continues to serve as the hub of the NatureServe Network, a collaboration of 86 governmental and non-governmental programs including natural heritage programs and conservation data centers located in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.


NatureServe, Inc. is an Arlington, Virginia-based non-profit organization that provides proprietary wildlife conservation-related data, tools, and services to private and government clients, partner organizations, and the public. NatureServe reports being "headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with regional offices in four U.S. locations and in Canada." In calendar year 2011 they reported having 86 employees, 6 volunteers, and 15 independent officers.

Nature Conservancy Council

The Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) was a United Kingdom government agency responsible for designating and managing National Nature Reserves and other nature conservation areas in Great Britain between 1973 and 1991 (it did not cover Northern Ireland).

Nature Conservancy of Canada

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada's leading national land conservation organization. A private, non-profit organization, NCC partners with individuals, corporations, and other non-profit organizations and governments at all levels to protect Canada's most important natural treasures — the natural areas that sustain Canada’s plants and wildlife. Properties are secured through donation, purchase, conservation agreement and the relinquishment of other legal interests in land and managed for the long term.

Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) of ecologically significant land from coast to coast.Mission: The Nature Conservancy of Canada leads and inspires others to join us in creating a legacy for future generations by conserving important natural areas and biological diversity across all regions in Canada.

At the heart of NCC’s mission is a respect for nature and a belief that nature’s rich diversity benefits Canada and all Canadians.

NCC envisions a world in which Canadians conserve nature in all its diversity, and safeguard the lands and waters that sustain life.

Neversink Preserve

The Neversink Preserve is located in Deerpark, Orange County, New York. It was created in 1993 by The Nature Conservancy. They purchased 170 acres (69 ha) of land on the Neversink River and created the Neversink Preserve in order to protect the newly discovered and federally endangered species of mussel, the dwarf wedge mussel. Over time they have purchased more land so that the Neversink Preserve covers 550 acres (220 ha). Theodore Gordon, considered the father of modern American fly-fishing, perfected his dry-fly techniques here in the 19th century. Nearly 15 million people rely on the waters of the Delaware River Basin for drinking water and industrial use making the Neversink Preserve a top priority of The Nature Conservancy.

Parramore Island Natural Area Preserve

Parramore Island Natural Area Preserve is a 7,000-acre (28 km2) Natural Area Preserve located in Accomack County, Virginia, United States. Located on one of the barrier islands along the Atlantic Ocean, it is the state's largest Natural Area Preserve. More than 7.5 miles (12.1 km) long, it features a number of beaches, dunes, scrubs, marshes, and natural communities.The preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy as part of their Virginia Coast Reserve, which includes 13 additional uninhabited barrier islands. Although it is not typically open to the public, access for research or educational purposes may be obtained from The Nature Conservancy.

Sheldrick Forest Preserve

The Sheldrick Forest Preserve is a forest located in West Wilton, New Hampshire and owned by The Nature Conservancy. The 227-acre (0.92 km2) property is host to a large diversity of old growth trees and a number of plants. The preserve's three miles of trails are available to the public.

Unthanks Cave Natural Area Preserve

Unthanks Cave Natural Area Preserve is a 171-acre (69 ha) Natural Area Preserve in Lee County, Virginia. It protects the entrance to Unthanks Cave, which houses significant biological diversity and a wide variety of invertebrate life. The cave's streams drain a significant karst area south of the Powell River.A rare species of hydrobiid snail was first discovered in Unthanks Cave in 1986. Holsingeria unthanksensis has since been found in additional cave streams in Lee County, with an additional population noted 310 miles (500 km) north in Skyline Caverns. Additional unusual species found within the cave include a second hydrobiid snail, the Powell Valley planarian (Sphalloplana consimilis), the Southwest Virginia cave isopod (Caecidotea recurvata), and a cave-dwelling carabid beetle.The only known entrance to the seven-mile-long (11 km) cave was purchased by The Nature Conservancy in 1987, and was the first cave system purchased in Virginia by the organization. The Nature Conservancy gave the property to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in 2004, although they continue to conduct research at the site.Although previously popular with spelunkers due to the cave's large speleothems, Unthanks Cave is today gated and inaccessible except for official scientific monitoring and inquiry.

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