Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Land Trust Land Rush

As big bucks continue to flow into land trusts, the preservers of wild places are being viewed as a source of jobs. There's a competition on to land the newly created Sierra Nevada Conservancy. The Sierra Sun in Truckee, CA says the city of Auburn as well as Placer County are already actively lobbying to land the headquarters. The conservancy has just been created by the state with an initial budget of $3.6 million and a staff of 13 or 14. Eventually that may expand to include 50 to 60 jobs.
And speaking of big bucks, earthmover Caterpiller is moving $12 million dollars to the Nature Conservancy for a new freshwater protection plan. It is the largest corporate gift ever made to the conservancy. The conservancy's press release says the money will be used to create the "Great Rivers Partnership" with a goal of initiating change to result in sustainable management of large rivers worldwide.
"A central component of this new project, the Great Rivers Center for Conservation and Learning, will be at the heart of transforming how these magnificent and critical systems are protected. As the intellectual cornerstone for the Great Rivers Partnership the center will identify cross-cutting issues and activities that threaten large rivers globally; it will develop and support project work that will inform and demonstrate ways to effectively conserve these large rivers; and it will seek ways to engage and influence the business, political and community leaders who shape the future of these great rivers. The Center will function as a learning and sharing clearinghouse, helping to provide access to some of the best scientific, large river information available worldwide.
The gift will support conservation on The Upper Mississippi, the Upper Paraguay-Parana system in Brazil, and the Upper Yangtze in China.
No word on where this center will be based. That may set off a competition of its own.
This has been a banner month for big announcements by TNC.... and it's only January. After a rough year last year, TNC is having much better 2005.


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