The Conservation Fund in the News

April 12, 2018
Positively West Virginia – For small businesses to grow, they need to be invested in.

Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF), located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, finances and advises small to mid-sized enterprises, primarily in rural and underserved communities across a nine-state region, to build locally-owned companies that create lasting jobs and community growth.

NCIF borrowers build local food systems, conserve energy and water, support ecotourism, find creative outlets for recycled materials and provide essential community services.

April 1, 2018
Peter Marteka, Hartford Courant – "Get your oxygen on. Get your crampons. No Sherpas today,” shouted Carl Tjerandsen as we made our way through the valley of Brown’s Mountain, close to where the borders of Preston, Griswold and North Stonington meet.

On a recent early spring day, I joined Tjerandsen and Dennis Main, president of the Avalonia Land Conservancy, and Sue Sutherland, the vice president, to explore portions of a 409-acre property known as Tri-Town Ridgeline Forest, the group’s newest and largest acquisition in its 50-year history. The purchase brought Avalonia’s total preserved land in southeastern Connecticut to exactly 4,000 acres.

March 21, 2018
Herald-Dispatch – Businesses and entrepreneurs in several West Virginia counties are expected to see a boost from an investment fund aimed at supporting eco-tourism, agriculture and more.

The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF), a small business lender that supports locally owned enterprises throughout central Appalachia and the Southeast, received more than $500,000 in investment and grant support from West Virginia-based United Bank, to increase its lending to eligible entities.

March 20, 2018
WVNews, 20 March 2018 – The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF), a small business lender that supports locally-owned enterprises throughout central Appalachia and the Southeast, recently announced that it has received more than $500,000 in investment and grant support from United Bank, to increase its lending and support services to small businesses in underserved West Virginia counties.

The $500,000 equity equivalent, flexible investment is the second investment NCIF has received from United Bank and will be used to finance business and entrepreneurs in 26 counties, with an emphasis on the following: Boone, Cabell, Wood, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Monongalia, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh and Wayne. In addition, United Bank awarded its first grant to NCIF ˗ $10,000 that will support NCIF’s business coaching services in Monongalia and Preston counties.

February 12, 2018
Matt Combs, The Fayette Tribune – Artists Ian Bode and Brian Pickens have been chosen to install a new mural on the side of Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant in downtown Mount Hope. The mural is part of the effort led by the Mount Hope Downtown Revitalization Project to partake in property improvements, public art installations and increased traffic in the downtown area.

The mural, art exhibits and walking tour are all funded by grant dollars from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Conservation Fund, the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, the Coal Heritage Area Authority and the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia.

February 5, 2018
Jason Huffman, Undercurrent News, February 5, 2018– Large-track construction vehicles roll over white sand on 80 acres of property that until recently was used to grow tomatoes. Everything has been progressing here in a way that should allow Atlantic Sapphire to open what would be the US' first operational, large-scale commercial salmon farm and deliver an initial harvest of 800 metric tons by mid-2020 as planned, Johan Andreassen, the founder and CEO, assured a small group of investors during a tour late last month. 

The Freshwater Institute, a research organization sponsored by the Conservation Fund, has been raising salmon on land in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, for the past seven years as part of an effort to advance the practice, frequently selling its small 20,000 to 40,000 lb annual harvest to a Maryland dealer.

January 10, 2018
Sharon Durham, AgResearch Magazine – Although the global aquaculture industry produced 73.8 million tons of fish and shellfish, with an estimated first-sale value of $160.2 billion in 2014, the United States is still the leading global importer of fish and fishery products. 

ARS also provides funding to The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute (TCFFI), in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, to develop these kinds of technologies. Recirculating water systems can help increase the amount of fish available to markets while solving some of the problems inherent in open-water fish farms.

January 8, 2018
Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — The last unprotected reach of Trinity Creek close to its headwater springs in Mequon will be relieved of a recurring burden of soil and agricultural pollutants now that it has been acquired by the Mequon Nature Preserve.

To ensure the 6.38-acre property west of busy Wauwatosa Road is not developed in the future, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District has proposed paying $50,000 to the nature preserve to create a permanent conservation easement on the property deed that prohibits subdivision and building construction.