The Conservation Fund in the News

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.

January 3, 2018
Karen Chávez, Asheville Citizen-Times — CEDAR MOUNTAIN -- Unlike the rest of us, DuPont State Recreational Forest will start off the new year with plans to expand its waist size.

The 11,000-acre state forest that spans Henderson and Transylvania counties is set to receive an additional 753 acres this year.

Known as the "Cascade Lake" property, it was donated in the will of a private landowner through the nonprofit Conservation Fund, which plans to convey the land to the state forest.

January 2, 2018
Eric Simons, Bay Nature – The 19,500-acre Buckeye Forest in northwestern Sonoma County holds a lot of trees. More than 75 percent of the trees are redwoods, tanoaks, and Douglas firs, with the rest a combination of sugar pines, true oaks, bay laurel, and other hardwoods.

You might take a close look at a sample of those trees to count them and size them and so see how much carbon is in them. Then, you might use statistics to arrive at an estimate of carbon in the entire forest.

December 29, 2017
David Ferry, Outside — In January 2015, the Pacific Crest Trail Association received a letter from the owner of a 402-acre plot of land near Stevens Pass, roughly 75 miles east of Seattle. The landowner, a family trust, held one of the few remaining privately held patches of the Pacific Crest Trail—a parcel that thousands of Washingtonians use each year to reach alpine wilderness areas and thru-hikers traverse on their way up to the northern terminus at Manning Park. The family trust, the letter said, wanted to sell.