Conservation Leadership NetworkConservation Leadership Network
February 26, 2019
During this 3-day course, community-based teams will focus on the economics, community character, natural resources, and partnership-building skills necessary for creating sustainable communities.  Teams will identify opportunities to differentiate their communities based upon their unique assets, have the opportunity to hear the latest trends in bringing alternative energy or transportation or sustainable agriculture practices to their rural communities, and develop specific action plans for implementation when they return home!

Community Leaders & Citizens:
  • Do you want to preserve your community's unique character and special places?
  • Is your local economy vulnerable rather than vibrant? Are you struggling to keep the younger generations from leaving the area? Or conversely, is your rural community feeling the pressures of rapid growth, increasing tourism, or resource development?

Private Landowners and Businesses:
  • Do you want to invigorate economic opportunities in your community and attract new businesses?
  • Do you want to strengthen your community’s capacity to compete economically?

Public Land Managers:
  • Do you want to improve communications and partnerships with nearby communities?
  • Are you feeling the pressures of reduced budgets and changes in visitor patterns and interested in exploring creative solutions?

*If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, then consider putting together a community team and attending this course! We are available to help guide you along the way so don't hesitate to contact us with any questions!

Who Should Attend

Participants will attend this course in teams of 4-7 members comprised of local business representatives / tourism councils, civic leaders, representatives of federal or state public lands (parks, forests, etc.), and others in public service roles. The team make-up should reflect a cross-section and unique character of the community!

Just as each team is unique, so is their starting place! While some teams have been working together for years and come to the course with a specific project in mind, many others are meeting for the first time together, share a passion for their area, but don't yet know how best to execute their vision. The action-planning process threading throughout the course is designed to work with all types of communities / teams, no matter where you are on the continuum!

“In a week’s time, our area made 2 or 3 years progress!  The Balancing Nature and Commerce course moved the working relationships, partnerships and common goals forward by giant leaps!"
--Chip Jenkins, Superintendent, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park


Featured Speaker: Ed McMahon, Urban Land Institute

Ed McMahon, Senior Resident Fellow on Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy at the Urban Land Institute, is nationally known as an inspiring and thought provoking speaker and leading authority on topics related to economic development, land conservation, smart growth, and historic preservation. As the Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development McMahon leads ULI’s worldwide efforts to conduct research and educational activities related to environmentally sensitive development policies and practices.


How to Apply

Each team must submit a team application. Whether you have questions about the course or need assistance in forming a team, please feel free to contact Katie Allen (304-876-7925 | or Kendra Briechle (703-908-5817 | -- we are happy to assist you with this process!


*Team Application Deadline: January 7, 2019!

Course Costs

Team Registration Fee: $675/team
Lodging & Meals: $152 each/night ($109 each/night for double occupancy) *plan for 3-4 nights
*Lodging & Meal package includes 3 meals/day and private hotel room
*Hotel room block info will be provided to accepted teams
*Limited assistance is available; requests should be indicated on team application

Event Location

National Conservation Training Center (NCTC)
698 Conservation Way
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Additional Information

The course begins at 8:15 am on Tuesday, February 26th and runs through 5:00 pm on Thursday, February 28th. For more information about NCTC, go to For more information about course logistics, please contact Margarita Carey (304-876-7924 |