Land Conservancies in North Carolina have made a major contribution to conserving legacy properties over the past decades. In North Carolina one of the early founders of the entire concept of land conservancies as we know them today was Kathy Treanor of Greensboro. Kathy founded the Piedmont Land Conservancy with the help of many. She is an extraordinary human being whose success was predictable given her magnetic personality.
My Uncle was Thomas Berry, author of Dream Of The Earth and The Great Work. Thomas Berry dreamed of people like Kathy Treanor and the countless others who followed her in providing environmental solutions for the challenges he posited.
In my lifetime, land conservancies have gained prominence and success I think because they went into the marketplace and worked inside the framework of private property rights. Rather than encouraging certain behaviors among landowners, they simply took title to the land to reach their conservation goals. The thing I appreciated most was their dedication to the natural science of each ecosystem. Nature Consrvance and Conservation Fund embraced using fire as a tool on their lands when Smokey the Bear was preaching no fires anytime!
In North Carolina I had the privilege of being a part of the Federal Paper Board donation of the Green Swamp property to the Nature Conservancy. The property holds rare and endangered insectivorous plants and is a unique ecosystem with planetary significance. I remember well that Tom Massingale was an integral part of that transaction and that he impressed me so much that he understood the business side of conservation! As did The Conservation Fund, Nature Conservancy and others in the early 70’s. As a third generation conservation entrepreneur, it was refreshing to see practical business solutions in action.
One of the most under reported and maybe under appreciated prime movers of the modern conservation movement was the founder of Vicks Vaporub!
Smith Richardson by way of Alexander Schenck, his fund manager, made so many property conservations possible with his financial help and actual property purchases. Hopefully we are seeing this emerge as a trend among successful business owners. These families continue today to be leaders in the conservation land area.
Legacy Landbank was founded for exactly that. We see diminishing state and federal funds available for legacy properties. In response, we act as land brokers and advisors on legacy and conservation properties to private individuals, families and foundations interested in obtaining the most lasting legacy of all. We do this as a complement to our friends in the land trust and conservation land community and as our own legacy for the planet.