Sunday, January 27, 2008

Little Traverse Conservancy Has Record Year

Tom Bailey
Tom Bailey, Director Little Traverse Conservancy
photo Harbor Light
Little Traverse Conservancy's executive director, Tom Bailey, says he always tries to have one foot out the door. "Be it heading to a trail, taking in a Lake Michigan sunset, or simply breathing in the scent of soil mixed with pine, Bailey said the heart of his professional– and personal– life is always found outdoors."

The Conservancy protected more acres of land in 2007 than in any previous year– some 5,792 acres. In addition, 11.6 miles of water frontage were protected.

The Little Traverse Conservancy was founded in 1972, just a few years after the first Earth Day celebration. While land trust organizations are no longer a rare asset in communities around the country, the foresight and eye on the future from which the Conservancy was born is still at the center of its mission, Bailey said.

"The whole business of land conservation in northern Michigan not only appeals to private landowners and residents because of the attachment we have to the environment. It also comes because of a growing awareness of the importance of natural resources in terms of our state economy. To have a healthy tourism sector, we must preserve our scenic roadways, trail systems, and access to undeveloped lands."

Bailey points out that people are changing the way they want to experience the natural world. People want outdoor activities for young people, safe places to walk, and connections to the environment

"Land conservation has really evolved in the public consciousness from a sort of niche special interest to an issue with broad implications that offers a broad array of benefits to our community and to people who value our quality of life."

It is this understanding– and the deepened appreciation for conservation it brings– that Bailey said he hopes continues to propel land protection projects in the future.

read the complete article at Harbor Light, "Another Good Year for Conservation", by Kate Bassett, Jan 26, 2008- see FAIR USE notice.
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