Friday, March 28, 2008

Nature Conservancy in Virginia water conflict

A Nature Concervancy attorney is accused of conflict of interest while working for on the opposite side of a battle over water. A Charlottsville Virginia public official "points out that besides serving on the Airport Commission, Edwards is an attorney who works for the Nature Conservancy, the organization most fervently pressing the pipeline/reservoir plan".

Criticism of The Nature Conservancy continues in The Hook newspaper:
"Founded in 1951, the Conservancy shot to fame during the 1970s for its philanthropic approach to saving the environment. Rejecting traditional eco-approaches of bully pulpit (Sierra Club) or colorful demonstration (Greenpeace), the multi-billion-dollar-endowed Conservancy focused instead on simply paying for eco-salvation by purchasing easements on threatened properties and sometimes buying land outright.

But, as revealed by a series of investigative articles in the Washington Post five years ago, that free-market approach veered toward free-wheeling, particularly when the Conservancy made below-market land sales to donors and developers. Today, a chastened Conservancy bills itself as a "science-based" organization.

Such scientific interest is evident locally in the Conservancy's role as architect of the controversial $143 million water plan, which public records show it hopes to use as a national model".

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