House committee hears about private conservation success stories

House committee hears about private conservation success stories

By: Staff  Date: 01/13/2012 Category: | Wildlife Journal |

The US House of Representative listened to a panel of enterprising citizens highlight and document the important role of private stewardship in this country and its lessons for forest management and species conservation in a September 14 hearing chaired by Representative Helen Chenoweth-Hage, chairman of the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health of the House Resources Committee.

Robert J. Smith of the Center for Private Conservation provided a historical perspective on the importance of private conservation and additional panel members explained how they practice their avocations and careers with conservation in mind.

Dr. A.G. "Skeet" Burris, owner of Cypress Bay Plantation in South Carolina and an award-winning private forestland owner, told the committee how he combines state-of-the-art silviculture practices with careful management of wildlife habitat for game species, songbirds, and even endangered species.

Albro Cowperthwaite Jr., executive director of North Maine Woods, three million acres of mixed-ownership private forestland, talked about this extraordinarily innovative example of the successful balancing of the management of forests for the production of forest products, protection of environmental amenities, and provision of public recreation.

Andy Thompson, board member of the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1934, told how the sanctuary protects hawks, eagles, falcons and other birds of prey.

Paul Anthony, co-owner of Virginia's Natural Bridge, one of America's first private conservation initiatives, told the committee how this vast limestone arch purchased by Thomas Jefferson in 1774 has been privately preserved ever since.

Billie Jean Redemeyer-Roney, co-owner of Roney Land & Cattle Company in California's Sacramento Valley, told how her family has raised cattle and done an exemplary job of protecting the environmentally important vernal pool habitat and its rare and endangered invertebrates and flowers for 150 years.

Created in 1995, the CPC is a project of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CPC researches, documents, and promotes the public benefits of private conservation and private stewardship. For more information, contact Judy Kent, (202) 331-1010, or e-mail

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