WINTER 2007                               water, land, life.

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Message from the President

This issue of Conserve focuses on one of the most valuable resources that western Pennsylvania has in its charge, the Allegheny River. With its wealth of islands and diverse plant and animal life, some of which has all but vanished from the rest of the planet, the Allegheny River is a national treasure.

Since the 1960s, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has actively sought to conserve the Allegheny River and the tributaries that feed into it. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know the river very well, and we continue to discover new aspects of it. Today, after protecting nearly 20,000 acres along its shores and 22 of its islands, WPC continues its work, using new technology that allows us to map and explore life in the deep recesses of the river for the first time.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is working to better understand the status of this globally significant river and the life it contains. We are collaborating with public organizations, private companies and community groups – and using science and research to provide information to help guide the region’s future plans for this valuable natural resource. Underscoring our work is the belief that the Allegheny can be a working river, but also sustainably support aquatic life, provide quality drinking water and support recreation.

Forty years ago, when the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy first identified the Allegheny River as a conservation focus area, no one imagined the global significance of the work the organization was about to undertake. I am pleased to see how many Western Pennsylvanians have come to understand how the Allegheny River nurtures and sustains life in our region. Our greater awareness about this resource speaks well for the river that future generations will inherit.

Thomas Saunders
President and CEO