Thoughts from our President 

By Marilyn Shoenfeld

I am honored and terrified to accept the challenge of the Presidency of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy. The organization has been in my life since the 1980s when my husband, Peter, now deceased, was on the Board of Directors and created the first web page. I participated in the Mon 2000 challenge, writing the current Mon Forest plan and many other activities. After joining the board, I continue to be impressed with the wide variety of talent, knowledge, and passion for the Highlands in this group.                                                       

Larry Thomas has moved the Conservancy to the forefront of environmental activism in West Virginia. Under his leadership, the organization has thrived and grown. Not only has he started the activities listed above, but he has imbued the board and the membership with a new spirit and energy by both personal example and inspiring group actions. It is going to be difficult to fill his shoes, but I am going to try.

I am a retired school librarian and administrator and have lived in Canaan Valley for 20 years. I personally observe the environmental problems that face us—increased development, water issues, abuse of public lands, transition to clean energy and many others. Environmental education is crucial to the younger generations. I have worked with the Friends of the 500th at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and have chaired the Environmental Education Committee for years. We endeavor to bring environmental awareness to the local schoolchildren. 

My goals for the Conservancy include continuing to work with our partner organizations and public state and federal agencies to fulfill our mission of protecting the Highlands, to work with all our wonderful committees to continue and further their efforts, and to inform and involve our membership.  Please call or email me if you have any questions. I look forward to working with all of you.