Thomas Minney of Elkins, director of The Nature Conservancy's Central Appalachians program for the past eight years, has been named the Conservancy's West Virginia state director. The 44-year-old Gilmer County native replaces former TNC state director Rodney Bartgis, who resigned last July.
As director of the TNC's Central Appalachians program, Minney helped plan and initiate multi-state cooperative conservation programs, including one involved in the restoration of the region's high-elevation red spruce forest. Prior to that, Minney was conservation programs director for the conservancy's West Virginia Chapter, where he worked with private landowners, industry representatives and state and federal researchers and scientists on conservation projects across the state, including the Beury Mountain Wildlife Management Area in the New River Gorge, additions to the Monongahela National Forest and the conservation of private tracts in Smoke Hole Canyon. He has been directly involved in protecting more than 6,500 acres of the West Virginia landscape.