The Nature Conservancy

Mussel hatchery

I had been much impressed with the Conservancy's way of doing business. Unlike most environmental organizations, which rely on political lobbying and legal action to get results, the Conservancy was into land brokering. While its cadre of scientists compiled a vast data bank on endangered flora and fauna, its field staff concentrated on "doing deals" with individual and corporate landowners, working out tax breaks and other incentives as a way of acquiring threatened ecosystems and essential habitat for endangered species. What I had particularly liked about the organization was its pragmatic attitude: These were people who could have been very successful developers and real estate brokers, yet in contrast to that unlovely tribe, they were using their wheeler-dealer skills to save, rather than destroy, the natural world.

-- Don Schueler, A Handmade Wilderness (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996), 274.