Bald Head Island Conservancy

Letter from the Director: Looking Back on Bald Head Island Conservancy’s 40th Year

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By Chris Shank, Executive Director

In 1983, Dr. Thad Wester, along with a group of visionaries who appreciated the magnificence of Bald Head Island’s ecosystem and the importance of protecting it in a formal way, established the Bald Head Island Conservancy. Dr. Wester was joined as signatories on the Charter by James Harrington, James Harper, Betty Timberlake, and Kent Mitchell. This document is remarkable in that, although none of these individuals had formal training in barrier island ecology, they created the Conservancy around the core ecological principle of connectivity among the island’s habitats and species, a holistic conservation perspective that was in its infancy 40 years ago (read all about our 40th year here!). BHI has grown quite a lot in the last four decades, as has the Conservancy, but three things haven’t changed: Bald Head Island remains an environmental beacon for barrier islands along the Southeast US coast, the BHI community continues to amaze in its support for the Conservancy’s Mission, and our organization remains 100% committed to protecting the island for present and future generations.  And, as you will see in this video, BHIC celebrated its 40th Anniversary in outstanding fashion with numerous mission-based achievements and fun celebratory events with our BHI community.

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Dr. Thad Wester in front of the Thad Wester Oak.

Before we embark on our next 40 years, we want to extend a very special THANK YOU to everyone who has supported our Mission since 1983, with a special thanks to Dr. Wester and all those who championed Living in Harmony with Nature and the ideals of conservation, education, and preservation that we still pursue today!


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