Basnight, Spivey ‘keep it natural’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 23, 2003

WINDSOR – Two northeastern North Carolina conservation preservation champions were honored here Tuesday at the Roanoke Cashie River Center.

Marc Basnight (D-Dare), President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate, and Windsor Mayor Bob Spivey were among several individuals and groups hailed for their outstanding efforts to protect and preserve the abundance of natural resources in the northeastern region of the state. Presenting the awards was The Conservation Fund, the nation’s top rated environmental nonprofit by the American Institute of Philanthropy. The Fund acts to protect the nation’s legacy of land and water resources in partnership with other organizations, public agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals.

Basnight was the recipient of the first Natural Community Champion Award to recognize his results-oriented approach to balancing economic growth and environmental protection in rural areas of North Carolina.

&uot;Conservation preservation efforts are in need of an educational boost,&uot; said Basnight upon accepting the award from Mikki Sager and Larry Selzer of The Conservation Fund. &uot;If we do not begin to invest and promote our clean air and our clean water, then we will have no future to invest in for our children.&uot;

Mayor Spivey was recognized for a lifetime of economic and social contributions for the betterment of northeastern North Carolina.

&uot;Simply put, Bob Spivey is a man who makes things happen,&uot; noted Sager. &uot;He has worn many hats in service to his community and this region. He is responsible for creating jobs through eco-tourism.&uot;

Sager also praised Spivey for creating coalitions that protect the environment and promote sustainable development as she presented him with a Community Partnership Award.

&uot;The mission of The Conservation Fund is one that needs to be seen and heard throughout our area,&uot; said the Mayor. &uot;God has blessed us with an abundance of natural resources, ones we can promote and use through economic development.&uot;

Others recipients of Community Partnership Awards were J.D. Brickhouse, Tyrrell County Manager, Floyd Lupton, retired Congressional aid for the late Rep. Walter B. Jones Sr., Concerned Citizens of Tillery, the Partnership for the Sounds and Roanoke River Partners.

In another announcement made on Tuesday,

The Conservation Fund and

North Carolina’s unique outdoor heritage – its wildlife habitat, river corridors, and community open space – will benefit from sales of Natural Light and Natural Ice beers as well as a statewide public outreach campaign to encourage citizen involvement in conserving North Carolina’s natural resources.

Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and The Conservation Fund announced that they will continue their successful partnership working with local communities to preserve North Carolina’s natural and cultural treasures through 2004.

During the promotion, &uot;Keep It Natural Carolinas,&uot; Anheuser-Busch will donate a portion of proceeds from sales of Natural Light and Natural Ice beer to the Fund in support of its land protection and community outreach work in North Carolina.

&uot;Our partnership with The Conservation Fund allows us to continue our environmental commitment to this beautiful state,&uot; said Danny Scott, brand manager, Natural brands, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. &uot;Working with leading groups such as The Conservation Fund enables us to help protect North Carolina’s natural resources and show our appreciation to the many outdoor enthusiasts who support Natural Light and Natural Ice.&uot;

Scott presented a check in the amount of $15,000 to The Conservation Fund for their ongoing efforts to protect the environment.

&uot;There’s no better team player than Anheuser-Busch,&uot; stressed Selzer, national president of The Conservation Fund. &uot;They are our partners because they believe in our vision that conservation preservation and economic development go hand in hand.&uot;

The &uot;Keep It Natural Carolinas&uot; program includes a donation and an awareness and marketing campaign that includes print, outdoor and radio advertising aimed to conserve and protect North Carolina’s natural resources. Thus far the program has supported conservation projects across the state including the protection of 600 acres near Linville Gorge, the preservation of 40 acres along the New River, and the acquisition of 660 acres as an addition to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, the program has provided support to help establish the Sandhills Family Heritage Association, the first African-American land trust with a mission to support both land conservation and community development.

&uot;This year’s Keep It Natural Carolinas program encourages bold alliances and supports innovative community led activities that protect important natural resources and promote economic growth,&uot; noted Selzer. &uot;With remarkable vision and steadfast leadership, Anheuser-Busch and Natural Light demonstrate how businesses and environmental organizations can work together to produce lasting, mutually beneficial results. We applaud Anheuser-Busch and Natural Light for their outstanding commitment.&uot;

In addition to the Keep It Natural Carolinas program, The Conservation Fund, Anheuser-Busch Companies and Natural Light launched a national campaign in March 2003, The Centennial Conservation Challenge. To commemorate the centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge System, this initiative forges partnerships with the public and private sectors to preserve a total of 1 million acres of refuge lands across the country. Thus far, the program has supported land protection efforts at Pelican Island NWR in Florida, Rappahannock NWR in Virginia, and Lower Trinity River NWR in Texas among others. Anheuser-Busch, through its Natural Light brand, is providing some of the funding to launch this nationwide effort.

The public can lend their support by participating in the &uot;Keep It Natural&uot; program.

Details are available from their Natural Light dealers and

Seeking innovative conservation solutions for the 21st century, The Conservation Fund works to integrate economic and environmental goals. Since its founding in 1985, the Fund has helped its partners safeguard wildlife habitat, greenways, community &uot;greenspace&uot; and historic sites totaling more than 3.5 million acres throughout the nation. Headquarters are in Arlington, Virginia. For more information about The Conservation Fund, visit

Natural Light and Natural Ice are brewed by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the world’s largest brewer.