Valley Conservation Council, based in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, recently named Sarah Francisco, Director of SELC’s Virginia office, its Conservator of the Year for 2017.
The award recognizes community members who have had substantial impact on conservation in a region that includes the George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park. Francisco grew up on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley and for years led SELC’s National Forests and Parks Program, focused on long-term protection of rare old growth forests, wildlife habitat, headwater streams, and backcountry recreation opportunities.
“In Sarah, we recognized someone who provides an uplifting and hopeful vision to others in a turbulent time, and someone who's continued leadership will provide a lasting impact on conservation issues important to our region, our future, and our children’s children’s children’s future,” the council said in its recognition.
Valley Conservation Council is a nonprofit citizens’ organization that promotes land uses that sustain the farms, forests, open spaces, and cultural heritage of the Valley of Virginia. Its efforts promote conservation measures and the establishment of sound land-use policy throughout its 11-county service area.