Updated: Nov 13, 2020
Did you know that there is a Conservation Hall of Fame? It is located in Washington, D.C. and honors many leaders throughout history who have contributed to the conservation movement in the United States. The first person inducted was Theodore Roosevelt who helped establish the U.S. Forest Service, three national parks, and many other national lands. Other inductees include John Muir, Aldo Leopold, John James Audubon, and Rachel Carson to just name a few (1). Each of these Hall of Famers made significant contributions to the field of conservation and had a passion for wisely using our natural resources.
Did you also know there is a Conservation Commission here in Cumberland? While the names Joseph Luca, Frank Aiello, Devan Lippman, Tyler Hyde, Erik Stoothoff, George Gettinger, and Roger Dunn may not be as familiar, this group of people serves on the Cumberland Conservation Commission. They each volunteer their time and energy to help conserve the natural resources in our beautiful community. Each person on the commission brings a unique background and knowledge base which helps the group when examining conservation issues within the town. The ultimate goal of the Conservation Commission is to be a resource for town officials and the community at large.
The mission of the Cumberland Conservation Commission is:
To maintain and preserve the natural environment within the Town of Cumberland by promoting, protecting, and developing its ecological resources. To seek to coordinate activities of official and unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes of ecological preservation. To coordinate with state and local officials for the purpose of addressing conservation issues and concerns as they pertain the Town. To work in conjunction with the Town planning department with regards to environmental issues and concerns relating to construction on new and existing developments within the Town. To recommend to the mayor and the Town council programs for the better promotion, development, utilization, and preservation of open spaces, streams, shores, wooded areas, roadsides, swamps, marshland, watersheds, and all other natural areas (2).
The Cumberland Conservation Commission meets the second Thursday of each month. Each meeting has an agenda posted prior to the meeting which can be found at https://opengov.sos.ri.gov/OpenMeetingsPublic/OpenMeetingDashboard?subtopmenuId=201&EntityID=777&MeetingID=980077 and the meetings are open to the public. Currently meetings are being held by Zoom. Public input is always welcomed. It is important to hear from those in the community about conservation issues they feel are important.
1 - https://www.nwf.org/About-Us/History/Conservation-Hall-of-Fame; last accessed 11/10/2020
2 – The Rhode Island Association of Conservation Commissions; Rhode Island Conservation Commissioner Handbook; page 2; 2015
(Photo Credit: Roger Dunn – Pecos National Historic Park, Pecos, NM - 2008)