The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 19, 2007

Mayors of Richwood, Lewisburg honored

Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester and Richwood Mayor Bob Henry Baber were honored Thursday night by The Wilderness Society, a nationally recognized conservation group.

Both mayors received the 2007 Environmental Hero Award for their ongoing efforts to preserve wilderness areas within the state.

“The Environmental Hero Award is presented to grassroots activists who have furthered the cause of land conservation, and Mayors Manchester and Baber epitomize the best of what this award has to offer,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society.

The 27-member board had its quarterly meeting for the first time in West Virginia Thursday. Among the board members was Theodore Roosevelt IV, the great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, who is widely considered to be one of the first conservationists in the country.

“I’m just honored that they chose not only to come to West Virginia to learn what we have to offer, but from my personal perspective, I’m flattered to be considered for such a wonderful national award,” Manchester said Friday. “It reflects my commitment to support additional wilderness areas in West Virginia.

Baber said he his long history of environmentalism dates back to the 1970s where he fought strip-mining companies.

“Richwood’s future lies with tourism and I’ve always loved the Cranberry Wilderness, which is at the foot of Richwood,” Baber said Friday. “I am using my position as mayor as a bully pulpit to advocate the growth of wilderness in West Virginia.

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