The National Trust and Us

Richard Moe:  Our Nation's Leading Preservationist Enjoying the Great American West

Richard Moe: Our Nation's Top Preservationist Enjoying the Great American West

People don’t want to go to a place that has lost its soul.

—Arthur Frommer

Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, shared the above quote with me in a recent Travel Fun interview.  As our nation’s leading historic preservation organization, the Trust has saved the soul and character of countless places in its sixty years of existence. From main streets to historic sites, this bipartisan organization works tirelessly toward preserving our country’s heritage.

As a part-time resident of Telluride, I’ve had the privilege of chatting with Dick Moe about historic preservation and some of his favorite destinations several times.  He loves his time in the West and makes Telluride his base every summer for visiting some of the most significant cultural sites in the United States including Canyon of the Ancients in southwestern Colorado.  In our interview, he also talks about other exciting locales in the region such as Durango, Silverton, Chimney Rock and the Rio Grande Gorge in Del Norte.

As for Telluride, it’s clear that it stands a cut above all other Rocky Mountain destinations.  “Telluride has done a better job of preserving its historic character than any other mountain town,” says Dick.  He also shares his thoughts on the Telluride Valley Floor, a 500-acre parcel of open space that he fought hard to preserve.

The Trust’s programs on sustainability and historic preservation are also discussed in our interview. Currently the organization is committed to a sustainability program that focuses on the environmental value of “recylcing” older buildings for new uses and retrofitting them for greater energy efficiency.

Heritage tourism is the fastest growing part of tourism, already a huge industry in our country.  The National Trust has offered tours all over the world for quite some time but they’re expanding their reach with Gozaic, a one-stop shopping portal for heritage travel.  You can hear what Dick has to say about this in our chat as well.

Listen to the entire half-hour interview I conducted with Richard Moe by clicking on the play button here:

People want to experience what’s real and genuine in communities.

—Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Note that at the same time of this story posting, Richard Moe announced his retirement from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  He has been the longest serving president in the sixty-year history of the Trust.  He plans to continue to hold that position until a replacement is found, likely in the spring of 2010.

National Trust for Historic Preservation, 202-588-6000 and 800-944-6847,; you may become a member of the Trust and receive their award-winning magazine six times a year for as little as $20.

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