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Pinchot focus areas:

Climate & Energy
Forest Land Conservation in the 21st Century: Strategy and Policy

A symposium and webinar in commemoration of the Weeks Act Centennial and the 2011 International Year of Forests. For more information about the Weeks Act and other centennial celebration events, please visit the Forest Service's Weeks Act webpage.

Purpose: To convene a diverse group of individuals from the public and private sectors to identify opportunities to build upon the historic forest conservation successes achieved under the Weeks Act of 1911.

Objectives: (1) Recognize Weeks Act accomplishments that include the designation and restoration of the eastern National Forests, (2) highlight innovative collaborative forest conservation initiatives that are achieving broad environmental and economic benefits, and (3) identify opportunities to build on this success in the face of evolving conservation challenges and broaden support for conservation among all Americans.


The draft symposium synthesis is now available for download. We welcome your comments, questions, and additional suggestions.


Welcome: Gordon Geballe (bio), Associate Dean, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Opening remarks
: Tom Tidwell (bio), Chief, USDA Forest Service.  Listen to Chief Tidwell speak about the Weeks Act and the future of America's forests in an interview with Connecticut Public Radio. [Download PDF]

Introductions and symposium goals: Al Sample (bio), Pinchot Institute.

Keynote: The Weeks Act: A century of conservation accomplishments, and a bridge to the future of conservation. Char Miller (bio), Pomona College and Pinchot Institute. A version of Dr. Miller's presentation recorded in March 2011 is available to watch on Vimeo.

Panel 1: Meeting the conservation challenges of the new century: evolving conservation tools to adapting to a changing climate and expanding population. Moderator: Eric Sprague (bio), Pinchot Institute
  • Forest conversion and threats to natural resources. Susan Stein (bio), USFS Cooperative Forestry (Forests On the Edge; FS Open Space Conservation Strategy) [Download PDF]
  • New factors influencing conservation of family woodlands: changing demographics of the next generation of private woodland owners. Brett Butler (bio), Northern Research Station [Download PDF]
  • The continuing evolution of TIMOs and REITs, and implications for forest land conservation; strengthening incentives for long-term conservation of industrial/institutional working forests. Peter Stein (bio), Lyme Timber. [Download PDF]

Panel 2:  Evolution and innovation in meeting new conservation challenges. Moderator: Jad Daley (bio), Trust for Public Lands.

  1. Meeting critical needs for additional public forest land conservation.
    • Rocky Fork (Cherokee NF) case study. Mark Shelley (bio), Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition [Download PDF]
    • Charleston County Greenbelt case study. Peggy Nadler (bio), Francis Marion-Sumter NF [Download PDF: part 1; part 2]
    • Afognak Island case study. Tim Richardson (bio), American Land Conservancy [Download PDF]
  2. Partnerships to meet critical needs for private forest land conservation
    • Highlands region case study (NY, NJ, PA, CT). Tom Gilbert (bio), Trust for Public Land [Download PDF]
    • Forest Legacy: landscape conservation partnerships in the Northern Forest and nationwide. Deirdre Raimo (bio), Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry. [Download PDF]
  3. Land conservation partnerships: blending a spectrum of conservation tools to protect water, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity. Bob Bendick (bio), The Nature Conservancy. [Download PDF]
Panel 3: Building partnerships and identifying strategic opportunities for ecological restoration and long-term conservation. Moderator: Jim Levitt, Harvard Forest.
  • Berkshires/Housatonic River Valley and New England W&W.  Jim Levitt (bio). [Download PDF]
  • Tropical Forest Conservation: case studies from Puerto Rico and Hawaii.  John Henshaw (bio), The Nature Conservancy. [Download PDF]
  • Evolving opportunities with private TIMOs.  Rob Iwamoto (bio), Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie NF. [Download PDF]
  • Peter Howell (bio), Open Space Institute.
  • James River watershed and headwater forests: engaging with communities.  Joe McCauley (bio), US Fish & Wildlife Service. [Download PDF]
Panel 4:  Revisiting the Weeks Act: strengthening partnership models for land conservation (need for update/revisions in institutional, legal, and policy framework to support landscape conservation partnerships; cooperative conservation planning; “friends groups” and FACA; federal/state interagency cooperation, budget process/structure, etc.).
  • Joel Holtrop (bio), FS-NFS
  • Christopher Martin (bio), Connecticut Division of Forestry
  • Tom Curren (bio), Pew Trusts
  • Bob Bendick (bio), The Nature Conservancy
  • Peter Stein (bio), Lyme Timber
  • Jim Snow (bio), Pinchot Institute for Conservation

Closing address: Engaging new generations of Americans in broad-based understanding, appreciation, and support for land and resource conservation.  Joel Holtrop (bio), Deputy Chief, USDA Forest Service. [Download PDF]



Speaker Biographies:

Gordon Geballe
Dr. Geballe is currently teaching about and researching the role of international symposiums. In September 2004 he and students in his class attended the 5th World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa. During spring 2004 the focus was on IUCN’s World Conservation Congress held in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2005. Next, the focus shifts to UNEP and its council meeting in Kenya in February 2005. Dr. Geballe, with faculty and students, is also involved in projects in the People’s Republic of China. He is coauthor of the book Redesigning the American Lawn: A Search for Environmental Harmony (second edition, 2001). He is a fellow of Silliman College. Applying the concepts of ecosystem ecology to the study of humans is the principal focus of Dr. Geballe’s current interests. Cities can be analyzed as systems through which energy and material move. Of special interest to Dr. Geballe is the development of community organization, the role of formal and informal environmental education, and the identification of urban environmental issues. These topics are the focus of his teaching and numerous projects in New Haven.

Tom Tidwell
Tom Tidwell has spent 33 years with the Forest Service. He has served in a variety of positions at all levels of the agency, including as District Ranger, Forest Supervisor, and Legislative Affairs Specialist in the Washington Office. As Deputy Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region, Tom facilitated collaborative approaches to wildland fire management, roadless area management, and other issues. As Regional Forester for the Northern Region, Tom strongly supported community-based collaboration in the region, finding solutions based on mutual goals and thereby reducing the number of appeals and lawsuits.

In 2009, after being named Chief, Tom set about implementing the Secretary’s vision for America’s forests. Under his leadership, the Forest Service is focusing on restoring healthy, resilient forest and grassland ecosystems—ecosystems that can sustain all the benefits that Americans get from their wildlands, including plentiful supplies of clean water, abundant habitat for wildlife and fish, renewable supplies of wood and energy, and more.

Such benefits are at risk from the effects of climate change, and Tom has led the way in forging a national response. Under Tom’s leadership, the Forest Service has charted a national roadmap for addressing climate change through adaptation and mitigation. The Forest Service is taking steps to help ecosystems adapt to the effects of a changing climate while also taking action to mitigate climate change, partly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Tom has facilitated an all-lands approach to addressing the challenges facing America’s forests and grasslands, including the overarching challenge of climate change. Such challenges cross borders and boundaries; no single entity can meet them alone. Under Tom’s leadership, the Forest Service is working with states, Tribes, private landowners, and other partners for landscape-scale conservation—to restore ecosystems on a landscape scale.


V. Alaric Sample
V. Alaric (Al) Sample has served as President of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, DC since 1995.  He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters, and a Research Affiliate on the faculty at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  He is author of numerous research papers, articles and books on topics in national and international forest policy.  His most recent book is Common Goals for Sustainable Forest Management: Divergence and Reconvergence of American and European Forestry, with Steven Anderson (Forest History Society 2008).  Sample earned his doctorate in resource policy and economics from Yale University.  He holds two masters degrees, an MBA and a Master of Forestry both from Yale, and a Bachelor of Science in forest resource management from the University of Montana.  His professional experience is in both the public and private sector and includes assignments with the U.S. Forest Service, Champion International, The Wilderness Society, and the Prince of Thurn und Taxis in Bavaria, Germany.  He specialized in resource economics and forest policy as a Senior Fellow at the Conservation Foundation in Washington, DC, and later as Vice President for Research at the American Forestry Association.  Sample has served on numerous national task forces and commissions, including the President's Commission on Environmental Quality task force on biodiversity on private lands, and the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry.


Char Miller
Having received his Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University in 1981, Miller currently is the W. M. Keck Professor and Director of the Environmental Analysis Program at Pomona College, Claremont, CA. Author of more than 450 publications on history and conservation, his books include: Ground Work: Conservation in American Culture (Forest History Society, 2007), Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism (Island Press, 2001, 2004), Deep in the Heart of San Antonio: Land and Life in South Texas (Trinity University Press, 2004), and The Greatest Good: 100 Years of Forestry in America (SAF, 2005). Among others, he is editor of Water and the 21st-Century West and River Basins of the American West (both 2009); and the forthcoming Cities and Nature in the American West (fall, 2010). With photographer Tim Palmer, Miller is working on a book about the National Forest and Grasslands. Finally, he serves as an Associate Editor of two journals, Environmental History and the Journal of Forestry. Miller recently served as a historical consultant and on-camera interviewee for the PBS-American Masters documentary, "John Muir in the New World."


Eric Sprague
Eric Sprague is helping the Pinchot Institute investigate opportunities for increasing sustainable management on private forestlands. His current projects include developing the Bay Bank, an online ecosystem service marketplace for private landowners, and the sustainable forestry revolving loan fund, a low-interest loan fund that promotes sustainable management and lessens the need for family land to be sold to pay back short- to mid-term debts. Eric received a Master of Science in Environmental Science and a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University. Between 2000 and 2004, Eric served as the natural resource and farmland protection expert for the U.S. EPA's smart growth program. From 2004 to 2006, Eric managed The State of Chesapeake Forests project for The Conservation Fund. Synthesizing more than a decade's worth of data, the resulting report presents a comprehensive picture of the status of forestland in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


Susan Stein
As the Open Space Coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service, Washington Office, Susan’s responsibilities include managing the Forests on the Edge project. Project goals include making data on the importance of forests and the impacts of forest development, available to a broad audience. Previous positions during Susan’s 20-year tenure at the Forest Service have included National Forest Stewardship Program Manager, national NEPA Coordinator, and International Agroforestry Coordinator. Special assignments have included helping to coordinate a White House Interagency Ecosystem Management Working Group; leading a similar group for USDA, and serving on a USDA Environmental Justice Task Force. Prior to joining the Forest Service, Susan worked on forest conservation in East and Central Africa. Susan’s degrees include a Masters in Forest Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.


Brett Butler
Dr. Brett Butler has worked for the USDA Forest Service since 1998.  In 2000, he joined the Forest Inventory and Analysis program at the Northern Research Station where he co-directs the Family Forest Research Center (FFRC) and coordinates the National Woodland Owner Survey (NWOS).  The FFRC is a joint venture between the USDA Forest Service and the University of Massachusetts Amherst charged with conducting and coordinating research to increase our understanding of family forest owners’ attitudes, behaviors, needs, concerns, and demographics.  The NWOS was established to determine who owns the forests of the U.S., why they own forests, and what they intend to do with it.  Dr. Butler received a Doctoral degree from Oregon State University in 2005 and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut in 1995.


Peter R. Stein
Peter R. Stein is a managing director at The Lyme Timber Company, a private timberland investment management organization known for its conservation investment strategy. Peter joined Lyme in 1990 and provides leadership in the development and structuring of conservation-oriented forestland and rural land purchases and dispositions. Peter also manages the Company’s conservation advisory business. Prior to joining Lyme, Peter was Senior Vice President of the Trust for Public Land (TPL) where he directed TPL's conservation real estate acquisitions in the Northeast and Midwest. Peter lectures extensively on conservation investment schemes and strategies at graduate schools and professional conferences. He recently received the 2010 Forest Champion Award from the Pacific Forest Trust and the UC Santa Cruz Distinguished Social Science Alumni Award. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Appalachian Mountain Club and serves on the Board of Directors for Island Press and the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation. In addition, he is a former Board Chair of the Land Trust Alliance and a founding Commissioner of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Peter earned a B.A. with Highest Honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1975 and was a Loeb Fellow and received a Certificate in Advanced Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 1981.


Jad Daley
Jad Daley is the Director of TPL’s Climate Conservation Program.  Jad coordinates TPL’s development of landscape-scale conservation initiatives targeted to climate change objectives.  Jad also leads TPL’s climate policy work, including as the founding co-chair of the Forest-Climate Working Group.  

Jad has a long history in landscape-scale land conservation.  From 2000 to 2008, he led the 22-state Eastern Forest Partnership, a joint federal advocacy effort among groups from Mississippi to Maine.  In parallel during that period, he helped to lead conservation efforts in the Northern Forest (2004-2008) and Highlands Region (2002-2004).  In these roles he authored two pieces of enacted federal legislation, the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program and the Community Wood Energy Program, led lobbying efforts to enact the Highlands Conservation Act (H.R. 1964), and served as the founding Chair of the Friends of Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.  

Jad is a graduate of Peddie School, Brown University, and Vermont Law School where he earned an M.S.E.L. degree summa cum laude. 


Mark Shelley
Mark Shelley has been the Executive Director for the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition (SAFC) for almost 10 years -- where he is responsible for coordinating a network of 21 southeastern conservation groups working to protect, connect and restore the forests of this beautiful region.  

Mark also serves as the Southeast Coordinator for Eastern Forests Partnership (EFP), a network of groups working on conservation/acquisition funding in the east – focused on building public and political support for priority eastern conservation lands.

Mark lives in Asheville, North Carolina, not far from the first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act for the Pisgah National Forest -- Curtis Creek – which began the process that has established all other National Forests east of the Mississippi. 


Peggy Jo Nadler
Peggy Jo Nadler is the Lands Program Manager for the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests in South Carolina.  With a background in Forestry and Business, her career with the Forest Service spans 22 years, predominantly in the lands arena.   Peggy is a native of South Carolina and is passionate about natural resource conservation and making a difference within her state. To date, she has facilitated the addition of nearly 15,000 acres to the National Forests in South Carolina, and has several land exchanges underway that will result in a net increase of an additional 3500 acres.  Because of her expertise in all aspects of the land adjustment program, Peggy is often called upon to assist other National Forests.  She has been recognized both regionally and nationally for creating the Forest's first comprehensive Land Ownership Adjustment Strategy, as well as her work with various partners to include the Charleston County Greenbelt, The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, and The Trust for Public Land, among others.  Peggy is married with two sons and two granddaughters and enjoys spending weekends with her husband at their “off-the-grid” cabin in the low country of South Carolina.


Tim Richardson
Tim Richardson is the government affairs and Alaska program director for American Land Conservancy (ALC).  Tim has worked on Exxon Valdez restoration since leaving Capitol Hill in 1990 where he worked for U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen.  Habitat restoration promoted by Tim in the Kodiak Archipelago and Prince William Sound received over $400 million from the Exxon oil spill settlement.  Since 2001, Tim has worked for ALC on its Mississippi River program helping landowners and wildlife agencies achieve permanent wetland restoration on flood-prone farmland.  In 2011, Tim’s work on Buck Island on the Mississippi River at Helena, AR created a 106-mile long water trail connecting public access land on Buck Island with the state’s Choctaw Island WMA in Arkansas City.  He is now helping lead a coalition of six Lower Mississippi River states, US Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Mississippi River Trust to seek water quality improvement and wetland restoration as part of the BP Deepwater Horizon mitigation effort.  He is an Honors College graduate of Michigan State University, BA ’74 and lives in Rockville, MD with wife Laura and sons Sean and Teague.


Tom Gilbert
Tom joined TPL in January of 2008 to direct state and local conservation finance initiatives in the mid-Atlantic region.  Since then, Tom has helped to design and pass eight successful county and local ballot measures to finance parks and land conservation in New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. As Chair of the NJ Keep It Green Campaign, a coalition of over 140 organizations working to renew and strengthen the Garden State Preservation Trust, he chaired a successful statewide campaign to pass a $400 million bond measure on the Nov. 2009 ballot to continue open space preservation efforts in New Jersey.

Prior to joining TPL, Tom served as Director of Eastern Forest Conservation for the Wilderness Society and Executive Director of the regional Highlands Coalition where he led successful efforts to pass federal and New Jersey state legislation to protect the Highlands.  He earned his M.S. in Natural Resources Planning from the University of Vermont.  Tom resides in Bucks County, PA with his wife and two daughters.


Deirdre Raimo
Deirdre Raimo is the Northeastern Area Forest Legacy Program (FLP) Manager.  The FLP is a land protection grant program that is administered in the State & Private Forestry branch of the US Forest Service.  As FLP manager for the 20-State Area since 1994, Deirdre has played a part in developing policy and guidance for FLP implementation.  Deirdre received a Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree from the University of Maine and her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Colorado.  Deirdre has Forest Service experience in forest health, information systems, forest economics, and forestry, in addition to knowledge of administering a land conservation program.


Bob Bendick
Bob Bendick is the Director of U.S. Government Relations of The Nature Conservancy. Prior to taking his current position, he was Vice-President and Managing Director of the ten state Southern U.S. Region of  the Conservancy.  He has been with The Nature Conservancy since 1995 first as Florida Chapter Director and, then, also as director of previous southeastern U.S. groups of state chapters.  Before coming to TNC, he was Deputy Commissioner for Natural Resources of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (1990-1995) and Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (1982-1990).  From 1992-1994 he chaired the Northern Forest Lands Council established by Congress to make recommendations on the future of forest lands across northern New York and New England.  He has a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning and is a member of the Society of American Foresters and the American Institute of Certified Planners.  


Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt is Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University and a Fellow in the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.  He has edited three books on innovation in the field of land and biodiversity conservation, including Conservation Capital in the Americas (2010, Lincoln Institute in collaboration with Island Press), and recently organized a forum on The Future of Large Landscape Conservation in Americaat the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Levitt is a graduate of Yale College and the Yale School of Management (Yale SOM). He was named a Donaldson Fellow by Yale SOM in recognition of a career which "exemplifies the mission of the School." He was also awarded the medal of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies in recognition of his conservation work in that nation.


John Henshaw
Henshaw earned a B.S. in forestry from Humboldt State University (1975) and a M.S. in forest engineering from Oregon State University (1977).  He is a registered professional forester in California and a registered professional engineer in Oregon and holds both basic and advanced Certificates of Public Administration from Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. In 1997 he graduated from the 2-year leadership development program conducted by the Washington State Agriculture and Forestry Foundation.

He began his career in 1977 with the Forest Service in California as a zone logging engineer for Sierra and Sequoia national forests.  A year later he transferred to Tahoe National Forest, where he held assistant staff positions in both timber and engineering.  In 1982 he was appointed to Nevada City RD as district ranger, and in 1985 he began serving as the District Ranger at Quinault on the Olympic National Forest.  In 1990 he moved to the PNW Research State as a Deputy Program Manager. In August 1996, he became Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief for Programs and Legislation at the National Forest Foundation, where he helped maintain a successful partnership between the National Forest Foundation and the Forest Service in Washington DC. After leaving the Foundation he was assigned to special details for the Forest Service, including the Washington Office Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness Resource Staff as the National Partnership Coordinator.  He also served as the Executive Team Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) staff.  In June 2001 he was transferred to the Policy Analysis staff in the Agency’s headquarters and worked on a wide range of issues including community-based partnerships.  His last position in the Forest Service was the Pacific Rim Forest Legacy Program Manager (2003-2009).


Robert Iwamoto
Over 33 years of experience with the Forest Service in various positions as Forester, Silviculturist, Planner, Resource Officer, District Ranger Deputy Forest Supervisor and Forest Supervisor with responsibilities in timber, silviculture, planning, recreation, wilderness, wild & scenic rivers, energy and lands, special uses, tribal relations and ski areas on seven national forests, in four regions with assignments in California, Vermont, Colorado, Oregon and Washington states. Team member of several national cadres that developed national strategies and plans for the Forest Service Rural Development, Travel Management and Open Space initiatives. Co-chair for the first conference on the Management of Giant Sequoia.

Graduate Studies, University of California, Berkley (1984) and Oregon State University (1981)
Master of Science, Forest Management, Humboldt State University, (1978)
Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences, UCLA (1976); Forest Management, Humboldt State University (1978)

Professional Experience:
•    National Park Service, Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon (1975-76), California
•    Forester, Shasta-Trinity National Forest (1977-1982), California
•    Silviculturist/Planner, Sequoia National Forest (1982-1986), California
•    Resource Officer, Sequoia National Forest (1986-1988), California
•    District Ranger (Rochester), Green Mountain National Forest (1988-1992), Vermont
•    District Ranger (Aspen), White River National Forest (1982-1999), Colorado
•    Deputy Forest Supervisor, Willamette National Forest (1999-2005), Oregon
•    Forest Supervisor, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (2005-present), Washington

Detail Assignments:
•    Forest Supervisor, Siuslaw National Forest (2001), Oregon
•    Forest Supervisor, Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest (2003), Washington
•    Forest Supervisor, Willamette National Forest (2004), Oregon


Peter Howell
Peter Howell serves as the Executive Vice President of Conservation Finance and Research at the Open Space Institute.  Previously, Peter worked for almost a decade in environmental philanthropy.  He was the program director for the environment at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation where he oversaw the distribution of almost $100 million for land conservation in the United States.  He also worked as a program officer at the Wallace Funds, directing an $18 million national initiative focused on creating and improving urban parks.  A former award-winning newspaper reporter, Peter was the Associate Director of Public Affairs and Development at SOBRO, an economic development corporation in the South Bronx, and the Assistant Business Manager at Time Magazine.  Peter has a bachelor’s degree in political science and comparative literature from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania.  Peter serves on the board of various nonprofits organizations and the LaSalle Adams Fund.


Joe McCauley
Joe McCauley received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Management from West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV. His professional experience includes 28 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as follows:

1975-82: Land surveyor with private engineering company.
1983-84: Co-op Student with FWS
1984-86: Land acquisition biologist in the FWS Regional Office in Newton Corner, MA. 
1986-90: Assistant Manager, Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Pennsville, New Jersey. 
1990-96: Deputy Manager, Back Bay NWR in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 
1996-2000: Coordinator, Atlantic Coast Joint Venture, Hadley, MA
2000 – 2010: Refuge Manager, Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes James River, Plum Tree Island, Presquile and Rappahannock River Valley refuges.  
2010-present:  Chief, Division of Realty, Northeast Region of the FWS, Hadley, MA


Joel Holtrop
Joel D. Holtrop has served as the Deputy Chief of the National Forest System Deputy Area at agency headquarters in Washington D.C., since March 2005.  In this capacity, he oversees the strategic and national program leadership for the 193 million acre National Forest System of forests and grasslands located in 42 states and Puerto Rico. His natural resource management emphasis areas include ecosystem management, engineering, forest management, rangeland management, lands, minerals, geology management, recreation, heritage, wilderness, wild-scenic rivers management, watersheds, fish, wildlife, air, and rare plants.

He joined national headquarters in 1996 as deputy director of Rangeland Management, moving on to become director of Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air and Rare Plants. He later served as deputy chief of State and Private Forestry for three years.
A Michigan native, Deputy Chief Holtrop earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry at Michigan State University, and a master’s in forest management at the University of Washington. He is a member of the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service. He recently received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his alma mater Calvin College in 2007. He has served in a number of natural resource, conservation and leadership organizations throughout the country.  Joel is married to Julie and is a father to three daughters, Katie, Laura and Jessica. His hobbies include distance running, kayaking and mountain climbing.


Christopher Martin
Christopher Martin has been with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for three years as Connecticut’s State Forester and Director of Division of Forestry. Prior to joining DEP Chris was a Senior Planner and Water Resource Forester with the Maine Forest Service where he coordinated statewide monitoring of timber harvests and helped develop protocols to analyze forest practice affects on water quality, biodiversity, and residual forest stand quality. Preceding his work in Maine, Chris was an environmental analyst and forester with Aquarion Water Company and also formed a small consulting business Charter Oak Forestry, LLC.

Chris has an associate's degree in forestry from Paul Smith's College, bachelor degrees in forestry and wildlife management from the University of Maine, and a MBA in Finance from the University of Connecticut. Chris is a certified and licensed forester in Connecticut and Maine, and the Society of American Foresters.


Tom Curren
Tom Curren is the Project Director of the Northeast Land Trust Consortium at the Pew Charitable Trusts, an initiative to provide matching funds to qualifying land conservation initiatives in the Northeast United States, thereby accelerating the pace and ambition of land protection efforts. In doing so, the Northeast Land Trust Consortium which Curren helped to invent is setting an example of achievement being watched with great interest by practicing conservationists in other sections of the US, as well as colleagues abroad that are launching new private and non-profit land conservation programs. Prior to directing the Northeast Land Trust Consortium, he was president of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust in New Hampshire.


Russell Shay
Russell Shay is the Director of Public Policy for the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization representing nonprofits working on land conservation.  Working for the Alliance, he led policy initiatives that created major increases in federal funding for the purchase of forest conservation easements and farmland conservation easements, and six tax code changes increasing landowner incentives for conservation donations.   He previously worked for The Nature Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, among others, and spent five years working on natural resource issues for the U.S. Senate and two years for the U.S. House of Representatives.


Jim Snow
A lawyer with extensive experience in natural resources and public land law, Jim brings to the Institute a variety of legal experience and expertise in natural resources management.  He retired in 2011 from the Department of Agriculture, Office of the General Counsel, where he was USDA’s chief attorney in Washington handling real property matters, primarily for the Forest Service.  Over his career spanning 36 years, Jim had extensive legislative experience with Congress in public policy formulation, and he was the principal author of many laws affecting the National Forest System.  He also has extensive transactional experience involving federal lands including acquisitions, dispositions, title claims, research, and cooperative forestry.  A graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Jim received his A.B in 1971 and J.D. in 1974.  He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia.


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