IGN 12-3
Land trust conservation organizations and the growing business of managing privately owned natural areas

Thursday, August 13, 2015
345, Baltimore Convention Center
Jeffrey R. Corney, The Wilderness Center, Wilmot, OH
There’s a growing demand for highly trained ecologists—preferably cross-trained with social science skills—to manage diverse portfolios of privately owned natural areas.  Employment among land trusts has tripled over a decade to accommodate a growing trend of owners putting land into conservation easements, implementing sustainable practices, or out-right donating land to a conservation organization.  Over 50 million acres of private land in the U.S. are now managed among 1,700 land trusts, collectively wielding $1.7 billion in funding.  This is applied ecology at its most challenging and rewarding:  restoring, monitoring and protecting the “hidden gems” of our fragmented landscapes.