Meet Dave Schmitt


Dave Schmitt is an environmental attorney and member of the Cincinnati-based law firm of Cors & Bassett, LLC. Prior to becoming an attorney, Dave earned a B.S. in Biology at Marietta College and a Master of Science in Forestry from the University of Maine at Orono, as well as conducting forestry research in Maine and Haiti. Since joining Cors & Bassett in 1991, Dave has served as counsel in several pieces of major CERCLA and RCRA litigation representing state government, private industry and citizen groups. Dave also specializes in representing private and public sector clients in the redevelopment of brownfields areas for industrial, commercial, and residential purposes and has worked on numerous such projects in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.

Dave’s environmental expertise also extends into Solid Waste permitting and regulation. He currently serves as the Chair of the Grant County Kentucky Solid Waste Management District Board. The Board is charged with the oversight and regulation of landfills and other environmental matters in the County. The Board received one of the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission’s Earth Day Awards in 2004 in recognition of its statewide leadership on solid waste issues.

In addition to serving as a Trustee for the Kentucky Chapter of TNC, Dave also serves on the  Board of Directors of the Ohio Environmental Council.

Dave lives in Crittenden, Kentucky with his wife Lea, son Forrest, daughter Sierra, and a large menagerie of animals.  He also serves as the Head Coach of the Grant County High School Men's Soccer Team.


There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own herbs and vegetables and preparing a meal with ingredients straight from the garden. It doesn’t take as much space as you think to reap a large harvest. Can what you can’t eat in the summer and you’ll have it year round. I am also obsessive about recycling and composting. Have you always had an interest in conservation?

Yes! My love of the outdoors was fueled at an early age by my father’s stories of walking and working in the woods of his native Germany. Since I was a boy, I have never been more at ease then when I am out on a trail. My time in Maine and Haiti really drove home what our environment provides for all of us and the need to protect those resources. What inspired you to become a Trustee member of TNC?

I have been a long time supporter and fan of TNC and its win-win approach to working with business, agricultural, and outdoors interests, as well as considering the impact on local communities. I firmly believe that this cooperative approach is our best hope for preserving the best of the Earth’s remaining resources both here in Kentucky and globally. Do you have a favorite memory of you time as a Trustee member?

My wife Lea's family farm is on Russell Creek in Russell County within the Green River watershed.  Lea's Family have been true stewards of the land and Russell Creek and we feel a great connection with all the work TNC is doing to preserve the amazing biodiversity in the Green River watershed. As a Trustee member, what are your goals for TNC over the next couple of years?

The Kentucky Chapter has so many fantastic projects in the works that it's difficult to pick.  However, my top personal goals are to continue the work of the Conservancy in the Green River watershed and to expand TNC's presence and outreach in Eastern Kentucky.


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