Terry Seidel has been on staff at the Conservancy in Ohio for nearly 20 years and currently works as the program’s director of real estate. Seidel began his career at the Conservancy as a land steward and volunteer coordinator, and then moved on to become a program manager in the Oak Openings region before finally settling into his current role. He is responsible for identifying and protecting biologically rich lands within the state that provide the best opportunity to ensure global diversity over the long term.
— Terry Seidel, director of real estate.
Since 1958, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 40,000 acres of Ohio’s finest forest, wetland and grassland resources. Today’s Ohioans have more places to explore, cleaner air to breathe and healthier water to drink. They have more places to relax, unwind and rejuvenate.
The Conservancy is building on the last 50 years of conservation efforts in the Buckeye State by continuing to identify and protect biologically rich lands that are important to both people and nature. The Conservancy’s Terry Seidel, director of real estate in Ohio, answers questions about the organization’s conservation goals, and the process used to protect our valuable natural areas.
Terry Seidel: As the director of real estate for the Conservancy in Ohio I am responsible for all the land protection projects that the Conservancy engages in, within the state. Working in concert with other staff, I identify, negotiate, obtain grant funds for and acquire property (or easements on property) in the Conservancy's high-priority natural areas. Some of this property the Conservancy may intend to hold and own for the future as part of our nature preserve system, others we will transfer to conservation agencies for their long-term ownership and management, which frees up our resources for additional land protection.
nature.org: Where do you focus most of your work?
Terry Seidel: The Conservancy has prioritized areas of the state based upon the best opportunities to conserve biodiversity on a landscape scale. At this point in time, most of our acquisition work occurs at our Edge of Appalachia Preserve, Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve, Kitty Todd Preserve and Morgan Swamp Preserve. Additionally, our work with the Wayne National Forest also has been a significant component of our focus over the last few years.
nature.org: What are the most important projects on which you’re working?
Terry Seidel: I consider each of the areas I work on to be an important part of our mission to conserve biodiversity. However, some projects certainly do stand out for various reasons. For example, we just completed the transfer of the last parcel of our Ironton Forest property to the U.S. Forest Service for inclusion in the Wayne National Forest. This project stands out because of its size and opportunity to contribute to the conservation of a large, contiguous area of Appalachian forest. We protected over 4,000 acres in this project, and this land is now a part of the larger 104,000-acre Ironton Unit of the Wayne. Few areas in Ohio can compare with the Ironton unit in terms of a large, relatively consolidated block of protected forest land. This forest is a part of the larger Appalachian forest, one of the world’s best examples of intact temperate forest. We in Ohio tend to think of it as "just woods,” but it really is very significant on the global scale.
nature.org: What are the Conservancy's long-term goals for these projects, or project areas?
Terry Seidel: In addition to our rich forests, Ohio contains globally significant freshwater supplies, particularly Lake Erie and the Ohio River. I think our work to protect these forest and freshwater resources has really just begun. As threats mount, it becomes even clearer that we need to continue to find additional opportunities to increase the scale of our protection work. If we’re going to be able to insure their long-term health and viability, we can’t do it alone. We’ll be strengthening our work with partners and working more and more on a regional scale. We’ll need to enhance all of that effort by taking greater action on the policy front.
View other Faces of Conservation.December 01, 2010