As Director of Conservation Programs in Virginia, Bill oversees all of the Conservancy’s science and land protection activities at landscape projects across the state. But it hasn’t always been that way. Twenty-two years ago he began working in southwest Virginia as the Conservancy’s first Clinch Valley project manager where he worked with farmers on stream bank restoration, land protection, and other conservation practices. Over more than a decade, Bill grew the program to include several staff tackling emerging issues including energy development, forestry, and incentives for better management on private lands. Today the Clinch River Program serves as a model for others Bill oversees across the Commonwealth.
A Place Bill Loves
“Pendleton Island in the Clinch River is really a series of three small, unassuming islands harboring more rare and endangered species than any other place in North America. Anyone who has ever taken the time to look under the water is amazed at the colors, shapes, sizes, and diversity. It’s staggering. It’s a calm and peaceful place where the wildlife lives as it has for thousands of years.”
Bill on Why His Work is Rewarding
“I get to go to work every day knowing that my contribution will save something for the next generation. That provides tremendous satisfaction. I’m helping to preserve special places that without our work specifically, would have long since been lost.”
- The Conservation Programs Bill oversees serve as the hub of the Conservancy’s science, protection, and management work in Virginia.
Hopes for the Next 3-5 Years
Bill is keeping a close eye on several projects, including the Conservancy’s cutting-edge and globally significant marine conservation work taking place off the mid-Atlantic coast. He also looks forward to protecting forests and streams flowing into the Albemarle Sound, one of the nation’s primary sources of seafood, and to continued work with other chapters on restoring critical habitats around the Chesapeake Bay. And of course, he would never abandon his roots in the Clinch Valley, which as part of the Central Appalachians landscape protects headwaters that send drinking water to millions of people residing along the east coast.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service
- State of Virginia
- Local communities, corporations, and land users such as commercial fishing, forestry, and energy developers
- B.S. in Biology and Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill