As State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Vermont since August 2013, Heather Furman leads a statewide team of conservation and programmatic talent to achieve a resilient and connected landscape for both nature and people. Within the New England Division, Heather also guides a team of scientists and conservation experts to achieve large-scale protection for land and water.
During her tenure, Heather has grown the visibility, influence, and scope of TNC’s conservation work in Vermont. She provides leadership for strategic conservation actions including landscape-scale protection, partnership building, and scientific research. In 2018, Heather initiated Vermont’s first and largest forest carbon project eligible for the California carbon market. Under Heather’s leadership, the chapter has also launched an innovative program focused on nature-based solutions to advance water quality, created both trustee and staff fellowship programs to broaden engagement, and created the chapter’s first program focused on state and federal policy solutions.
Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Heather spent a decade as Executive Director of Stowe Land Trust where she guided the organization through transformative growth, dramatically accelerating the pace and scale of conservation initiatives. Heather has held planning positions with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and was co-founder of the Climbing Resource Access group of Vermont (CRAG-VT), a non-profit dedicated to land protection for recreation access and habitat. She served as its Board president from 1999-2005. In 2006 she joined the Board of the Access Fund, a climbing advocacy organization based in Boulder, CO, and worked nationally to protect land for recreation access. She served as the Access Fund’s vice-president from 2007-2009 and helped steer the organization through a multi-million-dollar capital campaign for land conservation priorities around the country.
Heather has spent several years living, working, and traveling throughout Latin America and Asia. From 1995-1997, she lived in Nepal, where she carried out conservation and community development initiatives for the World Wildlife Fund and the US Peace Corps.
An Ohio native, Heather earned her BA from the Ohio State University in Anthropology and is a graduate of The Rubenstein School of Environmental & Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, where she received her MS in Natural Resource Planning. She currently serves on Lake Champlain Sea Grant’s Program Advisory Committee. Heather moved to Vermont in 1998, where she enjoys trail running, fly-fishing, hunting, and spending time with her husband, a black lab named Macintosh, and an assortment of cats.
When Nature Unites Us
Read Heather Furman's series of commentaries.
Green Transportation Investment Has Rural Support
The time has come for us to think differently about how we get around in Vermont while investing in our rural communities, and rural voters seem to agree. Read More
Decade Ahead Calls for New Conservation Vision
The decade ahead demands a new vision for our Green Mountain State, one that will turn the tide on our environmental impacts and fully address our way of living on this planet. Read More
Hunting & Conservation: Making Room for All
Hunting & conservation have helped recover much of our wildlife, their habitats and our forests. Vermonters directly benefit from making room for all types of outdoor enthusiasts. Read More
Focus On What Unites Us
If we are serious about tackling the biggest challenge facing people and the planet today, there is one thing we can do that will make the biggest difference: Talk to one another. Read More
Tapping the Potential of Our Forests
Healthy forests are key to a climate-resilient future. Forests can offer 37% of the emissions reductions needed to keep the earth's warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2030. Read More
A Changing Landscape
Change in Vermont’s landscapes can be unsettling, but it can also hold opportunities to implement creative solutions to some of our state’s most pressing issues. Read More