Tall purple flowers bloom next to small wetland.
Indiana wetlands Critical for people and nature © John Shuey/TNC


Governor Holcomb Appoints Will Ditzler to Lead Wetlands Task Force

Businessman and Nature Conservancy trustee will facilitate group on regulation of isolated wetlands

Gov. Eric Holcomb has appointed Will Ditzler to lead the important Wetlands Task Force that was part of Senate Enrolled Act 389 passed during the 2021 General Assembly. Ditzler is a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana board of trustees and recently completed a two-year term as its chair.

“I am thankful to have been asked to lead this Task Force and facilitate a diverse group of interests and people around the topic of wetlands.  With more time to study and discuss the issues, my hope is we can make a real difference and help determine a path forward for the State of Indiana on the stewardship and regulation of wetlands.”

The task force was part of comprehensive legislation that redefined how Indiana regulates isolated wetlands, those that are not directly tied to another source of water such as streams, rivers or lakes. These isolated wetlands, about 750,000 acres, are not covered by federal regulations, but perform important ecological functions such as floodwater retention, filtering runoff and providing important habitat for plants, animals and birds. The task force is charged with examining issues related to wetlands and to make recommendations to the General Assembly by the end of November 2022.

I am thankful to have been asked to lead this Task Force and facilitate a diverse group of interests and people around the topic of wetlands.

Indiana Chapter trustee

Ditzler is president and founder of RiverBirch Executive Advisors, an Indiana based firm that provides executive coaching, meeting facilitation and strategic planning services. He also has experience with wetland mitigation and the development industry. Before starting RiverBirch, Will spent 22 years with JFNew (now Cardno), a well-respected environmental engineering and natural resources consulting firm. Based near South Bend, his team of more than 150 employees around the Midwest were leaders in wetland mitigation, native plant production, mitigation banking, and USACOE and IDEM permitting.

Ditzler also is a dedicated conservationist, outdoor enthusiast, landowner and leader in the environmental community. He is active and has long-term relationships in the conservation community, including hunting and fishing organizations as well as the traditional environmental organizations.  He has been a Nature Conservancy member since taking a conservation biology class at Indiana University in pursuit of his finance degree more than 30 years ago.

“I know the development, agriculture and environmental communities well and plan to bring a balanced perspective to this issue through a fact-based and objective process.   It is important Indiana gets this right, and our task force will help policymakers make informed decisions about Indiana’s natural resources.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.