After a competitive search, The Nature Conservancy in Nevada (TNC) has recently announced Mickey Hazelwood as its conservation director. In his new role, Hazelwood will lead TNC’s strategic efforts to ensure resilient lands, resilient waters, and climate action for Nevada, and contribute toward the global organization’s ambitious 2030 goals for a sustainable world for people and nature.
“Our chapter has needed a dedicated conservation director and filling this role has been one of my top priorities,” says Mauricia Baca, TNC in Nevada State Director. “I am so excited that Mickey Hazelwood will be in this important position to support our conservation team as they advance our critical initiatives. I look forward to us working together as we move into the next phase of our work on behalf of people and nature in Nevada.”
Hazelwood’s experience and depth and breadth of conservation achievements made him a standout choice for the role. He has been with TNC in Nevada for 16 years and most recently served as the chapter’s strategy director for protection and stewardship. He also directed TNC’s work in the Truckee, Carson, and Walker River watersheds and led the Truckee River Project, which has been focused on restoring ecosystem function along the highly degraded reach of the river between Reno and Wadsworth, Nev. This $30 million restoration program has been supported through a partnership with numerous local, state, and federal agencies and organizations, and to date the TNC has restored approximately 11 miles of the lower Truckee River and more than 800 acres of adjacent floodplain and upland habitats. Hazelwood’s successes also include joining an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and other partners to implement more forest treatments in high-risk areas of the watershed to reduce the frequency and impacts of large wildfires.
Hazelwood’s previous work experience includes conservation easement development, conservation design for the protection of large tracts of ranchland, project management and land surveying. He holds a B.S. in applied geography from Appalachian State University and a M.S. in applied geography from New Mexico State University.
The conservation director role has been an interim position since 2019. The permanent position was made possible thanks to generous and transformative gifts from two TNC in Nevada trustees: Jennifer Satre and her husband Phil Satre, and John McDonough.
“These transformative investments truly put the Nevada chapter on the road to success,” Baca says. “I am very grateful to Jennifer and Phil Satre and to John McDonough for their trust and confidence in our team, and for these generous gifts that will help us grow our capacity and ensure that people and nature thrive in Nevada.”
TNC has been working in Nevada for 38 years and its work in the state is focused on three initiatives: resilient lands, resilient waters and climate action. Its history of conservation accomplishments in Nevada includes helping to establish both the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, restoring 11 miles of the Truckee River, and guiding restoration efforts to support sage-grouse and Nevada’s economy. Since its founding in 1984, the Nevada chapter has conserved more than 3 million acres of land and has achieved more than $90 million in land protection projects in the Silver State.
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 more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.