Following a nation-wide search, the Land Trust has hired a new Executive Director, Chet Work, to take the Land Trust into the next decade. Mr. Work comes to the Land Trust with more than 15 years of conservation experience, most recently with the Teton Regional Land Trust and before that with the Nature Conservancy.
Chet has spent the better part of the past ten years working to ensure that family farms and ranches in Wyoming and Idaho continue to thrive in a landscape that has been under significant development pressure. Mr. Work holds a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University and conducted post-graduate study in natural history and environmental education at the Teton Science School in Jackson, Wyoming. He is a graduate of the rigorous Executive Leadership Program through the Land Trust Alliance, the umbrella organization for the 1,700 land trusts throughout the country.
“While I have been fortunate enough to work in some of the most beautiful places in the world, I am excited about this terrific opportunity to help protect the important landscapes in another beautiful place – Santa Barbara County,” stated Mr. Work. “I look forward to meeting and working with members of this special community,” he added.
Mr. Work was raised in Colorado, but moved several times in his youth. He claims the one consistent thing he had across all the locations he lived in was the outdoors. His passion for fishing, hiking and exploring the world around him built a land ethic and an understanding of the importance of open spaces and habitat. He is a passionate fly-fisherman and birdwatcher, but is most excited about sharing the local mountains and tide pools with his wife Leigh and three young children. “My passion for conservation is fueled by a desire to see my children enjoy the same wildlife, open space and scenic views I have enjoyed throughout my life,” he said.
“In 2015, the Land Trust will be celebrating 30 years of service to the residents of Santa Barbara County. The Land Trust is taking this opportunity to renew our commitment to protecting the special landscapes that we all cherish,” said Rich Nagler. Both the Board and staff of the Land Trust are excited to have someone at the helm who brings both passion and experience to land conservation.