Matt joined our staff in 2001 as a Land Protection Specialist, completing many major land protection projects, including the DeYoung Natural Area in Elmwood Township and the Swanson Preserve in Cleveland Township. Matt now leads the Land Protection Team. He is responsible for helping Leland Township acquire the Clay Cliffs property and will assist the Township in its completion of the challenging MNRTF grant process. Matt’s educational and professional experience in aquatic ecology helps him convey to landowners the value of their land from more than just a financial perspective. He also co-wrote MDEQ approved watershed management plans for the Lake Leelanau and Glen Lake/Crystal River watersheds, which has led to the Conservancy receiving over $1.9 million to purchase conservation easements over wetlands and forested areas.
Before joining the Conservancy, Matt worked as a biological consultant performing stream restoration, fisheries population analysis, salmon spawning habitat restoration analysis, stream habitat mapping and macro-invertebrate studies in Michigan waters.
Matt has a passion for fishing that drives his desire to protect Leelanau’s most critical habitat and ecologically sensitive areas. Matt’s land protection philosophy: “Whenever you can make a permanent impact by protecting large swaths of natural land, and in doing so you can help guarantee someone’s legacy for their land, I feel like you’re providing them with what I call the ultimate property right. You have a perpetual say in the condition of your land.”