Craig Lee joined the Whatcom Land Trust in late October as executive director to lead the organization’s Board of Directors, staff and supporters in conservation of Whatcom County.
“Whatcom Land Trust has been very successful at conserving the county’s signature landscapes and sensitive places, thanks to tremendous community support, partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies, tribes and enormous volunteer commitment,” said Board President Mary Dumas in a press release. “The board felt that WLT had matured to a point that it would benefit from having its first executive director to guide the organization during its next quarter century of operation. We want to continue to assist landowners and Whatcom County communities in securing their natural resource protection objectives, and increase WLT’s capacity to be a permanent steward of the lands that have been entrusted to us.”
Lee founded the National Audubon Society and the American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts, an organization that works to conserve land in Canada owned by U.S. citizens. Lee also helped start 30 local land trusts with the Trust for Public Land along with the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, Mountains to Sound Greenway and the Cascade Land Conservancy.
“I wanted to return to the Pacific Northwest but was primarily considering positions with statewide or national organizations. However Whatcom Land Trust’s achievements and big thinking inspired me to apply,” Lee said in a press release. “I have been infatuated with this county ever since my first visit. After I met with the board and learned about its plans for the future I was really sold.”
Lee began working for the Trust for Public Land 27 years ago as a young field representative. He led a small group to form WLT and worked on the transactions of Miller Farm and Clarks Point.
“I look forward to continuing to assist landowners and communities in the urgent mission of protecting Whatcom County’s working farmlands, forests, streams and shorelines and keeping them in good health for future generations,” he said in a press release. “WLT is a leader in Northwest regional conservation and I’ll work hard to ensure that our organization evolves and innovates to meet the needs of a changing community.”