A point that is often missed by those who are not in the conservation field, is that smart conservation is an essential piece of planning for smart economic growth. Because let’s face it: if we were to jeopardize our quality of life by harming our most precious natural resources, who would want to live or plan a future here? The great news is that, when comparing our county’s environmental health against much of the rest of the country, we are in good shape. We are not routinely threatened by forest fires, hurricanes, droughts, or floods. Our water quality is top grade, and our landscape supports abundant agriculture and lush forests. Pretty great! Now, the smart thing is to not only acknowledge those strengths, but to also put in place policies to ensure that we can sustainably maintain our environmental health in this rapidly changing world, while also making improvements where needed. Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s director of conservation, Twan Leenders, will discuss the work that CWC is doing to accomplish just that.
Twan Leenders is the Director of Conservation at the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (https://chautauquawatershed.org
). He served 10 years at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown, NY (www.rtpi.org
). He previously was the conservation biologist for the Connecticut Audubon Society. Twan is a Curatorial Affiliate in Vertebrate Zoology at Yale University’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is a professional herpetologist and enthusiastic wildlife photographer, with over twenty years of field experience in Central America. Twan recently authored ‘Amphibians of Costa Rica – A Field Guide’ and the companion volume ‘Reptiles of Costa Rica – A Field Guide’, both published by Cornell University Press.