Get to Know the RFF Advisory Board: Thomas Daniels

By: Amos S. Eno
Posted on:01/27/2014

When did you join the Resources First Foundation Advisory Board?

I joined the Advisory Board in 2011.

What is it about RFF that made you want to join the team?

I recognized that RFF was doing something different and very important in the land conservation realm. The future of land conservation really does rest in the hands of private landowners. Private landowners own most of the land in America and the majority of threatened and endangered species are on private land.

Virtually all of the nation's farmland and most of the good rangeland is in private ownership. Yet, over the next 20 years, tens of millions of acres are going to change hands. RFF provides the tools for private landowners to make informed decisions about conservation options.

When did you first gain an interest in conservation?

I first became interested in land conservation when I worked on a farm in Vermont back in the 1970s. There was a heavy property tax burden on the property at the time. Today, most of the farm is under a conservation easement.

What are some of the most satisfying conservation efforts you are currently working on, or have been a part of in the past?

In 1989, I became the Director of the Lancaster County Agricultural Preserve Board, a position I held until 1998. During that time, I was involved in the 189 conservation easements covering more than 16,000 acres of permanently preserved farmland, the most of any county in the nation.

I currently direct a 5-course certificate program in Land Conservation at the University of Pennsylvania. A number of our graduates have jobs with land trusts. Training the next generation of land conservationists is highly satisfying. There is plenty of work to do!

Find Thomas on PLN here.