Thursday, March 25, 2010

Conservancy Hires First Executive Director

The Chuckanut Conservancy announced this week that Ken Wilcox has agreed to serve as the organization's first executive director.

"We're excited to have Ken in this critical role for the Conservancy," said Seth Fleetwood, the group's president. "Everyone loves the Chuckanuts and Ken is the perfect person to help us ensure that our kids—and their kids—have an opportunity to enjoy this place as much as we do."

The Chuckanut Conservancy’s mission is to protect and preserve the Chuckanut Mountains of Northwest Washington which contribute immensely to our quality of life in the region. The Conservancy’s top priority is to make sure that everything that makes this area so special—the quality of life here, the trails, the spectacular views, rich history, diverse wildlife and a unique coastal forest ecosystem—are not lost to urban sprawl, intensive logging or other threats.

Wilcox is a long-time advocate for protecting trails and natural areas in the Chuckanuts and is perhaps best known as the author of several regional hiking guides.

“Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to hike at least a thousand miles of trails around western Washington,” said Wilcox, “and there is just nothing out there that quite compares with the fantastic urban wilderness we have right here in the Chuckanuts.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to help safeguard this unique place,” he said.

As executive director, Wilcox will be heading up the group's efforts to protect and restore the Chuckanuts' spectacular wild country, while also implementing plans for a volunteer trails program and continuing the Conservancy’s ongoing work to protect Blanchard Mountain, the highest mountain in the Chuckanuts.

Wilcox has a professional background in environmental and recreation planning and has served on a number of boards and commissions, including the North Cascades Conservation Council, Sustainable Connections, and The Mountaineers, where he received a lifetime membership award for community service.

Ken also chairs the U.S. delegation of the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission, a $10 million international fund that sponsors conservation, recreation and education initiatives within the upper Skagit River watershed of Washington and British Columbia.

Wilcox is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in environmental policy. He and his wife Kris share a home with their cat Fuji in east Bellingham.

About the Chuckanut Conservancy

The Chuckanut Conservancy is working to protect and restore the beautiful wild country of the Chuckanut Mountains—a one-of-a-kind natural landscape encompassing 9,000 acres of public land and more than sixty miles of trails. As the last, big green space on the map between Seattle and Vancouver, the Chuckanut Mountains represent the largest maturing coastal forest left in the greater Puget Sound region.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention Ken's greatest qualification--his ability to get volunteers to do a lot more than they initially commit to doing. Twenty years ago, Ken asked if I could chair a few meetings of trails clubs while he went backpacking in Patagonia. By the time he returned, we had initiated an ambitious 70-mile trail project and natural heritage program that included the first major expansion of public lands in the Chuckanuts since it became a state park.