As the director of land protection for Ducks Unlimited, Jamie Brown worked throughout the United States to protect tens of thousands of acres of wetlands and waterfowl habitat. “While I loved the scope of Ducks Unlimited’s work, I missed the opportunity to walk the lands that were being protected and to be a part of the community we were serving,” said Brown.
As the Lake George Land Conservancy’s new executive director, Brown will have the chance to do that. While his focus will be narrower in scope, confined largely to the Lake George watershed, his view will be more detailed, something he welcomes and one reason why he chose to apply for the position.
Prior to joining Ducks Unlimited, Brown worked with land trusts in Maine and New Jersey and in the private of practice of law. He received his bachelors degree from Boston University, a law degree from Seton Hall and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Maine.
According to John Macionis, the chairman of the Conservancy’s Board of Directors, Brown was the most highly qualified of those who applied for the position, some 70 people. “Jamie Brown has a suite of skills that made him an ideal candidate. He has enormous experience in land protection; he has overseen the efforts of Ducks Unlimited for a number of years, directing people in the field, so he’s someone who understands the art of the deal. On top of that, he has legal skills. He’s passionate, committed, experienced and skillful.”
Brown first came to work at the Conservancy’s Bolton Landing office on January 5. He joins the organization at a time when several major conservation projects are nearing completion or coming to fruition, Conservancy officials said. “Nancy Williams has built the Lake George Land Conservancy into a strong and solid land trust,” said Brown. “I’m excited to be here.”
Brown, who has a wife and a two-year old son, grew up in a rural section of New Jersey. “I was one of those kids who love nature and the out-of-doors. When I came home from college, I couldn’t help but be aware of how much land was disappearing through development. That sparked my interest in land conservation,” said Brown.
Brown said he also came to realize that there were “Smarter, better ways of protecting land than through regulation. You can work with land owners, communities and businesses, which, of course, is what land trusts do.”
Brown’s experience in building partnerships also made him a good fit for the Lake George Land Conservancy, Macionis said. “The Lake George Land Conservancy is in a very strong position to forge new partnerships and move forward with bold, innovative strategies to advance our mission,” said Macionis. “Jamie Brown will help us do that.”
While he’s familiar with Lake George, Brown said he plans to spend the next six months getting to know the surrounding communities, the leaders of other environmental protection organizations and the partners who can help further the Conservancy’s mission. He is already getting to know the Conservancy’s donors and members, he said.
“What has really impressed me is their collective connection to the lake. I find these close ties to the lake and the community to be an important part of our work. I look forward to hearing their ideas for how we can continue to build on what they and the Conservancy have already accomplished,” said Brown.