Metro parks and open space boss to helm Oregon’s Nature Conservancy office

Jim Desmond will lead the Oregon chapter of The Nature Conservancy. The former real estate attorney has spent his career working to preserve natural areas. (Image courtesy Oregon chapter, The Nature Conservancy)

Jim Desmond will lead the Oregon chapter of The Nature Conservancy. The former real estate attorney has spent his career working to preserve natural areas. (Image courtesy Oregon chapter, The Nature Conservancy)

Wendy Culverwell – Portland Business Journal Feb 3, 2015

The Nature Conservancy has found a worthy successor to replace Russ Hoeflich, who stepped into a national role.

Jim Desmond will helm the Oregon chapter of the leading conservation movement. Desmond is the long-time director of the regional government agency Metro’sRegional Parks and Greenspace Department and most recently, its Sustainability Center.

Desmond spent the past 18 years in leadership roles at Metro, with responsibility for overseeing the natural area programs, regional parks and trail development. He is responsible for developing Metro’s recycling program, which boasts one of the highest recycling rates in the country.

 During his tenure, Metro acquired 14,000 acres for its urban conservation program and protected 170 miles of river, planted 2.5 million shrubs and trees and served 12,000 school-aged children per year through outdoor education programs.

Desmond began his career as a real estate attorney in Chicago. He left private practice to become the regional attorney for The Nature Conservancy in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he oversaw land acquisitions and conservation efforts in 11 states.

He moved to Portland in 1993 to serve as project manager for the Trust for Public Land. He joined Metro two years later.

Read the full article…