Winnakee Land Trust


For Immediate Release: May 28, 2019

Rhinebeck, New York….The Board of Directors of Winnakee Land Trust announced today the appointment of Robert Davis as the new Executive Director of the nonprofit organization. Before joining Winnakee, Davis served since 2008 as Director of Forest Properties at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). In this role, Davis oversaw the day-to-day operations of over 25,000 acres of forest land and 8 associated research and teaching facilities located throughout the Adirondacks and Central New York. He also served as the institution’s inaugural Director of Ecosystem Services and Environmental Markets, where he focused on developing new markets for ecosystem services – including water purification, air quality improvements and flood protection – natural assets such as rivers, grasslands, wetlands and forests provide.

“I am deeply grateful to Winnakee’s Board of Directors for entrusting me, and will fully embrace this wonderful opportunity to serve such a highly respected organization in a very special region. I look forward to building on the vision of the organization’s founder, Sally Mazzarella, and the exceptional accomplishments of the last thirty years,” said Davis.

Said Carl Meyer, President of Winnakee Land Trust’s Board of Trustees, “After an extensive and broad national search, we are delighted to welcome Mr. Davis as Executive Director of Winnakee. His solid professional background and knowledge of land conservation are a perfect fit; but even beyond that, Bob truly values the importance of protecting our precious resources and working to provide public access to beautiful open space. We are all very excited to see how his leadership will help further our mission.”

In addition to administrative roles at ESF, Davis also held an appointment with the Department of Forest and Natural Resource Management where, in the role of Professor of the Practice, he provided both faculty and students with a better understanding of the practical applications of their scholarship and co-taught courses in Forest Management & Decision Making and Managerial Economics. Davis also held an appointment with the ESF College Foundation, Inc., where he managed a small portfolio of investment properties in support of student scholarships.

Prior to ESF, Mr. Davis was President of Sustainable Forestry LLC, a professional services firm advancing the management of privately-owned forest lands in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. He also served for over 10 years as a forest manager with the NYSDEC in both the Hudson Valley and Finger Lakes Regions.

Davis holds a Master’s degree in Forest Ecosystem Science and a Bachelor’s in Resource Management.

“I am grateful to have been extended this remarkable opportunity; it is an exciting chance to guide Winnakee into this next chapter,” said Davis. “It will be rewarding to work together to advance the organization’s Strategic Conservation Plan and its continuing efforts to preserve the character of northern Dutchess County, which has proven so critical to attracting both tourists and new residents to the region”.

An accredited land trust, Winnakee has placed thousands of acres of prime farmland and open space under conservation easements and has developed many miles of public access trails. The organization also provides public recreational opportunities through Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill in Rhinebeck and Winnakee Nature Preserve in Hyde Park along with managing public access trails and hosting educational and volunteer events designed to bring communities together.


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