“Even before I knew what land conservation was, it was important to me. I grew up in the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania. At that time, rural lands were beginning to be developed into “country” subdivisions, shopping centers and office parks. Still, there remained enough wild lands around our subdivision to allow my teenage friends and I to explore nearby woods and streams-hiking, fishing, camping and bike riding deep into the woods. Once I started paying attention, I noted that most of the lands we traipsed around in were privately-owned. Several wealthy families owned large estates of woods, grown-up pastures, and miles of old logging roads. We were technically trespassing, but for the most part there were no keep out signs, and the owners seemed to benignly tolerate us local kids as long as no fires were built and we practiced “Leave no Trace”. I began to realize that many of our adventures were experienced courtesy of those fortunate and wise individuals who possessed and conserved large tracts of land while many of their neighbors were allowing their properties to be developed, subdivided or otherwise fragmented and suburbanized.
“After receiving a degree in forestry, I worked as a forester, and then ultimately became the coordinator of the Wild Rivers Program, in the Division of Water. There I initiated what has become a successful program of purchasing private lands within or adjacent to the Wild Rivers from willing sellers, using the Heritage Land Conservation Fund. After “retirement” (since rescinded) I joined the board of Woods and Waters, helping with what I consider some of the most satisfying and valuable work out there-land conservation.”
Morgan Jones has been a Board member since 2011.