The Carolina Wetlands Association welcomes two new members to the board of directors and one returning member. Please meet Heather Clarkson and Tara Allden who join Chad Gutherie who have started new 3-year terms.
Heather is a native to the lowcountry of South Carolina, where she spent much of her childhood exploring the forested wetlands of Edisto Island and the ACE Basin. Heather’s love of mother nature and all Earth’s children led her to pursue a career in conservation; she attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia for both undergraduate and law school, and focused her studies on wildlife, endangered species, water resource, and coastal management policies. In the summer of 2016, Heather joined Defenders of Wildlife as the Southeast Program Outreach Representative, where she serves as the lead staff member for coastal Carolina issues as well as represents Defenders in the Wetland Forest Initiative. Currently, Heather lives with her husband and their canine children in Durham, NC.
Tara moved to Columbia, SC in 2014 and works at Kimley-Horne Associates. She is an ecologist and environmental attorney, specializing in developing and implementing compensatory mitigation projects and experienced in wetland delineation and permitting and NEPA documentation. She most recently spent 11 years working as a mitigation banker, assisting in the development of entrepreneurial wetland, stream, and nutrient mitigation banks in North Carolina and beyond. Tara is the current president of the South Carolina Mitigation Association and a member of the S.C. Bar Association’s Regulatory Law and Lawyers’ Wellness committees. Tara was an author on the Transportation Review Board’s publication Legal Aspects of Conservation Easements: A Primer for Transportation Agencies (2013) and Brownfields to Green: A Proposal for Redevelopment of Brownfields Property or Natural Resource Value in The Environmental Law Reporter (2016). Tara lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband, Andrew, and daughter, Kathleen.
Chad began his career in conservation in Snohomish County, Washington. As an employee of the County, I worked to protect existing salmon spawning grounds and to restore areas that had been destroyed due to conversion to agricultural use or development. I next worked with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission as conservation and land manager. During my time with the WRC, the WRC acquired over 60,000 acres in wildlife habitat. Most recently, I worked as a Project and Program Manager with the Trust for Public Land. I was lead manager on two of TPL’s initiatives in North Carolina, the Mark’s Creek Initiative and the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative. Over six years, TPL, in partnership with local conservation groups and governments, protected over 3,000 acres in Wake, Durham, Johnston and surrounding Counties. The preservation of water quality and wetlands was a critical component in the mission of each of these organizations.
We are a 100% volunteer organization with no staff. That means our board often fills many different roles including planning, reviewing policities, volunteering at events, meeting with stakeholders, advocating for wetlands, and raising funds. They donate their time, talents, and resources for teh sustainability and success of the organization.