CLC’s Paden to step down at the end of year

CHATHAM—Peter Paden, the long-time executive director of the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC), has notified the Board of Trustees that he will retire at the end of 2020.

Mr. Paden has been an extraordinary leader and the legacy of his work will endure for years to come, according to a press release from the CLC.

During Mr. Paden’s tenure as executive director, which began in 2007, CLC has made remarkable progress towards its mission of conserving rural landscapes and connecting people with the land.

Over the last decade CLC’s reputation—both regionally and nationally—has been enhanced due to its numerous successes and innovation in many areas of work, including public land management, agricultural support programs, and community engagement.

The organization has:

*Conserved an additional 10,000 acres of land in Columbia County, including the permanent protection of more than 30 Columbia County family farms

*Begun one of the country’s first Farmer-Landowner Match Programs, connecting more than 75 farmers and landowners and keeping over 3,600 acres of farmland in production

*Opened the Harris Conservation Area in Austerlitz and the 1,700-acre Overmountain Conservation Area in Ancram and facilitated creation of the Hand Hollow State Forest in New Lebanon

*Offered dozens of trainings for municipal and community leaders throughout the county in conservation-minded open space and land use planning

*Presented hundreds of outdoor educational opportunities for people of all ages

*Established strong partnerships and collaborations with many local, regional and national organizations to further numerous joint and collaborative conservation efforts, and

*Significantly strengthened CLC’s professional capacities and financial resources, providing the foundation for continuing innovation and achievement.

“CLC’s aim is to ensure that the extraordinary conservation qualities of Columbia County will last long into the future. It has been a privilege and a great pleasure to join with the remarkably talented staff and board of CLC in pursuit of this audacious goal. I am grateful to all of them, and confident they are well-positioned to continue this important work,” Mr. Paden said in the release.

“Peter has made an impact on this land we love,” “As an organization, we are excited to move his work forward with his successor and build on his achievements.” Should you see Peter on the street, or at a Public Conservation Area, please congratulate him and thank him for a job well done, CLC Chair of the Board of Trustees Mark Levy said in the release.

The search for an exceptional new leader is underway. CLC has contracted with Kittleman & Associates to manage the search process. For more information and to apply through their online portal visit

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