Clint Miller: 2024 Working Lands Preservation Award

An older man with a black jacket, baseball hat, and handlebar mustache outside by the mountains.

Gathering Waters presented Clint Miller, the Central Midwest Regional Director of The Conservation Fund, with the 2024 Working Lands Preservation Award on May 15, 2024 at a private celebration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Clint Miller joined The Conservation Fund in 2008. His extensive portfolio includes work in Wisconsin and many other neighboring states. He is the Fund’s lead on implementation of the Midwest Habitat Mitigation Project and is a recognized expert negotiator and facilitator of complex and innovative land conservation projects.

Over the past several years, Clint has been instrumental in safeguarding the largest land conservation project in modern Wisconsin history—70,000 acres in northern Wisconsin called the Pelican River Forest.

In October 2021, The Conservation Fund purchased the property with the intention of selling a working forest conservation easement to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The Pelican River Forest easement was successfully completed in January 2024, ensuring permanent protection while also maintaining sustainable forestry practices and ensuring public access.

Clint’s unwavering leadership, persistence, and expertise made this project possible. Clint traveled extensively to northern Wisconsin to attend numerous town and county board meetings. His patience, friendly manner, and knowledge of the easement led to widespread support.  

With this easement in place, the Pelican River Forest will continue filtering clean water and air, while also producing wood products for the forest products industry. Plus, over 60 miles of access roads will be available for public use.

“It’s a special time in our state history to see this historic land conservation project move forward,” said Mike Carlson, Executive Director of Gathering Waters. “This is a great win for the people of Wisconsin. Clint Miller and all his colleagues at The Conservation Fund truly deserve to be celebrated.”

In addition to his work at The Conservation Fund, Clint also serves in leadership roles in the land trust community, acting as a commissioner on the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission and on Gathering Waters’ Land Trust Council.

“We are deeply appreciative of Clint’s incredible work in Wisconsin and across the Midwest,” said Matt Sexton, Senior Vice President for The Conservation Fund. “His conservation ethos and strong relationships with partners in the region were critical to secure Pelican River Forest for Wisconsinites today and for future generations. We are so grateful to Gathering Waters for their partnership and for recognizing Clint’s contribution to this conservation win.”

Congratulations, Clint! Thank you for your leadership and your tireless efforts to support land conservation in Wisconsin.

About the Land Conservation Leadership Awards

The awards, presented annually to conservation leaders by Gathering Waters, recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions of people who devote their time and talents to protecting Wisconsin’s land, water, and wildlife.

About the Working Lands Preservation Award

This award recognizes individuals or organizations that exhibit extraordinary commitment to the preservation of Wisconsin’s working lands.