Land Trust for Louisiana is proud to introduce our latest Team Member, Nelwyn McInnis. Nelwyn has been involved in various capacities with LTL from its inception but has most recently joined our team as our wetland and easement specialist. Enjoy reading about Nelwyn’s vast experience in the interview transcript below.
Nelwyn McInnis, LTL's newest Team Member
Q&A with NELWYN MCINNIS, CONSERVATION CONSULTANT, SOUTHERN WILD HERITAGE LLC
When did you start working with Land Trust for Louisiana (LTL)? I volunteered and served on the original committee that developed the by-laws and started the organization since its conception in 2004.
What do you consider yourself a specialist in? I specialize in wetland mitigation and conservation easements (called servitudes in Louisiana), and how these tools can be used for conservation. LTL has been involved with mitigation in Louisiana as the holder of conservation servitudes for many years. Mitigation banks are sites that have been restored to compensate for unavoidable loss of wetlands elsewhere due to land-use activities.
What are you most proud of? I am most proud of the many acres of protected properties as a result of my involvement while working with LTL, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). I am also proud of being the brainchild and lead project manager in the publication by TNC, “Managing the Forest and the Trees: A private landowner’s guide to conservation management of longleaf pine”. This has been used by many landowners not just in Louisiana and Mississippi, but throughout the range of longleaf pine, an ecologically-important forest type, and is a favorite publication used by the Longleaf Alliance.
What is the most rewarding thing you have done while working for LTL? The most rewarding thing for me is actually having the privilege of working with LTL and its wonderful board. We all share the same goals and that is to protect and preserve Louisiana’s beautiful lands and waterways for the enjoyment of future generations.
What did you do before LTL? Life before LTL involved working with The Nature Conservancy and also running a tree seedling nursery for the LA Office of Forestry. The seedlings were used for reforestation purposes. I also spent 7 years working as the endangered species botanist with the LDWF’s Natural Heritage Program. The experiences and training I have had greatly benefit my ability to serve and guide LTL in conserving and managing Louisiana’s natural resources and open spaces.
What inspires you? From oceans to mountain-tops, from mature forests to open grasslands, seeing and experiencing wild and functioning natural habitats is my inspiration. Viewing a habitat with its indigenous species and processes, such as correct hydrology or fire regime, is like stepping back in time to a magical place. The diversity, the complexity, and the beauty are always amazing and humbling.
Education – A native of Shreveport, LA, Nelwyn has a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and a Master of Science in Botany from Louisiana Tech University.
Hobbies – gardening, salt-water fishing, enjoying good food and company
Favorite quote – Well, I am not sure of the source or if I have it exactly correct, but this is the one I love: “Nature is not only more complex than we think, it is more complex than we can think”.
Favorite book – A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold