Well known local conservationist tapped to lead The Nature Conservancy in Alabama

The Nature Conservancy in Alabama (TNC) has tapped Mitch Reid as its new director.

A mainstay in the conservation community for the past 15 years, Reid headed up the Alabama Rivers Alliance’s water policy and governmental relations program before becoming Director of External Affairs for the TNC Alabama chapter.

As director, Reid will lead a staff of more than 20. Headquartered in Birmingham, TNC is the largest conservation organization in the state of Alabama.

“We are thrilled to bring Mitch on board to lead us during these times,” said John Steiner, Chair of the Alabama Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy in a news release. “He brings a wealth of experience, connections, creativity and love for the people and places of Alabama to his new role.”

Also welcoming Reid to his new position is Cindy Lowry, Executive Director at the Alabama Rivers Alliance.

Cahaba River Society’s (CRS)Randy Haddock and Tricia Sheets, ARA’s Mitch Reid and Cindy Lowry and CRS Executive Director Beth Stewart – Photo by John Wathen / Hurricane Creekkeeper

“I knew when Mitch first joined our team at the Alabama Rivers Alliance back in 2009, that it was the beginning of something great for conservation in our state. His commitment to the protection and restoration of our land and water is unwavering.  It’s only fitting for him to be chosen as the next leader for one of the most important conservation organizations working in Alabama today.”

Reid told Bham Now he is “humbled” to work with a great team at TNC and with conservationists throughout Alabama. He also noted Alabama’s importance nationally and globally when measuring biodiversity and natural resources.

“We (Alabama) are world class when it comes down to the natural world we have around us,” he stated.  “We’ve got 132,000 miles of rivers and streams. “15% of the freshwater in the U.S. follows through our state into Mobile Bay and Delta. We have 23 million acres of forested land – the 3rd most in continental US. Our biodiversity is unmatched.”

Splinter Hill Bog in South Alabama, a habitat filled with pitcher plants and a longleaf pine forest. Photo courtesy of the Nature Conservancy

A big believer in partnerships, Reid enthusiastically described the many programs TNC is working on, including:

  • Restoring and protecting Alabama’s native longleaf system
  • Restoring and protecting the state’s freshwater systems with restoration projects that will prevent thousands of tons of sediment from entering rivers and streams of Alabama
  • Working on coastlines to restore seabeds and instream habitat that are vital for the fishing and shrimping industry

And that’s just a few of TNC  partnerships and projects.  In Birmingham, TNC is working to enhance the natural environment within urban communities and neighborhoods. 

Volunteers removing invasive plants from the stream-banks along Village Creek in East Lake Park. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

They are working to save the oldest longleaf forests in Coosa County along Pinhoti Trail. And just last month, thousands of Red Hills Salamander (Alabama’s official state amphibian) habitat was preserved by the Forever Wild Program and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  

Flagg Mountain, the terminus of the Pinhoti Trail. Photo from Pinhoti Trail Alliance Facebook page

All these efforts were made possible by partnerships ranging from the Alabama Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Alabama Forestry Commission, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the Conservation Fund and countless other groups.

“One thing that conservation has taught me is how to look much more collectively at the world we live in, and to see how we can all be part in addressing the challenges we face,” Reid concluded.

Reid begins his position as the new TNC director immediately.  To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Alabama visit their website – HERE


  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.