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Conservation Legacy


Conservation Legacy Announces Elwood York Jr. as New Chief Executive Officer

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2021

Conservation Legacy Announces Elwood York Jr. as New Chief Executive Officer


Durango, Colorado—Conservation Legacy Chairman and former US Department of Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary Butch Blazer announced Elwood York as the new Chief Executive Officer today.

Blazer said, “Elwood’s executive leadership, passion for public service and environmental stewardship are exactly what Conservation Legacy needs to help us capitalize on the opportunities the Biden Administration is providing to focus on climate change, social and environmental justice, and restoring healthy lands, air and water. He has the right touchpoints to help us diversify our outreach to people who need our services in underserved communities in both rural and urban America.”

York will oversee 135 full time staff and 250 seasonal employees working nationally to carry out Conservation Legacy’s national mission to engage future leaders to protect, restore, and enhance the nation’s lands through community-based service.

Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network, said, “On behalf of America's Service and Conservation Corps, I extend a warm welcome and congratulations to Mr. York. As a champion of youth development, resource conservation, and equity in the outdoors, Mr. York will be an excellent steward of Conservation Legacy's mission to promote healthy lands and waters and resilient communities.”

York, a native of Richmond, Virginia, has a strong natural resource and conservation background. He has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology with a minor in Chemistry from Howard University, and a law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. He is well known in the conservation corps community, has served for six years on the Board of Directors for Conservation Legacy, and is an alumnus of Camp Atwater, the oldest summer camp for African American children in the United States. He also served as the National Program Leader for the US Forest Service.

York will assume his new duties in early January 2022. Please reach out to Executive Assistant Jennifer Erickson if you have further questions (