“Significant Difference”- Summit 2012 Perspectives: Joshua Royte

I am a conservation planner for The Nature Conservancy, a global non-governmental, non-profit, conservation organization. My job is to identify, strategize and measure conservation opportunities and outcomes where we work.

My work overlaps GrowSmart's mission in several ways;

1) focused development that makes the most of our small towns and makes it desirable for people to walk, bike, and get outdoors thus continuing to make Maine a better place for business, a healthier place, and to engage people with nature

2) maintain the natural resources that supports both extractive and non-extractive economies

3) Designing smart infrastructure for people, generally means less impact on natural resources, our water, air, and forests.  For me a key focus is ensuring that where roads cross streams there is adequate room to pass the dramatic increase in peak stream flows from climate impacts.  This type of reassessment and retooling of our stream crossings is already taking place in municipal, state, and private timberland roads.


I was inspired by Bruce Katz's talk regarding how we've come along and how things are well-poised, even more since the election – to enact some of the strategies outlined in Making Headway. I was also inspired to see Forest Owners and Managers looking for ways to ensure forest owners can maintain their working woodlots and for collaborations like the ones I am involved with to increase stream connectivity and reduce risk of stream-crossing catastrophes by identifying the highest risk and highest benefit places for retrofits.


In the future I'll be working hard to engage more local leaders, a broader group of timberland owners/managers, and find ways to make a more significant difference outside of work in my community.


Joshua Royte
Conservation Planner, The Nature Conservancy