2023 Conference Update

2023 Land Conservation Conference Update

We had another great annual conference, and many are saying it was the best one yet. And it was! We had a record number of sponsors this year, and almost doubled our attendance from previous years. Starved Rock Lodge was sold out, and we had to add a few more tables for the buffet dinner Thursday night.

As always, we were able to secure some of the best speakers presenting on a variety of topics of interest to all. You can review their programs below, without, of course, their wonderful in-person dialogue, but there is important information to be shared.

Here are PSCC’s 2023 Board of Directors:


Hike App UpdateSandy Kaczmarski, PSCC Communications & Media

Hike App Video

Land Conservation: Looking Back and Looking Forward – David Holman, Independent Consultant

2023 Open Space Legislative AgendaEliot Clay, State Programs Director, Illinois Environmental Council

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Update – Natalie Phelps Finnie, new IDNR Director; John Rogner, Assistant Director; Ann Holtrop, Chief, Division of Natural Heritage; and Todd Strole, Executive Director, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission

Land Trust Alliance Updates – MaryKay O’Donnell, Midwest Senior Program Manager, Land Trust Alliance

Latest Invasive Species Research – Chris Evans, Forestry Extension and Research Specialist, University of Illinois Extension

The Power of a Volunteer Community – Amy Doll, Director, Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves

Human Dimensions of the Environment: How Social Attitudes and Behaviors Impact Land Preservation and RestorationEric Mollahan, Senior Ecologist and Consulting Department Manager, ILM Environments

PBS’ Nature Cat: Have a Grape DayJoann Fricke, CLIFFTOP Membership Chair


A Journey to Becoming A More Inclusive Organization –­ Kyla Muhammad, Community Engagement Coordinator; and Alison Paul, VP Community Conservation, The Conservation Foundation


Habits of Effective Prescribed Fire Programs – Bill Kleiman, Nachusa Grassland Director, Illinois Prescribed Fire Council

Forest Carbon Credits: Another Tool in the Land Trust Toolbox –Lisa Haderlein, Executive Director, The Land Conservancy of McHenry County; Kerry Leigh, Executive Director, Natural Land Institute

City Forest Credits – Is the sale of voluntary carbon credits a potential source of income for your agency’s future? – David Guritz, Executive Director, and Stefanie Wiencke, Environmental Education and Special Projects Manager, Kendall County Forest Preserve District  ONLINE RESOURCES

Appraisal ChallengesWhat can land trusts do to help appraisers be more efficient and improve the quality of their reports? –Rick Vojta, Principal, Terra Firma Consulting