Invitation to join the Conservation Community Delegation: Submit your interest by February 9th, 2022 and learn more here!

One of the projects of First Light that emerged from the first cohort of the Learning Journey is an effort to coordinate land trusts around contact and conversation with the Tribes. To do this, we created a Conservation Community Delegation for Wabanaki engagement to pool resources and coordinate the conservation community’s skills and abilities to best collaborate and respond to the needs and requests from the Wabanaki Commission on Land and Stewardship; Nil yut ktahkomiq nik (the whole earth is our home).

Coordinating Land Trust Communication and Action:  The role of the Conservation Community Delegation

The Conservation Community Delegation primarily collaborates with the Wabanaki Commission on Land and Stewardship to develop processes and tools for sharing or returning land. Another important role of the Delegation is to serve as a liaison between the conservation community and the Tribes; The Delegation is available to receive requests from the larger conservation community in Maine about Wabanaki engagement and considers (with Wabanaki input) whether that engagement would be a benefit to the Tribes. This process hopefully minimizes the administrative and communication burden on Tribal representatives.

The Conservation Community Delegation can be helpful as your first contact when your organization has a question about offering transfers of stewardship to the Tribes or Wabanaki engagement projects. They will consider your question and respond or connect you with a member of the Wabanaki Commission for further conversations. Please see below for the contact information of each Delegation member and their specific role.

The Conservation Community Delegation is currently made up of representatives from The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Appalachian Mountain Club, Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, the Forest Society of Maine, and Maine Mountain Collaborative who are serving a 3 year term. All of these representatives were members of the first cohort of the Learning Journey and have demonstrated organizational commitment to the larger goals of First Light to increase Wabanaki access to and stewardship of land. Other organizations can apply to join the Delegation through the link at the top of this page.

The current Delegation members are: Jess Burton (Executive Director at Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative), Susan Caldwell (Conservation Coordinator at TNC), Molly Payne Wynne (Freshwater Program Director at TNC), Kristin Peet (Forestland Conservation Specialist at Forest Society of Maine), Steve Tatko (Maine Woods Initiative Land Manager at AMC), Ciona Ulbrich (Senior Project Manager at Maine Coast Heritage Trust), and Bryan Wentzell (Executive Director of Maine Mountain Collaborative).

Here are roles and contact information:

  • Jess Burton: Liaison and communicator with the conservation community (
  • Susan Caldwell: Liaison with potential private land donors (
  • Molly Payne Wynne: Fisheries and freshwater restoration projects (
  • Kristin Peet: Land projects, cultural access tools, wildlife projects (
  • Steve Tatko: Cultural access tools (Harvest permits) (
  • Ciona Ulbrich: Cultural access tools (Various tools), land projects (
  • Bryan Wentzell: Legislature, Western Maine land projects (