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Name: Nelson, Michael
Current Position: Executive Officer

A veteran of nearly 30 years in resource management, Michael J. Nelson was selected as executive officer of the San Diego River Conservancy in 2006.

The Point Luma, California, resident attended the University of Maryland, College Park between 1971-1977, where he received bachelor of science degrees in science and journalism. He studied graphic arts at the Maryland Institute of Arts from1983-1985, attended seminars at St. Johns College in 1992, and was in the government executive program at Harvard University in 1998.

Nelson held numerous positions in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as far back as 1989, including director of the Land and Water Conservation Service. His final post with the department was as assistant secretary for capital grants and loans between 2000-2003. He was acting deputy secretary from May to November 2002. Nelson left Maryland government shortly after newly-elected Governor Bob Ehrlich cleaned house in the department—one newspaper called it a “bloodbath” —removing four top officials, though leaving Nelson in place.

After his departure, Nelson worked for three years as consultant to the American Farmland Trust, a national conservation organization dedicated to saving farm land, and the Conservation Fund, a nonprofit that marries environmental and economical values in the conservation field.  Nelson helped develop conservation plans, land acquisitions and easements.


State to Protect Sensitive Stream (by John A. Morris, Baltimore Sun)

Bloodbath at Department of Natural Resources (by Bill Burton, Bay Weekly)

San Diego River Guided by One-Man State Agency (by Terry Rodgers, San Diego Union-Tribune)

San Diego River Conservancy Selects New Executive (Businesswire)

Michael Nelson (LinkedIn)

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