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2023 Keynote


N  J

Northwest New Jersey

Rivers Conference

Michele Byers

Executive Director (retired)
New Jersey Conservation Foundation

Michele S. Byers was the Executive Director of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation for 22 years and worked for the organization for 39 years. Though now retired, her work, advocacy and legacy continue to have a lasting impact on New Jersey’s natural lands.

During her tenure as Executive Director, Michele ensured the preservation of over 60,000 acres and
established nature preserves throughout New Jersey to encourage hiking, birdwatching and the
enjoyment of nature for all New Jerseyans. She was instrumental in the preservation of the now 11,500 acre Franklin Parker Preserve.

Michele worked to secure the passage of the NJ Highlands Water Quality and Planning Act which
protects the drinking water supply for 64% of New Jersey residents. She founded the NJ Land
Conservation Rally, an annual conference for the organizations, agencies and citizens engaged in land

Michele was instrumental in founding the Whitesbog Preservation Trust, the Pinelands Preservation
Alliance, the NJ Highlands Coalition, the Hunterdon Land Trust, ReThink Energy NJ and the NJ League of
Conservation Voters. She served on the Burlington County Agricultural Development Board, as Chair of
the NJ Wetlands Mitigation Council, Vice Chair of the State Planning Commission, a member of the NJ
State Trails Council.

She successfully advocated for the protection of the NJ Palisades, led an effort to ensure the ultimate
demise of the Penn East Pipeline, and helped launch a multi decade transformation of Camden City
through a comprehensive parks and greenway initiative.

Michele has been recognized for her work including the 2020 Garden Club of America France K.
Hutchinson Medal, the Friends of Hopewell Valley Edmund W. Stiles Stewardship Award, the EarthShare
New Jersey Environmental Stewardship Award, and awards from the Rancocas Conservancy, the
Whitesbog Preservation Trust, the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, and Plan Smart NJ.

She now works as a consultant with LandWorks Advisory Group., LLC and is conducting a comprehensive
assessment of land preservation needs and challenges for New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

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