Jim has been Executive Director of Natural Heritage Land Trust in Madison, Wisconsin since 2003. He leads the Land Trust’s work to conserve farm land, wildlife habitat, and recreation areas in Dane County and the surrounding area. Since Jim became executive director of Natural Heritage Land Trust, the Trust has tripled the amount of land it has protected.
Jim has devoted his professional career to land conservation and has worked in Wisconsin, California, Michigan, and Washington, DC with leading conservation groups such as The Nature Conservancy. Jim serves on the board of Holy Wisdom Monastery, is a past community board member of Clean Lakes Alliance, and serves on the Alliance’s Economic Impact and Policy Committee. He has served on the Dane County Zoning & Land Regulation Farmland Preservation Plan Subcommittee and the Dane County Task Force for the Prioritized Revision of Chapter 10 Zoning Ordinance. Jim has master's degrees in ecological restoration from the University of Wisconsin and natural resources policy from the University of Michigan.
Jim is an avid bicyclist, gardener, and woodworker. He likes working in his backyard garden and canoeing and kayaking.
"The outstanding leadership and experience of Jim Welsh and the staff at Natural Heritage Land Trust have carried the message and delivered the outcomes for important properties in our area." - William Van Haren, Pure Sweet Honey Farm, Inc and current board member for the Land Trust.