Pro-hunting Nature Conservancy president quits

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2007:
ARLINGTON, Va.–Steven J. McCormick,
56, president of The Nature Conservancy since
December 2000, abruptly resigned on October 1,
2007, effective immediately. His successor has
not been selected.
A 30-year Nature Conservancy employee,
McCormick took over the national organization
after his predecessor, John Sawhill, died from
diabetes. While Nature Conservancy policies have
always favored hunting, fishing, and trapping,
McCormick –himself an avid hunter–moved TNC
into closer alignment with hunting, fishing,
and trapping advocacy organizations.
McCormick previously directed the Nature
Conservancy of California for 16 years,
presiding over the acquisition of Santa Cruz
Island to become a part of Channel Island
National Park and efforts to exterminate
non-native animals on the island.

Washington Post staff writer Joe
Stephens wrote that McCormick “had grown tired of
traveling, especially after he recently became
ill returning from Mongolia,” and felt that “a
new multi-year fundraising campaign will make the
job even more demanding. He said he would like
to remain in conservation, perhaps working on
global warming,” Stephens reported.
Stephens and David B. Ottaway in May 2003
published a multi-part exposé of Nature
Conservancy mismanagement, mostly during
Sawhill’s tenure, that led to a Senate inquiry
and board restructuring that strengthened
McCormick’s control of TNC.
Recalled Stephens, “The series described
how TNC had logged forests and drilled for oil
under the last native breeding ground of an
endangered bird. It reported that the TNC
governing and advisory boards had grown to
include executives from corporations that paid
millions of dollars in environment-related fines.
It showed how TNC had engaged in deals with
executives on its boards.”
The world’s largest conservation group,
TNC has assets of more than $4.8 billion, with
3,500 employees. McCormick was paid
approximately $400,000 a year.

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