Walter and Jeanne Sedgwick - Pacific Forest Trust

Summer 2017 ForestLife


Walter and Jeanne Sedgwick

A Deep Dedication to Forests and Nature

Walter SedgwickJeanne SedgwickThe Sedgwicks have both poured their substantial energy and skill into conserving the environment. Long-time forest landowners, they have worked with many organizations dedicated to land and animals.

Jeanne is currently the vice chair of WildAid and a former conservation program director for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Walter founded the Red Hills Land Conservancy which later became Tall Timbers in Florida. He has served on the boards of the National Audubon Society, the Land Trust Alliance, The Nature Conservancy-Florida, and here at Pacific Forest Trust.

PFT asked Walter about his lifetime dedication to forests and nature.

Why are forests important to you? 

First, I love all of nature, plants, animals—everything. And forests are a very special community. My family has owned property in southern Georgia for 110 years. It was just part of me from the beginning, and it’s one of the reasons I love nature. We’ve managed that forest for multiple uses. For example, we cut timber on a selective basis. Some foresters might take the best trees and leave the worst. We do the opposite to make sure the forest of tomorrow is as high quality as possible.

How did you first learn about Pacific Forest Trust?

When I met the co-founders of PFT, Laurie and Connie, we were natural friends. I was the founder of Red Hills Land Conservancy which became Tall Timbers, and they have about 140,000 acres under easement. People hunt there. They cut timber. It all works well together. I learned about forest conservation through that experience and that made me naturally interested in the Pacific Forest Trust.

What do you find compelling about Pacific Forest Trust’s work and its impacts?

Other groups do forest conservation, but in my view, nobody does it as well as Pacific Forest Trust. They’ve been national leaders in conservation easement forestry. Also, if you look at the impact PFT has had through AB 32—California’s landmark climate change legislation—that is getting more and more traction and become part of the mainstream. Because they’ve helped make it real. That’s enormous. And now they are working on water.


“I don’t think there’s anybody in the world doing better conservation than the Pacific Forest Trust.”

– Walter Sedgwick


What do you think are some of the greatest challenges for conservation in the coming years?

To me, it’s a matter of staying the course. I know the financial issues facing conservation are challenging, but I really like the fact that PFT will work with all sorts of landowners and timber companies. They are really very creative. Pacific Forest Trust is really about multiple-use and wise-use, building better forests and leveraging the benefits of forest carbon storage and water services.

Walter Sedgwick and PFT President Laurie Wayburn

Walter Sedgwick and Pacific Forest Trust President Laurie Wayburn on a forest field trip.




Photo Credit: top right, Drew Altizer