Happy Trails to Larry!

April 3, 2022

“The Mendocino Coast is part of my soul. There’s nothing like going for a hike in the redwood forest.”

Lawrence Turner

After serving as Director of Conservation for the Mendocino Land Trust for three years, Larry is moving on. Here are the Fort Bragg native’s poetic goodbyes and inspiring words:

Did you know that I can tell the difference between Big River, Noyo River and Ten Mile by the way they smell? There’s a distinct difference to them all. The only way I can describe it is variations of petrichor – the smell of freshly fallen rain. Something in the water is unique in each of those watersheds.

What did you like about working for the Land Trust?

So many good times – first off, the people are amazing. Dedicated. Good-humored. Wicked-smart and hardworking. There have been fun adventures out in the wilds of the county – everywhere from local beaches in Fort Bragg all the way out to Lake Pillsbury. 

What will you always remember about your time at MLT? 

I can’t forget getting stuck out in the MLT truck on our Noyo River Redwoods property with Nikki – we thought we might be hiking back to town, but managed to free the truck from the mud after strategically placing branches and rocks under the wheels. 

Also always in my mind will be feeling the magic of the small but mighty ruth weiss property. I spent quite a bit of time out there among the old-growth redwoods. I have a feeling that there are many more gems out there on small properties. I’d encourage families to consider conservation for their property – no matter how small. It all adds up to make a difference. Many thanks to Anna Marie Stenberg and George Russell for their added attention to conserve that legacy property.

What should new additions to the conservation team know about this line of work?

Roger Sternberg (former interim MLT Executive Director), has said “conservation is a desk job,” which is partially true. The next person to step into this position needs to understand the balance. You can’t do this whole job at your desk, nor can you do it from out in the field all the time. You need the balance. Time to be on the land and see what’s going on, and time to be at the desk and understand the regulations and issues around compliance for both real estate acquisition and conservation easements. 

What’s next for you?

For my next magic trick, I’m going to work with an international company that provides tech solutions – back to the world of technology for me. It’s been an amazing few years working to conserve forests and ranchland and open space. My new job will be all virtual, and I’ll work mostly from the rural property in Pennsylvania that my partner Paul and I own; we’re close to his family. He took more than a few years out on the West Coast with my family so it’s my turn to be near his.

I won’t be that far away and I’m sure I will do some contract work and consulting for MLT and be back to visit – like I said, the Mendocino Coast is in my soul.