Welcoming our new Stewardship Director

Welcoming our new Stewardship Director

Meet Brad Weigel

We are pleased to welcome Brad Weigel to the team as our new Stewardship Director!

Brad grew up in southern Indiana where he had free rein to fish, hunt, and explore the creeks and forests around his home. His interest in the natural world led him to major in Environmental Science at Indiana University, where he graduated in 2004. His early career was spent gaining experience working seasonal jobs for various agencies and nonprofits including The Nature Conservancy, US Geological Survey, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

This winding path eventually led Brad to realize a passion for ecological restoration, native plant establishment, and land conservation. He spent fifteen years working for a private ecological restoration firm, as stewardship manager at NICHES Land Trust in Northern Indiana, and as assistant superintendent of grounds at Glenstone Museum in Potomac, MD. Brad moved to Maine in early 2020 and most recently served as Lands Manager for Boothbay Region Land Trust. He and his wife Cindy live in Bristol.

In his new role, Brad will be responsible for managing over 5,000 acres of conserved lands and more than 50 miles of trails here in the Damariscotta-Pemaquid region.

Coastal Rivers owns 78 properties outright and co-manages 29 others that are owned by the state, towns, or other partner agencies. We are also the holder of 61 conservation easements, or voluntary deed restrictions on privately owned land. Coastal Rivers is committed to monitoring all of the owned properties and conservation easements regularly to ensure the terms of their protection are upheld and we continue to meet standards for national Land Trust Alliance accreditation. While much of the monitoring is done by volunteers, the Stewardship Director coordinates this effort, filling in any gaps, handling all documentation, and working to resolve any issues.

In addition, all properties owned by Coastal Rivers have a management plan in place. It is the role of the Stewardship Director to ensure goals are met for each preserve. This might include making sure conditions are favorable for sensitive plant or wildlife species, or removing non-native invasive species. One example of such a project is at Coastal Rivers Salt Bay Farm, where there is a multi-year plan in place to address invasive field plants that are making the hayfields less hospitable to ground-nesting birds such as bobolinks and Savannah sparrows.

Coastal Rivers also maintains 31 trails in the area, from Edgecomb to Waldoboro and south to Bristol and South Bristol. Every trail is cared for by one or more volunteer preserve stewards, who keep an eye out for things that need attention. Whether it’s a limb or tree that has fallen on the trail, an eroded area to be reinforced, a trail to be rerouted, or a bridge to be repaired or replaced, the Stewardship Director plans and coordinates any work to be done.

“We’re all thrilled to add Brad to the team,” commented Coastal Rivers Executive Director Steven Hufnagel. “His passion for the outdoors, experience, field skills, and commitment to volunteer-based stewardship all stand out. So too do his kindness and can-do approach.”