Michael Lach, Executive Director
In order to accelerate and expand land conservation efforts in Harwich, the Trustees of the Harwich Conservation Trust hired Michael Lach as their first Executive Director. The position as well as successful plans for additional staff and office space resulted from a strategic planning process over several months during which the Trustees reviewed and refined their land protection and land stewardship goals. Lach, who had served over the past five years as the Trust’s Land Protection Specialist from The Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc., was selected unanimously by the Board. Founded in 1986, The Compact is a regional land trust service center that helps to acquire, preserve, and manage open space across Cape Cod.
Michael completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University and graduate degree at the University of Massachusetts. He has also written environmental features for the The Cape Cod Chronicle and has contributed eco-travel articles to The Cape Cod Times. Michael has called Cape Cod home since 1976, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife and kids.
“Michael has proven his abilities to lead and get things done. He has been an integral part of our biggest land protection successes and formulated our Save Land-Save Water campaign. He accelerates our land protection efforts on a daily basis,” said Trust President and founding Trustee, Robert F. Smith.
“Having been raised on the Cape, seeing the landscape changes over the past 30 years, and now raising my own family here, gives me profound motivation for making a difference,” said Lach.
Ryan Mann, Outreach & Stewardship Coordinator
Ryan’s experiences cover a wide array of both hands-on and academic skills. He earned his BS from the University of Massachusetts in natural resources and wildlife and fisheries conservation. Ryan had previously worked as an island manager on Washburn Island, part of Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and recently as an observer for the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association. Some of his past projects include extensive vernal pool work in the Berkshires, a tree ring study looking at climate change in red cedars on Cape Cod and a study aimed at anglers and scuba divers in the Florida Keys.
Ryan grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York. From an early age, he was involved with local land conservation organizations as farms were being converted into housing developments in the area. Ryan is a firm believer that the solution is people getting involved and lending a hand to make a difference.
A well-rounded outdoorsmen, Ryan has enjoyed a variety of experiences ranging from survivalist exercises to birding and collecting wild mushrooms. He has hiked most of the White Mountains of New Hampshire and has spent extensive time backpacking throughout the US. Though he is also an avid downhill skier and sailor, his greatest joy is to meet new people and hear their stories.