About Seth

Seth’s career has followed two parallel paths: teller of stories that illuminate the relationship between people and the rest of the natural world, and participant in the hard work of crafting environmental solutions.

As a practitioner, he currently serves as executive director of the Northwest Natural Resource Group, a Seattle-based nonprofit that helps forestland owners manage their woods for the long-term ecological and economic returns. Previously, he directed the Wild and Working Lands Program at the Mattole Restoration Council, a community-based watershed restoration group on the northern California coast, from 2006 to 2011.

Measuring Douglas-fir tree, photo by Richard Gienger

The program’s team of seven year-round staff and dozens of seasonal employees and volunteers worked to improve logging practices, reduce fire hazard, enhance riparian habitat, control invasive plants, track the spread of Sudden Oak Death, and restore native perennial grasslands. Seth spearheaded the Mattole Forest Futures Project, which culminated in the approval of a streamlined timber harvest permit for light-touch logging in the Mattole watershed, and was honored with the 2012 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in Ecosystem & Watershed Stewardship . (He’s pictured at right, with his back to the camera, measuring a Douglas-fir tree to determine whether it could be harvested by a landowner under the terms of the project. Photo by Richard Gienger.) Before being hired as program director, Seth had chaired the organization’s board of directors (1994-1999) and worked as an occasional tree-planter and field staff for the projects of the Council and some of its affiliates such as the Mattole Salmon Group.

As a writer, Seth has covered natural resource issues on the west coast of North America for more than two decades. His writing on topics such as forestry, climate, salmon, and ecological restoration has appeared in publications ranging from Orion to Organic Style, from the Christian Science Monitor to Sierra magazine.  (Check out a small selection of those writings here.) He is also co-author and co-editor of Salmon Nation: People, Fish, and Our Common Home, an introduction to the issue of salmon in northwestern North America, originally published in 1999 and now in its second edition. Building on this experience, Seth developed a course in Environmental Journalism for Brown University’s Center for Environmental Studies, which he taught in 2012 and 2013.Seth’s communication consulting straddles the intersection of these two interests. Click here to learn more about the services Seth can provide for your organization or project.

Working in the ecosystem of non-profit environmental groups, Seth has also provided facilitation for other organizations, helping clients such as the Rainforest Alliance, Burn Design Lab, the Headwaters Coalition, and the California Watershed Network come to agreement on how to advance their projects. Seth harnesses his listening skills, analytical capacities, and competence in the use of consensus process to help participants understand each other better, find common ground, and reach decisions that can be implemented enthusiastically by all concerned.