Foothills Land Conservancy is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing the lands and environments of the Southern Appalachian region and promoting the character of the land for the benefit of the general public, now and in the future.
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To date, Foothills Land Conservancy has preserved over 30,000 acres in 18 Tennessee counties! In 2011 Foothills partnered with landowners on nineteen land protection projects covering 4400 acres! Recent easements include two Tennessee Century Farms in Monroe County, 120 acres along the French Broad in Knox County, a 364 tract in Blount County (formerly known as Camp Montvale) and 1700 acres within the Cumberland Plateau (Scott, Overton & Cumberland Counties). Click here to view our latest projects.
Foothills Land Conservancy's mission is to protect and preserve the natural landscape of East Tennessee. From working farms to woodlands, watersheds to community parks, FLC has assisted individuals and families in protecting more than 25,000 acres to date. A private organization, we are dedicated to the preservation of the rich wildlife habitats, and the agriculture, scenic, and cultural resources of our region. Our ultimate goal is to lead the way to an East Tennessee that is a healthy place for both people and wildlife.
Working with landowners, the Conservancy offers creative, free-market alternatives for the conservation of agricultural and forest lands. A community based land trust, the Conservancy is led by a volunteer board of directors experienced in planning, land and wildlife management, education, and real estate. Foothills is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and is not affiliated with any local, state, or federal government. Foothills Land Conservancy was founded in 1985 and opened an office with full time staff in 1992.
To view our History, please click here.
For a Board Member’s description, please click on their name.
Individual members may serve two staggered, three year terms. No one may serve more than three consecutive terms. Board responsibilities include: fundraising, policy making, long range planning, land protection, and a range of specialized volunteer activities.
Bill Clabough has spent his entire life in Blount County. A graduate of the Blount County School system and UT Knoxville, Bill spent 30 plus years in the retail grocery business in Blount County. In 2004 he was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly, serving 4 years in the Tennessee House and 6 years in the Tennessee Senate. He joined Foothills Land Conservancy in the spring of 2006 as the Executive Director with the charge to take the organization to the next level. Bill has put together a strong team that is moving Foothills Land Conservancy forward on land protection partnerships, land stewardship and community outreach. He has been involved in all project areas of Foothills. Through the course of overseeing the completion of many successful programs, Bill is always reminded that land protection is our business and our only business!
Meredith Clebsch joined the FLC team in 2007 monitoring conservation easements and preparing baseline documentation reports. Meredith's formal education includes a BS degree in Animal Science from Clemson University with minors in Horticulture and Wildlife Biology. She also completed a number of graduate and undergraduate level courses at the University of TN in botany, ecology, horticulture and wildlife biology. For 25 years Meredith owned and operated a successful native plant nursery in Greenback, TN, which included consultation and design services involving considerable field work in plant identification and landscapes interpretation. Much of her recreational time is spent outdoors hiking and pursuing nature study.
Elise Eustace joined the FLC team, hired in 2009 as Communications & Development Director. Elise has over 15 years of experience in marketing in sales, client relations, event management, public speaking, and writing. She has a B.A. degree in Communications with a minor in Business from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Elise currently serves on City of Maryville Tree Board and was a 2011 graduate of the Experience Your Smokies Program for Blount County. She is an avid hiker who enjoys getting acquainted with all area parks and can often be found hiking with the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club.
Karen Petrey joined Foothills in June of this year as a volunteer. She began working part time in September as an assistant to the Land Director,. Karen has an undergraduate degree from UTK in ornamental horticulture and landscape design and an MS in plant and soil science from the same institution. After graduate school, Karen initially managed a wine grape vineyard in Blount County. She then operated a landscape design and installation business in Knoxville for over 15 years, specializing in garden design and specialty garden maintenance. Over the years, Karen has attended many conferences and continuing education programs, with a focus on native plants. Karen currently lives on 18+ acres on the Little River in Blount County, with her husband and pets. In 2007 Karen and her husband had an easement with the Foothills Land Conservancy placed on their property. When not gardening at home Karen enjoys hiking and helping maintain the indoor plants at the Blount County Library.