INHF's Next Living Lands Fellow

By CJ Younger on August 26, 2021 in Blog

Devin StortzThis September, INHF is pleased to welcome 2021 Living Lands Fellow Devin Stortz.

Growing up on his family’s farm just north of Decorah, IA, Stortz spent sunrise to sunset hiking, hunting and fishing on the property. As he changed and developed through his teenage years, so did the land around him.

“It seemed essential that someone should be preserving what used to be,” Stortz said. “Conservation is a way of giving my life a purpose—to preserve the true native outdoors of Iowa for future generations to enjoy.”

Stortz followed his passion for conservation to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA. During the summer of 2019, he interned with INHF as a Blufflands Land Steward and graduated in 2020 with a degree in Environmental Science. He went on to gain additional experience in wildlife management before returning to INHF to pursue a career in the natural resources field.

“Devin’s enthusiasm, work ethic and personality make him a great fit for this fellowship,” said INHF Senior Land Stewardship and Blufflands Director Brian Fankhauser.

The Living Lands Fellowship was established at INHF by Maynard residents Kathy Steege and her late husband, Jon, to create an opportunity for recent college graduates to engage in stewardship work while searching for a permanent position in the conservation or natural resource management field. Stortz will work 20 hours per week with INHF and 20 with Fayette County Conservation (FCC) to build a range of experiences to support him in his career.

“I'm most looking forward to meeting new people in the field, and learning as much from them as possible,” Stortz said. “I love to meet landowners with conservation interests, hear their stories, and help them bring their vision for their property to life.”

This fellowship was made possible through a joint partnership between INHF, the FCC Board, Fayette County Pheasants Forever, the Steeges and other anonymous private donors.