Chris Larson is completing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the Yale School of Management (SOM). At SOM, and through coursework at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, he is developing approaches to engage private investors in conserving the forests and watersheds of “Salmon Nation” (coastal northern California and the Pacific Northwest). Privately-owned forestlands face unprecedented development threats as the region undergoes a transformation from a resource-based to an amenity-based economy. He seeks to enhance access to forestlands for local communities, whose support is ultimately essential for successful conservation. Prior to Yale, Chris was the Executive Director of the Mattole Restoration Council (MRC), a community-led salmon and watershed restoration organization based in the remote Mattole River valley of northwestern California. At the MRC, Chris established the Wild and Working Forests program to improve fire safety, riparian habitat conditions, and to assist small forestland owners pursue sustainable forestry. He expanded the local constituency involved with restoration work—today, over 7% of the watershed’s residents are now seasonally employed in restoration. His Mattole mentors have demonstrated that engaging local residents in restoration leads to powerful changes in human-land relationships. Chris completed a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University, where he worked in the Forest Ecology lab for three years researching the effects of nitrogen deposition on boreal forests. During Chris’ first-year at Yale, he was a Forrest Berkely Conservation Scholar, producing research on the current status of timberland investment in Maine and New Hampshire on behalf of a coalition of regional land trusts. While not working or studying, Chris is finishing a house he has built out of locally-milled lumber, and enjoys river rafting, gardening, and hunting.
Fellow at a Glance
New Island Capital Management, Inc.
Natural Resource Management
San Francisco, California 94111