Matt Elliott (GTC Senior Co-Chair)
It was great to meet so many of you at the GTC meeting at Nokuse – getting to see some folks I hadn’t seen in person since before 2020, and finally putting a face to a name for others. We are really excited to be having the meeting in Georgia this year, and are still debating the various merits of different potential sites. We hope to decide soon, but the choice will certainly provide us an opportunity to show off some of the places that the tortoise has helped us protect over the past few years. The immediate future will definitely provide some challenges as all of us continue to work with not just gopher tortoises but a whole suite of at-risk species without the tortoise’s federal candidate status as the legal keystone tying everything together. Nonetheless there are a ton of great folks working on tortoises and longleaf pine ecosystems, and every time I get to talk to y’all I feel more optimistic about the future. I look forward to speaking with you soon!