Dear ACR Community,

I am very excited to be writing to you in my new role as Executive Director of Audubon Canyon Ranch. After being part of the ACR community for the last 28 years, it's an honor and a privilege to step into this position.

For those of you who don't know me well, I want to highlight a few of my past experiences as I look to the future, now as only the third leader in ACR's iconic 52-year history. From Graduate Fellow to Resident Biologist to Associate Director to Chief Operating Officer to Executive Director, I have participated in all corners of this great organization. I am grateful to have known all of our founding preservationists: Clifford Conly, who trusted ACR with Cypress Grove Research Center, a crown jewel on Tomales Bay; David Bouverie who bestowed his Glen Ellen treasure, Bouverie Preserve, to ACR; Jim and Shirley Modini, who gave their incredible 1,700-acre ranch and whose gift later resulted in the incredible 3,300-acre Modini Mayacamas Preserves; and ACR Founder Marty Griffin, who safeguarded critical egret nesting habitat on Bolinas Lagoon and has been a critical force in saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast. 

Together, with our staff, Board, volunteers, and supporters, we will follow ACR’s new vision that expands our mission and reach beyond our preserves and looks to solve environment problems locally and beyond based on “Conservation in Action.”

As Executive Director I uphold ACR's core belief that the survival and health of our planet depends on responsible conservation practices that are grounded in science, protect valuable resources, restore natural processes, and sustain human communities.

I am excited not only for the work we are doing on ACR preserves, but also for the impact we are making in the community. We are currently in our 25th year of studying heron and egret ecology across 14,000 square kilometers in nine Bay Area counties, restoring wetland habitat on Tomales Bay, expanding much-needed stewardship and skill building opportunities for at-risk youth, and vigorously intensifying our leadership in Bolinas Lagoon preservation.

I am eager to continue the work that established us as a leader — protecting plants, animals, and other resources from loss and exploitation, conducting conservation science on and off our properties that directs land management and public policy, and educating generations of conservationists to lead our efforts to create an ecologically rich and sustainable future for our planet. I fully believe in Audubon Canyon Ranch and see a bright future ahead. By working together as a team with dedication to our common goals, anything is possible.


John Petersen
Executive Director
Audubon Canyon Ranch