INDIANA – Gov. Eric Holcomb has appointed Will Ditzler to lead the important Wetlands Task Force that was part of Senate Enrolled Act 389 passed during the 2021 General Assembly. Ditzler is a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana board of trustees and recently completed a two-year term as its chair.
“I am thankful to have been asked to lead this Task Force and facilitate a diverse group of interests and people around the topic of wetlands. With more time to study and discuss the issues, my hope is we can make a real difference and help determine a path forward for the State of Indiana on the stewardship and regulation of wetlands.”
The task force was part of comprehensive legislation that redefined how Indiana regulates isolated wetlands, those that are not directly tied to another source of water such as streams, rivers, or lakes. These isolated wetlands, about 750,000 acres, are not covered by federal regulations, but perform important ecological functions such as floodwater retention, filtering runoff, and providing important habitat for plants, animals, and birds. The task force is charged with examining issues related to wetlands and making recommendations to the General Assembly by the end of November 2022.
Ditzler is president and founder of RiverBirch Executive Advisors, an Indiana-based firm that provides executive coaching, meeting facilitation, and strategic planning services. He also has experience with wetland mitigation and the development industry. Before starting RiverBirch, Will spent 22 years with JFNew (now Cardno), a well-respected environmental engineering and natural resources consulting firm. Based near South Bend, his team of more than 150 employees around the Midwest was leaders in wetland mitigation, native plant production, mitigation banking, and USACOE and IDEM permitting.
Ditzler also is a dedicated conservationist, outdoor enthusiast, landowner, and leader in the environmental community. He is active and has long-term relationships in the conservation community, including hunting and fishing organizations as well as the traditional environmental organizations. He has been a Nature Conservancy member since taking a conservation biology class at Indiana University in pursuit of his finance degree more than 30 years ago.
“I know the development, agriculture and environmental communities well and plan to bring a balanced perspective to this issue through a fact-based and objective process. It is important Indiana gets this right, and our task force will help policymakers make informed decisions about Indiana’s natural resources.”