Lucas St. Clair

Background and expertise: Lucas was born and raised into a subsistence living family in the North Woods of Maine, with no running water or electricity for most of his childhood. He left that lifestyle to attend a boarding school in the Western Mountains of Maine and went on to study abroad, pursuing a Culinary Arts degree at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Lucas worked in the beginning of his career in the restaurant and wine industry in New York City, Maine, and Seattle.

In 2011, Lucas took over his family’s operating foundation, Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. (EPI). EPI owns 125,000 acres of timberland in Northern and central Maine that they have been purchasing since 1998. They have been managing the land and adding infrastructure for recreation over the last several years. To celebrate the 100 anniversary of the National Park Service, President Barack Obama accepted the gift of 89,000 acres of land from EPI and created the newest unit of the National Park Service, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Aug 24th, 2016. Lucas and EPI continue to play a role in the development of the region and enhancing the community’s ability to capitalize on the newly realized asset.

Beyond the restaurant industry and land conservation, Lucas has a strong interest in outdoor pursuits. He has hiked the Appalachian Trail, paddled the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, taken a NOLS semester in Patagonia and has climbed peaks in Alaska, Washington, Peru, Chile and Argentina. He has also worked as a fly fishing guide and helped Eddie Bauer with designing fishing apparel. He has had the great fortune to fish in some of the most beautiful waters in the world.

Lucas lives in Hampden, Maine with his wife and two children.

Why I believe in protecting land and creating parks: Parks are portals. Portals into wild places, freedom, imagination, and adventure. Parks build on themselves, are scalable, are paramount for human understanding of natural order and are the jumping off place for a world of adventure. We need land protected in order for us to continue flourishing on Earth. If we take E.O. Wilson’s hypothesis to be true, we need to protect half the land on Earth. It is what is needed for our planet to win its fight for life. And that fight is against us, the human race. So, protect the local city park, the hockey rink, the mountain bike trail, the watershed, the landscape -- before long, we have protected half the Earth. This is not just what we should do, but what we must do.

Why I support The Trust for Public Land: I support the Trust for Public Land because it works to engage people from urban and rural environments to protect important land. The Trust for Public Land works to protect and create small city parks and large landscape conservation projects. The Trust for Public Land and its staff knows that starting at the local level can eventually lead to massive change. The Trust for Public Land also realizes that future environmental leaders can come from anywhere, they just need the spark of inspiration. Connecting people to the environment has been at the heart of the Trust for Public Land’s work and that is what I believe to be some of the most important work that we can do.