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Mike Sweeney
Mike Sweeney is the executive director of The Nature Conservancy in California. He has worked in business, government, and nonprofits and has over 16 years of experience solving major environmental challenges in the U.S. and internationally. He joined The Nature Conservancy in 1998. Today, The Nature Conservancy protects nearly 400,000 acres of California’s most pristine and sensitive pieces of land, advocates for public policy to both protect land and preserve endangered species, and works with private and nonprofit organizations to find science-based solutions to some of California’s most complex environmental problems. Before coming to the Nature Conservancy, Mike served as an assistant to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, where he helped advance the first Clinton Administration's conservation priorities, including national park concessions reform, the transition of closing military bases to wildlife refuges, Everglades restoration and making the Endangered Species Act more effective. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Harvard College.

Entries by Mike Sweeney

The Truth About Where Your Pot Comes From

(38) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 6:24 PM

Marijuana. Pot. Weed. Reefer. Ganja. Dope. Cannabis. Mary Jane. Chronic.

We have a lot of names for it, but where does it come from?

Not to be a buzz kill, but if you light up a joint or unwrap that...

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Protecting What We're Afraid Of

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2013 | 8:42 PM


The government of Raja Ampat created the first shark sanctuary in Indonesia setting aside all of the regency's 4 million hectares of coastal waters for sharks © The Nature Conservancy

Fear and fascination have long characterized people's relationship with sharks, the...

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Pinnacles Rocks: One of California's Best Kept Secrets

(7) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 10:32 PM

2013-02-20-PinnaclesMikeDaughterFriend.jpg Mike Sweeney with his daughter and her friend at Pinnacles National Park (c) The Nature Conservancy.

One of California's best kept secrets is blown. This is a bummer for me, since Pinnacles National Monument has been my secret for years - the secret to...

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From Source to Tap: Mapping Our Drinking Water

(2) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 1:36 PM

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains just north of Lake Tahoe, lush forests surrounding Independence Lake help naturally filter the water keeping it crystal clear. Independence Lake is an important watershed for California's water supply and a source of drinking water for western Nevada. ©...
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Growing Healthy Food on Healthy Farms

(5) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 3:42 PM

Growing our food in the dirt in the open air, as we've been doing since the dawn of agriculture, comes with some risks. They're rare, but they're there. The spinach E. coli outbreak that happened quite a few years ago is one example. It made national news and sparked a...

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Who Moved My Climate?

(155) Comments | Posted December 30, 2011 | 1:20 PM

The Island Scrub-Jay (Photo provided by The Nature Conservancy)

Earlier this month global climate negotiations wrapped up for the 17th time in Durban, South Africa. An agreement to continue to talk and hopefully agree on a treaty binding to...

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Rebuilding Fisheries: There's an App for That

(1) Comments | Posted November 15, 2011 | 10:56 AM


Scottish seine fisherman Steve Fitz on his boat, the Mr. Morgan © Erika Nortemann/TNC

My daughter and I love to fish (on my iPhone). She's 2; I'm a bit older, but we're both excellent anglers (on my iPhone). Flick Fishing and...

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The Fin Trade Has Jumped the Shark

(4) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 1:11 PM

On September 20, 1977 the character Fonzie played by Henry Winkler made television history. He was one of the stars of Happy Days, and in the episode that aired that night he literally jumped over a confined shark while water-skiing -- all while wearing swimming trunks and his...

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Don't Be Prepared

(3) Comments | Posted August 4, 2011 | 12:02 PM

Of the current Congress, 204 members have participated as a member of or an adult volunteer in the Boy Scouts. I don't remember much from my own scouting days, apart from how to start a fire and pitch a tent, but the big takeaway is right in the...

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Don't Know What You Got ('Till It's Gone)

(1) Comments | Posted July 19, 2011 | 5:43 PM

I don't tend to go around quoting glam metal power ballads, but Cinderella's 1988 hit single had it right -- you often don't know what you got till it's gone. The video for the song was filmed at Mono Lake, where it so happens that Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve,...

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