Q&A: Coalition seeks common ground on wildlife conservation

By Michael Doyle | 03/06/2024 01:34 PM EST

A former Fish and Wildlife Service regional director talks about his new effort to work out voluntary agreements to save wildlife, plants and their habitat.

Leo Miranda-Castro

Leo Miranda-Castro is the executive director of Conservation Without Conflict. Conservation Without Conflict

Leo Miranda-Castro got his fill of conflict when he was with the Fish and Wildlife Service. Now, he’s trying to get past all the drama.

The former head of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast region, Miranda-Castro is entering his second year as executive director of a low-key coalition called Conservation Without Conflict. The nonprofit group brings together environmentalists, federal agency officials and industry leaders, among others, in search of common ground on trying to save wildlife, plants and their habitat. Its members range from the timber firm RMS and the Electric Power Research Institute to the Environmental Defense Fund and National Wildlife Federation.

It’s a part-time paid position for Miranda-Castro, who also operates a farm in west-central Georgia, but conflict-free conservation is also a full-time aspiration for the Puerto Rico native. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico and earned a Master of Science in zoology from North Carolina State University before working 25-plus years for FWS.


The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity.