Latimore M. Smith
The Nature Conservancy (retired)
Covington, Louisiana

A gifted botanist and plant community ecologist, Latimore M. Smith spent more than 15 years with the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program (LNHP) in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, identifying and documenting the diversity and ecology of natural habitats across the state. While identifying hundreds of exceptional sites, he focused on studying habitat types that were uncommon and had been poorly understood by the scientific community including many wetlands habitats in Louisiana. He was the first to recognize and formally describe longleaf pine flatwood wetlands, as previously undocumented wetland community in the state, as well as one of the first to aritculate their ecological importance and need for conservation. His work with Kisatchie National Forest significantly influenced ecosystem management across the 600,000-acre forest, including a multitude of extraordinary wetland sites. For over 17 years as the former Director of Stewardship and Restoration Ecologist for the Nature Conservancy's Louisiana Field Office, he dedicated himself to conserving, restoring, and managing many of the state's premier natural areas, including the globally rare longleaf pine ecosystem. He led the development and implementation of comprehensive conservation plans that covered thousands of acres at multiple sites. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of the first pine flatwood wetland mitigation bank and led the effort to protect the first longleaf pine flatwood wetland savanna placed in conservation in the state.