10 to Watch: Travis Morehead

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 2, 2017

Travis Morehead has several months of experience under his belt and an ambitious goal on his mind as he enters 2017 as the executive director of the LandTrust for Central North Carolina.

Morehead aims to raise enough money for the LandTrust so it can purchase 4,700 acres of property currently owned by Alcoa. The property is scattered across the length of the Yadkin River’s banks in tracts of different sizes. Once purchased, the organization hopes to conserve the land and prevent commercial development on the various tracts.

He joined the LandTrust as executive director in early 2016. Previously, he was the operations director for the Catawba Lands Conservancy. Before that, he was a land use planner. He is also a U.S. Army veteran.

For Morehead, the biggest goal and hope for 2017 are the same — preserving the Alcoa land. With a purchase price of more than $16 million, it will be an ambitious goal.

There’s another goal, too, for Morehead.

“We have different goals, and for project goals the Alcoa land is at the top of the list,” he said. “What I would like to see, as my ultimate goal, is to make conservation more mainstream. There are so many people in the counties we serve that don’t know they are actually contributing or can contribute to conservation.”

The challenge for the LandTrust in 2017 is different. Morehead said the organization needs to be better-known to the people it serves. He said the LandTrust is fairly well known in Rowan County and Salisbury, but lacks name recognition in other counties served by the organization. He specifically listed Anson, Richmond and Stanly counties. There are 10 total counties served by the Landtrust.

— Josh Bergeron

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post - Travis Morehead, the executive director of the Central NC Landtrust, poses for a picture.

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post – Travis Morehead, the executive director of the Central NC Landtrust, poses for a picture.

Name: Travis Morehead
Age: 43
Where do you live: Albemarle
Job: Executive Director of the Landtrust for Central NC
Where born: Albemarle
Favorite book: I’m not really a big reader, but the last book I read was “Same Kind of Different as Me” by Denver Moore, Lynn Vincent and Ron Hall
Who would play you in a movie: Andy Griffith
What would you want for your last meal: tuna filet or steak and baked potato
Biggest challenge for year ahead: At the LandTrust, our biggest challenge is to be better known to the constituents we serve and be better known for what we throughout the region. That’s probably our biggest challenge and a big goal. We have a great base in Salisbury and Rowan County, but we’re not known in Anson, Richmond and Stanly and that’s something we need to be better at.
Biggest hope for 2017: The biggest hope for us at the LandTrust, I think, would be for us to preserve the Alcoa land.
Who you’ll be watching in 2017: I’ll be watching, more than I have in the past, the state legislature and conservation funding.
Reaction to being named as one to watch: It’s a total surprise and I’m honored.