Ron Lance - Preserving the Natural Integrity of the Land


“Keeping affiliated with trees and natural history has provided a gratifying life for me, all initiated by my time spent at HCC,” Ron Lance, Senior Naturalist says.

Ron Lance, a 1975 Haywood Community College Fish and Wildlife graduate and 1984 Lumber Specialist graduate, is a Senior Naturalist at Balsam Mountain Preserve and a part-time naturalist at Chimney Rock Park. He has authored or co-authored 11 books, two of which are used by HCC Natural Resources students. He was awarded HCC’s Outstanding Alumni Award for 2007.

Balsam Mountain Preserve is a private 4,400 acre community with 3,000 acres of conservation land. As Senior Naturalist, Lance manages the land, completes botanical and wildlife inventories, helps administer a community outreach program, and updates the approved plant list.

“I work to give the land a more natural look and to ensure a higher diversity of life,” Lance explains. “I try to keep the natural integrity of the land.”

Previously, Lance worked as a naturalist at Chimney Rock Park, and he was instrumental in building a unique collection of trees and shrubs at the North Carolina Arboretum. In affiliation with professionals in 14 states and Canada, Lance also works with field, cultivation, and genetic research of hawthorns.