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For Immediate Release: Sept. 20, 2011

Contact: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112,


~Smallwood brings three decades of land management experience to DEP~

People enjoy a swing along the beautiful Suwannee River.

Visitors enjoy a swing overlooking the river at Suwannee River State Park.

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Cabinet, acting as the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, today confirmed the appointment of Clay Smallwood as Director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of State Lands. DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. announced the appointment on Sept. 13, 2011. Florida law requires the DEP Secretary to appoint a Director of State Lands, who must be confirmed by the BOT. 
“Clay brings a tremendous amount of land management knowledge and conservation experience to DEP,” said Secretary Vinyard. “As the Director of the Division of State Lands, he will play an integral role protecting Florida’s valuable natural, cultural and recreational resources by overseeing the management of our public lands.”
Smallwood began his career as a forester in 1978 with the St. Joe Company, working his way to president of St. Joe Timberland in 2000. He retired from the St. Joe Company in 2010.  During his 30 years at the St. Joe Company, Smallwood managed more than 1.1 million acres of land and planted more than 18 million trees. He also worked with various conservation groups and state agencies to identify environmentally-sensitive lands for protection. 
“I have dedicated my career to the efficient conservation and management of Florida’s lands, and am excited to continue this work at DEP,” said Clay Smallwood. “I look forward to working with Secretary Vinyard, the DEP staff and engaging the public on the important issues related to Florida’s valuable land resources.”
The DEP Division of State Lands Director is responsible for the administration, planning, programming, budgeting and execution of the operations of the Bureaus of Appraisal, Public Land Administration, Land Acquisition, Survey and Mapping and the Office of Environmental Services.
About Clay Smallwood
Clay Smallwood comes to DEP with more than 30 years of experience in land management in Florida. His awareness and knowledge of land enhancement, forestry management, and conservation position him well as a leader and innovator, and will serve him well in his new role.
Smallwood graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Forest Management in 1978, and began his career with the St. Joe Company as an entry-level forester.  While working with St. Joe, Smallwood took night classes at Florida State University, receiving his M.S. in business management in 1990.  Smallwood was promoted to Vice President, and eventually President, of the St. Joe Timberland Company.  Smallwood strived to embrace St. Joe’s belief that a real estate company could also be one of Florida’s most important conservationists.
While with St. Joe, Smallwood worked with various conservation groups and state agencies such as the National Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, 1000 Friends of Florida, the Department of State, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Water Management Districts. During this time, he aided in identifying previously unknown environmentally sensitive lands for protection and building upon the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) database.