Joe Watts, of Birmingham, Alabama, is the president of Birmingham Audubon. Watts spent his boyhood exploring the woods of rural Southwest Alabama. As he grew, so did his interest in conservation. Beginning in 1999, he helped write legislation creating Alabama’s scenic byways program, which helps protect scenic view sheds. He continues to work on many statewide tourism projects, including the Alabama Birding Trails project, for which he works closely with Birmingham Audubon, the Alabama Ornithological Society, the Alabama Department of Conservation, chambers of commerce, tourism professionals, and site managers to strengthen the connection between tourism, conservation, and economic development.
Prior to tourism he worked as an editor at Southern Progress Corporation, home to magazines such as Southern Living and Cooking Light, where he wrote about birding when he wasn’t developing recipes. Joe holds an M.A. from Auburn University and a B.A. from Birmingham-Southern College.