CC Environment & Planning: Company Info

CC Environment & Planning was formed in 2009 (originally named Conservation Connects, LLC) to provide environmental expertise for communities, corporations, developers, and conservation organizations. With more than twenty years experience in natural resource conservation, Sheila Hess founded CC Environment & Planning to provide innovative and integrated services that facilitate a balanced approach to land use, conservation, and economic and community development.

The success of CC Environment & Planning is based on a strong network among federal, state, and private entities including regulatory agencies, economic development organizations, municipal government, planners, watershed groups and nonprofit organizations. Recently, the company has added a strong environmental planning component to complement the ecological foundation of the company’s mission. With a focus on balance, integration, collaboration, and communication, CC Environment & Planning creates strategies that optimize land use, facilitate economic growth, and conserve our resources.

The mission of CC Environment & Planning is to balance natural resource conservation with economic vitality to stimulate sustainable development, preserve a healthy environment, and support a high quality of life. CC Environment & Planning provides environmental services and expertise on a wide range of projects throughout New York State, including ecological assessment, natural resource restoration, energy, solid waste management, and community and regional planning projects.


CC Environment & Planning is a certified Federal and State woman-owned business through WBENC and NYS MWBE.


Founder Sheila Hess

Sheila Hess

Principal Ecologist/CEO

Sheila is the founder of CC Environment & Planning, she has an established presence in the environmental field as an innovative planner and problem solver with an expertise in natural resource assessments, watershed and aquatic resource-related issues. Sheila worked with a non-profit conservation organization for twelve years, focusing on landscape-level planning and restoration of wetland systems in eighteen states across the Great Lakes and Atlantic Region. She has coordinated several watershed-based planning efforts and has worked extensively with conservation organizations, watershed groups, and regulatory staff to develop wetland avoidance, minimization, and compensation strategies for individuals, agencies, and corporations. Sheila’s present focus includes integrating ecology and conservation in land development designs and working with local and regional organizations to develop sustainable land use plans and programs.


  • New York Green – Executive Director
  • Society of Wetland Scientists
  • New York State Wetlands Forum
  • Friends of Iroquois NWR
  • WNY Land Conservancy
  • Association of State Wetland Managers
  • The National Mitigation Banking Association

E-mail Sheila

Paul Hess

Paul Hess

Biologist/GIS Analyst

Paul has over 25 years' experience in natural resource conservation and management. His expertise includes wildlife biology, ecological restoration design and construction, habitat management, and GIS. Paul has worked extensively with public and private landowners; state, federal, and non-profit conservation agencies and organizations; and regulatory programs. His expertise and strong relationships enable him to identify and implement site specific and landscape level land use and habitat management solutions that benefit our communities and conserve our natural resources.


  • The Wildlife Society
  • WNY Land Conservancy
  • Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
  • Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
  • World Wildlife Fund

E-mail Paul

Jennifer Cook

Jennifer Cook

Office Manager/Graphic Designer

Jennifer joined CC Environment & Planning in 2011. She has been an administrative assistant and graphic designer for more than 4 years with expertise in bookkeeping using QuickBooks and Excel, development of filing systems, word processing and formatting, and graphic design for web sites, logos, brochures, business cards and other marketing and educational materials.


  • International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)

E-mail Jennifer

Partners & Clients

CC Environment & Planning works with partners and clients across all sectors to integrate natural resources into land use planning and design. The success of CC Environment & Planning is based on a network that connects landowners, developers, engineers, conservation organizations, and the environmental regulatory community to effectively integrate interests, opportunities and needs. CC Environment & Planning develops landscape-level conservation strategies that are accepted and supported by local communities, local governments, and economic developers.

Public Sector

Governments and government agencies at all levels – federal, state, regional, and local – seek environmental expertise and stakeholder collaboration to achieve sustainable growth, a healthy environment, and a high quality of life. CC Environment & Planning develops landscape-level planning strategies (e.g., watershed plans, sustainability and green infrastructure plans) that protect and promote the growth of their communities. These results can only be achieved by forming strong local partnerships, and by utilizing science-based natural resource planning.

Private Sector

Large corporations, developers, energy companies, agribusiness, private landowners, and other private parties seek to integrate sustainability into their core business strategies while continuing to realize economic growth. CC Environment & Planning facilitates the development of innovative solutions to minimize impacts on natural resources and provide high quality compensation strategies when impacts are unavoidable.

Civic Sector

Conservation organizations, watershed groups, cooperatives, charities, and other nonprofit organizations seek to develop and expand community-based watershed and green infrastructure planning. CC Environment & Planning provides services that range from natural resource inventory to restoration design to collaboration and community-based planning.