Trustees of Reservations CEO and President John Judge is stepping down after eight months on the job, citing differences in vision with the organization’s board.

According to statements from a Trustees spokesman, Mr. Judge will leave his post effective Oct. 31.

“While this was a difficult decision, John Judge and the Trustees Board concluded together that there were differences in their respective visions and approach and that this was the right moment to go separate ways,” a Trustees spokesman said in a statement. “Judge has agreed to work with the Trustees to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.”

The organization’s board of directors have appointed vice chairman Nicie Panetta as interim president and CEO, according to the statement.

John Judge formerly headed the Appalachian Mountain Club. — Shun Liang

Mr. Judge, who previously served as president of the Appalachian Mountain Club, was hired for the top job at the country’s oldest — and state’s largest — land trust after a nationwide search in December of 2021. He succeeded interim president Jocelyn Forbush, who took over for CEO Barbara Erickson after she died in 2021.

Mr. Judge was the Trustees’ fifth president in its 125-year history.

The Trustees protects and maintains about 27,000 acres around Massachusetts and has a large presence on Martha’s Vineyard, with nine properties that include Menemsha Hills, the Brickyard, Norton Point Beach, Long Point Wildlife Refuge and Long Point Cottage, Mytoi, Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge, the Farm Institute and Wasque.

Mr. Judge’s departure comes at a delicate time for the Trustees on the Island, with the organization pulling a new draft management plan for its Chappaquiddick beaches earlier this year.

The draft management plan proposed sweeping changes to miles of sensitive Chappaquiddick beachfront in an effort to protect rare shorebirds and respond to rising sea levels. Among other things, it included restrictions on over-sand vehicles and dogs, and faced widespread public backlash before Mr. Judge made the decision to pull it in late July.

Since the summer, the organization has looked to solicit greater public comment as it considers management of Chappaquiddick, holding public meetings with the Edgartown Conservation Commission and forming a working group that includes a wide range of beach stakeholders. Conversations regarding the plan remain ongoing, Trustees spokesman Aaron Gouveia told the Gazette.

“This is not going to impact the beach management plan,” Mr. Gouveia said. “It’s a priority for us, and we’re committed to moving forward with the community stakeholder group.”

The shakeup at the top of the organization also comes as local management for The Trustees has seen considerable turnover. Darci Schofield took over for former Trustees Islands portfolio director Sam Hart in March of this year. Mr. Hart served in the role for approximately two years, after taking over for former director Eunice Yeomans.

Ms. Schofield referred comment to a Trustees spokesman.

In the statement, Trustees board president Peter Coffin noted Mr. Judge’s work on climate resilience and strengthening the organization’s focus on the urban outdoors.

“We are grateful to John for his contributions to The Trustees during a time of significant change,” Mr. Coffin said. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The organization’s chief of places and engagement, Christine Morin, has been promoted to chief operating officer, the statement said.