Conference Speakers

Mark Andre, Arcata Town Forest, CA
Mark Andre is Deputy Director Environmental Services for the City of Arcata, CA. where he is responsible for forest management, open space protection, environmental planning, recycling and energy programs, creeks/wetlands/ stormwater management and fish and wildlife habitat improvement projects. A graduate of Humboldt State University, he has served as the City forester for Arcata’s Community Forest for the past 18 years and also provides forestry-consulting services for several non-industrial timber landowners in northern California.

Mark is a California Registered Professional Forester, Smartwood (FSC) Certified Resource Manager, founding member of the Forest Stewards Guild, board member on the Northcoast Regional Land Trust and Vice President of the Humboldt County Forestry Review Committee. Following graduate school and prior to working for the City of Arcata he worked as a hydrologist for the USFS. Mr. Andre can be reached by email at:

Brian Barkley, Eastern Ontario Model Forest
Brian Barkley is the General Manager of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest and is responsible for the operation and daily activities of the EOMF. The EOMF promotes sustainable forest practices and principles through education, demonstration, facilitation of cooperative programs, addressing science and information gaps, reporting on the state of the forest to communities in eastern Ontario, and by sharing knowledge and information beyond our boundaries. Brian has assisted the Canadian Model Forest Network with various outreach activities, the development of the national private woodlots initiative and the transfer of model forest concepts to the global community.

Brian graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Forestry degree from the University of Toronto, is a Registered Professional Forester and has over 25 years of experience working with woodlot owners, communities and the forests of southern Ontario. He is an active member of several community and forestry related organizations including the Canadian Institute of Forestry where he has served on the national board of directors.

Elizabeth Bell, Conservation Advisory Services, Seattle, WA
Elizabeth Bell, consultant and co-founder of a nonprofit capacity building program, has over 20 years of experience working with land trusts, national conservation organizations, and the federal government in land conservation. For the past 8 years her work focused on strengthening the organizational and programmatic excellence of land trusts in the Pacific Northwest. Most recently, she has assisted land trusts in the intermountain West with development of sustainable, focused land conservation programs. Through training, new tools, and a regrant program, Northwest land trusts strengthened organizational essentials and developed innovative land conservation and stewardship programs.

Her work experience includes employment as Northwest Director, Land Trust Alliance; Director of Land Protection for The Nature Conservancy's Massachusetts Chapter; and as Executive Director of the Essex County Greenbelt Association (MA). She lives with her family in Seattle, WA.

Keith Bisson, Quebec Labrador Foundation
Keith Bisson is a Fellow with the Quebec-Labrador Foundation. In this capacity he has worked with QLF on their community forests program. In the summer of 2003 he conducted research on valuing forests as community assets in the Mount Washington Valley. The research focused on the economic, environmental, and social contributions of public and private forests and their potential role as a component of a regional economic development strategy. He is a graduate of McGill University and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, where he studied forestry and natural resource economics and policy.

Keith has six years of experience in the field of community development finance. He worked for several years at Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a Community Development Corporation and Community Development Financial Institution based in his home state of Maine. Keith has also consulted on a variety of forestry and natural resource projects in Maine and New England, focused primarily on analyzing alternative revenue streams for forest landowners as well as on mechanisms for establishing community ownership of natural resources as part of an economic development strategy for forest-based communities.

Dale Black, Supervisor, Brooks Township, Newaygo County, Michigan
In November, 2004, Mr Black was re-elected to serve a third four-year term as Brooks Township Supervisor. He has been a property owner on Hess Lake for 30 years and a full time resident for the past 12 years. He holds a B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Viet Nam as a Navy Pilot. Mr Black spent over 25 years in the private business sector with experience in marketing, general management and financial services. He is past President of the Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the community foundation as well as county and regional economic development boards.

In 2000, Brooks Township, through partnership with the Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and support from Michigan Department of Natural Resources was able to acquire a 400 acre parcel. The property, which has been named Coolbough Natural Areas, contains white pine-white oak forest and remnants of dry sand prairie, both globally rare plant communities. The property also provides wildlife habitat for federally endangered, state threatened and state special concern species. Through contract, TNC manages the property with oversight by a governing commission.

Ernest Cook, Senior Vice President and Director, National Programs, The Trust for Public Land, Boston, Massachusetts
Ernest Cook oversees the development of national programs for the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization. The programs under his management include: Parks for People, which creates new parks in cities and urban areas; Conservation Finance, which advises state and local governments how to create new sources of funding for parks and land conservation; Tribal Lands, which restores lands of cultural and environmental value to Indian tribes; Land and Water, which demonstrates the value of land conservation in protecting water quality; and the Center for Land and People, which leads the conservation community in understanding the importance of parks and open space to human development and culture. Ernest also serves as president of The Conservation Campaign, a national lobbying and political action organization that serves the land conservation and historic preservation community as an advocate for new government funding for parks and open space protection. The Conservation Campaign is particularly active in ballot measure campaigns.

Ernest is co-author of the forthcoming Conservation Finance Handbook and has contributed to an extensive array of research reports published by TPL, including The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space. He holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a Master's in planning and public finance from New York University. Prior to his role at a national level for the Trust for Public Land, he served as regional director of its Midwest and New England regions.

Paul DeClay, Jr., Forest Manager, Forestry Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, Whiteriver, Arizona
Born and raised on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, Paul is a full-blood White Mountain Apache. He attended and graduated from his local high school, Alchesay High, and is a fluent. speaker of his the White Mountain Apache language.

Paul started his forestry career as a wildland fire fighter in 1964. He earned a B.S. in Forestry from Northern Arizona University in 1973. He worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in forestry from 1974 to 1991. His assignments included working at the Quinault Reservation in Washington; the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon; the Jicarilla, Jemez, Iseleta, Acoma, Laguna and Zuni Reservations in New Mexico; and the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona.

Paul has been employed with the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Forestry Department, since 1994.

Brian Donahue, Brandeis University and Land’s Sake
Brian Donahue is Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies on the Jack Meyerhoff Foundation at Brandeis University, and Environmental Historian at the Harvard Forest. He teaches courses on environmental issues, environmental history, and sustainable farming and forestry. He holds a BA, MA, and PhD from the Brandeis program in the History of American Civilization.

He co-founded and for 12 years directed Land’s Sake, a non-profit community farm in Weston, Massachusetts. For three years he was Director of Education at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. He is the author of Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town (Yale University Press, 1999), and The Great Meadow: Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord (Yale University Press, 2004). His primary research interests include the history and the prospects of human engagement with the land. He aspires to be a yeoman and a scholar.

Paul Doscher, Senior Director for Land Conservation, Society for the Protection of NH Forests
Paul Doscher is Senior Director for Land Conservation at the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. The Forest Society is one of the nation’s oldest land trusts and forestry associations, having been founded in 1901. It owns 39,000 acres of land and holds conservation easements on more than 90,000 acres.

Paul has been with the Forest Society since 1986 and has been involved in hundreds of land conservation transactions. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Environmental Science degrees from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Prior to joining the Forest Society he was a professor of environmental science at New England College. He and his wife own a small farm and Tree Farm in central New Hampshire. He has served on the Planning Board, School Board and Conservation Commissions of the town of Weare, NH and various appointed state boards and committees. He presently serves as the National Leadership Council representative from New Hampshire for Trout Unlimited.

Benson Eisenberg, Randolph Community Forest
Benson is a 72 year old retired physician who moved from the New York City metropolitan area to Randolph, NH with his wife and 4 children in 1975. He is an active outdoor enthusiast and the move allowed him to pursue those interests and to bring service to a medically underserved rural county in northern New Hampshire. The area is in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest and the Great Northern Forest where there are vast tracts of undeveloped land and industrial forests.

Benson has been active in community affairs. In the past he served on a school cooperative study committee and on the board of the Randolph Mountain Club. Benson currently serves on the Randolph Conservation Commission and is one of five commissioners of the 10,000 acre Randolph Community Forest.

David Epperly, Land Commissioner, St. Louis County, Minnesota
David Epperly has worked for the St. Louis County, Land Department in Minnesota for seven years, six years as County Land Commissioner. The County encompasses 7,000 square miles of area in Northeastern Minnesota and is home to the largest County managed forest in the United States, approximately 900,000 acres in size. St. Louis County is the largest County east of the Mississippi River. The St. Louis County Land Department has five offices throughout the County and supports a total of 60 Full time employees.

Mr. Epperly's previous employment included work as County Forest Administrator for Douglas County, Wisconsin (8 years), Mosinee Paper Corporation in Wisconsin, as the Company's Private Land and Contract Forester, as well as serving as Assistant District Forest Manager for the Company's 85,000 acre forest ( 6 years), The Wisconsin DNR as an inventory forester during the fourth statewide forest inventory and a private forestry consulting firm. Mr. Epperly also owned and operated his own Forest Landscape business...Naturescapes, where he employed the use of innovative silvicultural and landscape techniques to enhance private forest land holdings.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management and Surveying from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI (1979) and also holds certificates in Supervisory Management from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (1997). He is an avid outdoorsman, a private pilot, and enjoys many hobbies such as flying remote control model airplanes, camping, hunting and fishing with his family and friends.

Ramona Faust, Harrop-Procter Community Forest, Procter, British Columbia, Canada
Ramona Faust has been founding director, project coordinator and then General Manager of the Harrop-Procter Watershed Protection Society and the Harrop-Procter Community Co-operative in Procter British Columbia, since 1997. The two organizations provide the stewardship and governance for the Harrop-Procter Community Forest; a 22,000-acre tract of crown forest being managed according to eco-system based planning by the communities of Harrop and Procter.

Born on the Canadian prairies Ramona moved to British Columbia as a young adult and trained in horticulture and social sciences. With a history of management in the hospitality business, employment with the Ministry of Forests and the Kootenay Lake School District, she has been a community and environmental activist for over eighteen years. She has worked or been on the board of directors for several environmental and economic development organizations, and has organized activities as diverse as artisan’s craft fairs and modern dance classes. She has applied her skills in organization, mediation, research, media relations, and government liaison in order to affect changes in forest policy. Ramona was the media spokesperson for the campaign to protect the West Arm Wilderness, now a Class A Provincial Park, near Nelson B.C. She is married with two grown children and a lovely Labrador retriever, and has lived in Harrop-Procter for 23 years.

Darrell Frank, North Cowichan Municipal Forest
Darrell graduated from BCIT in 1975 in Forest Resource Management and went on to get his Bachelor degree in Forestry from UBC in 1980. After graduation, he worked with BC Forest Products at Renfrew Division as a Forestry Assistant. From 1982 to 1985 he worked as a contractor for various companies, including North Cowichan, on the Federal and Provincial Government Forestry Job Creations program. Darrell took on a new challenge in 1985 and went to work for a hardwood sawmill in Vancouver. Finally, in 1987 he moved back to Vancouver Island and Duncan as the Municipal Forester for North Cowichan. He has been with North Cowichan for the last 18 years. Darrell has been involved in numerous local organizations including the Canadian Institute of Forestry; co-chaired the 1988 Forestry Capital of BC, Duncan, North Cowichan; co-chaired the 1994 Annual General Meeting of the Professional Foresters, held in Duncan; BC Winter Games; Cowichan Valley Old Hustlers Hockey Organization; and Cowichan Search and Rescue.

Linda Gibbs, Tug Hill Commission and Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust
Linda Gibbs has served as a Natural Resources Specialist with the NYS Tug Hill Commission since February 1995. She also served as Executive Director of a regional non-profit land trust, called Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, from 1996 through 2001. Mrs. Gibbs primary projects with the Tug Hill Commission have involved facilitating partnerships to achieve open space conservation goals, such as in the East Branch of Fish Creek watershed. She also works to inform and provide technical assistance to local officials, organizations, and citizens concerning general forest management, water quality, recreation, energy, and agricultural issues.

In 1986, Ms. Gibbs obtained her bachelor of science degree as a dual major in forestry and wildlife management from S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. She received her master of science in Environmental Education and Communication from Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene, NH, in 1991. She enjoys spending time outdoors, especially gardening, birdwatching and cross-country skiing, with her husband and two young sons. They live in Watertown, New York.

Michael Goergen, Executive Vice-President, Society of American Foresters
Michael Goergen was appointed Executive Vice President of the 17,000 member Society of American Foresters on May 22, 2003. As the Chief Executive Officer, he leads the SAF team publishing the Journal of Forestry and the Forestry Source, is involved in outreach to local units of the organization, university accreditation, forester certification, and the annual convention of the SAF and several other continuing education programs. Michael is also involved in the organization's forest policy work and represents the professional society before Congress, the Executive Branch, and state governments, articulating the profession's responses to USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management initiatives, and developing and coordinating position statements, briefing materials, Congressional testimony, and member involvement in policy development on a variety of natural resource issues. Michael has been instrumental in a number of legislative successes including authorizing stewardship contracting on the national forests, and the forestry title of the 2002 Farm Bill. Michael serves as a national spokesperson with the media, and he has authored or participated in a number of SAF papers including discussions of EPA's TMDL initiative, tax reforms for forestry, wildfire, and communities and forests. He has also published scholarly articles in the Journal of Forestry. Prior to joining the staff of the SAF in 1996, Michael was a research associate in the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a policy analyst with the USDA Forest Service in Washington, DC, and an intern in the White House Office on Environmental Policy. Michael graduated from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Management and a Master of Science degree in Forest Resource Policy and Management. Michael is Vice President of the Communities Committee, a diverse group of people from across the United States who believe local participation in stewardship of natural resources is critical to both forest ecosystem health and community well-being. Michael is the recipient of both the National Association of State Foresters Award for Outstanding Service in Forest Public Policy, and the Society of American Foresters' Young Forester Leadership Award.

William J. Ginn, Director, Forest Conservation Program Eastern Region U.S., The Nature Conservancy
William J. Ginn, (Pownal, ME) Bill is Director of the Forest Conservation Program of the Eastern Region of the US for The Nature Conservancy He is also the founder of several successful companies including Resource Conservation Service Inc. (two time INC 500 listed company) and Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company, the largest Workers Comp Insurance company in Northern New England. An alumnus of College of the Atlantic, Bill has taught courses in economics and the environmental impact of development at his alma mater. He holds an Honorary Doctorate degree from Unity College.

In 1978, Bill spearheaded the passage of the Returnable Container Referendum in Maine. He is a recipient of two Awards for Distinguished Achievement from Governors McKernan and Brennen for his work as Chair of the Pesticides Control Board, and for Business Excellence. He also received the EPA Award for Excellence for the development of Hawk Ridge Compost Facility. Bill serves on the boards of the Island Institute and Coastal Enterprises Inc.

Donald Johnson, Forest Land Improvement
Don is a New Hampshire native. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1975, and that same year started a private foresty consulting firm, Forest Land Improvement. The business has since diversified, now offering forest management services (with 30,000-40,000 acres currently under management), small scale custom logging services, and excavation contracting.

Don has managed five different town forests, including the Town of Conway's, which he has managed for 22 years. He has also been a supervisor of the Carroll County Conservation District for 15 years.

Stephen Keith, Executive Director of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust, Co-director of the Downeast Lakes Forestry Partnership
In addition to his responsibilities with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust and Downeast Lakes Forestry Partnership, Steve Keith is also a business owner. He has worked as a land use planner and cartographer, in industrial sales and alternative energy, and as a builder of traditional wood canvas canoes. An avid fisherman and bird hunter, he holds a B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art. In 2001 he was co-recipient of the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Environmental Award for his efforts to establish the Downeast Lakes Land Trust and initiate land protection activities in the region.

Rodger Krussman, Project Manager II in the Northern New England Field Office of the Trust for Public Land (TPL)
Rodger joined TPL in September 1996 in TPL's Chesapeake Field Office, where he was responsible for land conservation efforts in Delaware, Kentucky, West Virginia and western Virginia. In January of 2000, Rodger moved to Vermont has been primarily responsible for TPL's land conservation work in and around the White Mountain National Forest and creating community forests throughout New Hampshire. Prior to joining TPL, he worked for the US Forest Service in Central Idaho on land management and stewardship issues. Rodger holds a BA from University of Delaware and a Masters in Natural Resource Management from the University of New Hampshire.

Robert McCullough, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, University of Vermont
Bob McCullough is the author of The Landscape of Community. A History of Communal Forests in New England (University Press of New England, 1995) and a contributing author to Stepping Back to Look Forward. A History of the Massachusetts Forest, Charles H. W. Foster, editor (Harvard Forest, 1998). His most recent book is titled Crossings: A History of Vermont Bridges (Vermont Historical Society and the Vermont Agency of Transportation, 2005).

Among the classes that Bob teaches at the University of Vermont, History on the Land is a favorite. That course introduces methods for reading the historical document that is our cultural environment, whether built or natural. The goal, in part, is to explain why our landscapes appear as they do and, in part, to instill greater awareness of the infinitely varied resources that can contribute to a sense of place.

Greg Neudecker, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Greg Neudecker is the Assistant State Coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Montana. The Partners Program is the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Private lands habitat restoration and protection program where Neudecker has worked the last 17 years in Minnesota and Montana. In Montana, Greg took the lead in developing strategic conservation focus areas that has been used as a model for other Partners Programs across the country.

Mr. Neudecker also coordinates the Fish and Wildlife Service’s activities in the Blackfoot Watershed, one of eight focus areas for the Partners Program in MT. For the past nine years he has been the Vice Chairman of the Blackfoot Challenge, a landowner-based watershed nonprofit organization. Greg chairs two of nine committees for the Challenge including the Conservation Strategies Committee that has involved the acquisition and disposition of over 88,000 acres of Plum Creek Timber Company lands. This Community Forest project known as the Blackfoot Community Project has involved over 800 individuals from five communities along with numerous agencies and conservation groups.

Neil Paulson, Bayfield County Forest, WI
Neil Paulson is a Wisconsin native with a degree in Forest Management from Michigan Tech at Houghton, Michigan. Neil started his forestry career working summers at the American Can paper mill in Ashland, Wisconsin. His formal career began on the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon in 1958, where he fought fires, designed new roads, built and maintained recreation facilities, did stream improvement, planted and thinned trees, did grass seeding to stabilize road slopes, wildlife habitat projects, administered timber sales, and did prescribed burning on many acres.. At Mt. Hood he became the District Timber Staff then later the Recreation and Lands Staff. Neil also worked on the Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests.

In 1976, Neil transferred to Washington, DC as an Assistant Fire Staff, working on the national fire program and environmental work for the Environmental Office of the Department of Agriculture. From 1980 to 1989 Neil was the Forest Supervisor on the 2 million acre Coconino NF in Arizona. At that time he also chaired the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Fire Training Team, and did a number of special projects for the Region.

Neil retired from the Forest Service at the end of 1989, bought a sporting goods store in Drummond, WI and ran it for 8 years. He retired again in 1998. Neil is currently a director on the Wisconsin Counties Forests Association. Neil has a wife, Pat, who has been his constant companion, two children and a very spoiled Springer Spaniel.

Ray Powell, Executive Director, Valles Caldera
Ray Powell has had a distinguished career in public service. As New Mexico State Land Commissioner he was responsible for the effective management of 13 million acres of state trust land, (about 12 percent of the land in New Mexico). The State Land Office has a constitutional responsibility to optimize revenues for public schools, state universities, and other important beneficiaries while ensuring health, protection and enhancement of land for future generations. He led a staff of more than 150 located in Santa Fe and in 13 field offices throughout the state. Raised in Albuquerque, NM, Ray is currently the president of the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story, a non-profit organization that provides educational materials to teach students about Albuquerque. He is also president of La Semilla Institute, a non-profit that oversees the development of a 3,000-acre nature preserve east of the Mesa del Sol planned community.

Ray Powell also serves on the boards of Common Cause, the New Mexico Chapter of the Audubon Society and is a member of the Institute of Natural Resource Analysis and Management. He is a licensed veterinarian, and a graduate of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine (1985). He is currently the chairman of the NM Veterinary Licensing Board. His special interest is wildlife rehabilitation. He also is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, with a BS in Anthropology and Biology (1977) and MS in Systemic Botany and Plant Ecology (1980).

Shanna Ratner. Yellow Wood Associates, Inc.
Shanna Ratner is the Principal of Yellow Wood Associates, Inc., a consulting firm located in St. Albans, Vermont specializing in rural community economic development since 1985. From 2000 to 2004, Yellow Wood Associates hosted the National Community Forestry Center, Northern Forest Region serving Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York communities with assistance in forest-related community issues and participatory research. Shanna was the Principal Investigator for the National Community Forestry Center, Northern Forest Region. Under Shanna’s leadership, Yellow Wood Associates developed a trademarked community education program, See the Forest®, to develop community appreciation for forests as economic, environmental, and social assets and help communities derive tangible benefits from the forest resource surrounding them.

Shanna Ratner has over 20 years’ experience managing complex research initiatives and analyzing rural economic development opportunities. She has worked closely with federal, state, and local governments, citizen groups, and non-profit organizations in identifying and implementing solutions to a range of natural resource-based development challenges. Ms. Ratner holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Value Systems from New College in Sarasota, Florida. Shanna lives in Fairfield, Vermont with her teenage son, Sam.

Frank Reed, Senior Project Manager, New England Forestry Foundation
Frank Reed is Senior Project Manager for the New England Forestry Foundation for the Downeast Lakes Forestry Partnership. He received an M.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University in biology and ecology and has been a Professor at Kent State University, Rollins College, and Vermont Law School. He has worked closely with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust to help them develop their community forest model as part of the Downeast Lakes Forestry Partnership.

Frank has worked in the conservation area for more than 20 years. He has helped craft laws for groundwater protection and land conservation. Frank has helped form several non-profit organizations and, before joining New England Forestry Foundation in 1999, ran his own private consulting firm in Vermont. He coordinated the Pingree Forest Partnership for New England Forestry Foundation, a project that now protects 762,192 acres of forestland, the largest forestland easement in the country.

Philip Rigdon, Yakama Nation Department of Natural Resources Fuels Management Program
Philip Rigdon is the Fuels Manager for the Yakama Nation’s Department of Natural Resources Fuels Management Program. He is responsible for the National Fire Plan’s Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Wildland Urban Interface programs within the Yakama Reservation. As well as his work within the Fuels Program, Phil is also the Vice-Chairman of Yakama Forest Products Board of Directors.

Phil graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Forestry from the University of Washington and a Master of Forestry from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He has over 15 years of experience working for the Yakama Nation as a seasonal firefighter, timber sale officer, forest development forester, and administrative forester. He is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation and an active participant within several forestry and natural resources related organizations including the Intertribal Timber Council, Washington Ag and Forestry Education Foundation, Society of American Foresters, Western Governor’s Health Advisory Committee, and the Yakima County Local Wildfire Coordinating Group.

Mikki Sager, The Conservation Fund
Mikki Sager is the North Carolina Representative for The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land and water resources in balance with economic viability. In her work with the Fund’s Resourceful Communities Program, Mikki is currently helping rural North Carolina communities promote community forestry, eco- and heritage tourism, downtown revitalization, and adaptive re-use of lands and buildings to “create new economies” that protect, enhance and restore the natural resource base while promoting social and economic justice. The Resourceful Communities Program blends poverty alleviation, heritage preservation and community capacity-building with land and water protection, sustainable forestry, hazard mitigation, and watershed-based planning.

Eric R. Schallock , Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Eric has worked on the Flathead Indian Reservation since 1978. He started as a BIA Forester and converted to a Tribal Forester in 1995 when the Tribes compacted the program. During the past 27 years Eric has worn many hats for the BIA and Tribes. His experience includes timber sale preparation and administration, R-O-W Forester, Permits Forester, Rights Protection Specialist, Contracting Officers Representative for the Housing Improvement Program and Water Rights Program, NEPA Coordinator and Visual Forester.

At present Eric is involved with the reconnaissance and sale layout of the Crow/Post, Garceau Gulch and Jette Management Areas. He is also the visual forester for the Tribal Forestry Program. This involves creation of the computer simulations to depict NEPA related graphics for evenage harvest alternatives. In his spare time Eric evaluates and acquires r-o-w / access for the Tribal Forestry Program.

Russ Shay, Land Trust Alliance
Russell Shay is the Director of Public Policy for the Land Trust Alliance, the national association of conservation organizations working with private landowners to protect open space. Russ has been with LTA since 1998. In his 25+ years working on conservation issues, Russ has also represented The Nature Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and the Sierra Club, as well as working for the Congress.

Peter R. Stein, The Lyme Timber Company and LTC Conservation Advisory Services
Mr. Stein is a General Partner at The Lyme Timber Company in Hanover, New Hampshire and is responsible for the design and management of large scale timberland purchases and limited development projects in cooperation with regional and national land conservation organizations. In addition, he manages LTC Conservation Advisory Services, Lyme’s consulting business, which assists individual, corporate and family landowners to design and implement conservation land transactions.

Prior to joining the Company in 1990, Mr. Stein was Senior Vice-President of the Trust for Public Land where he directed their conservation real estate acquisition activities in the Northeast and Midwest. Current and past Board memberships include Appalachian Mountain Club, Island Press, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, Vermont Natural Resources Council and Board Chair of Land Trust Alliance from 1993 through 1995. He is currently an advisor to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Orton Family Foundation and a small group of individual philanthropists concerned with land conservation. Mr. Stein received a B.A., with highest honors, from the University of California at Santa Cruz, 1975 and a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies, Harvard University, 1981.

Tom Tuchmann, US Forest Capital, LP
Mr. Tuchmann is President of US Forest Capital, LP, a forestry and financial services company based in Portland, OR. US Forest Capital works with clients to identify and manage complex conservation transactions, create and improve governance structures and resolve natural resource, public policy and communication challenges.

Before joining US Forest Capital, Mr. Tuchmann served as Western Director and Special Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture where among other projects he successfully directed negotiations and implementation of the $480 million Headwaters Forest Agreement and a Presidential Forum and associated $50 million plan for Lake Tahoe. Prior to joining the Department of Agriculture, Mr. Tuchmann served as the Director of the U.S. Office of Forestry and Economic Development where he was charged with the development and implementation of Presidential policy for 24 million acres of Federal land and an associated $1.2 billion economic assistance program. Mr. Tuchmann is a forestry graduate of Northern Arizona University and earned a Masters degree in natural resource policy from the Pennsylvania State University.

Robert Turner, Starksboro, VT
Robert Turner is a private consulting forester in central Vermont. Professionally, he provides technical forestry services to a range of clients including state and federal governments, TIMOs, individual landowners, and other forestry and natural resource consultants. His services include timber supply modeling, forest inventory design and processing, management information systems (including GIS), and strategic management planning. The majority of these services support management on FSC-certified lands.

Vermont is a small, rural state where “community” is palpable at every level. It is woven into our heritage and our character. As a member of Starksboro’s (pop. 1200) conservation commission since its establishment in 1990, Robert has been very active in nurturing a vibrant sense of local community through a wide range of projects that connect people with their local environment, with local history, and with each other. His stories are both inspiring and wonderfully practical.

Arnie Valdez, Land Rights Council, La Sierra, Sangre de Cristo Land Grant
Arnie Valdez is currently the Project Director/Planner for Land Rights Council, La Sierra, Sangre de Cristo Land Grant. After earning his bachelor’s degree at Adams State College, Arnie attended the University of Colorado for three years, studying architecture, receiving his master’s degree in the field in 1991 at the University of New Mexico. Nearly 10 years later he completed a two-year fellowship at Harvard University, studying land use planning and historical preservation. In 1999, Arnie served as land use administrator for Costilla County, and for the last three years held the same position in neighboring Conejos County. During his stints on either side of the Río Grande, he oversaw the development of both counties’ comprehensive land use plans.

In addition to his career in local government, he is an associate with Architectural Harmonics, a design firm with offices in Boulder and San Luis. In recent years, he created the design for la Capilla de Todos Los Santos on the Stations of the Cross Shrine, the Head Start complex in San Luis, and, most recently, the Holy Trinity Antiochan Orthodox Church in Santa Fe. He is also an associate research professor at the University of New Mexico, where he teaches courses in cultural landscape planning and alternative construction methods.

Bettina von Hagen, Ecotrust Forests, LLC
Bettina von Hagen is a Vice President at Ecotrust for Forestry programs and for the Natural Capital Fund, a $20 million fund that invests in key businesses and initiatives in the conservation economy. She also serves as the Interim CEO of Ecotrust Forests LLC, a newly launched forest investment management organization that will own and manage forestland in the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of investors seeking triple bottom-line returns. Other forest programs include the 2100 Project, which explores and values different approaches to forestry in the region, and the Market Connection initiative, which helps supply FSC-certified wood to green building projects. Her recent publications include RebuiltGreen, which describes the green redevelopment of the Natural Capital Center, and The Rain Forests of Home, which describes the ecological, economic, and social conditions of the coastal temperate rain forest.

Bettina joined Ecotrust in 1993 to help launch Shorebank Pacific Corporation, a regional bank holding company committed to community, conservation, and economic development. Prior to joining Ecotrust, Bettina was a Vice President at First Interstate Bank of Oregon and managed the banking relationships of large and mid-sized companies in the region. Bettina holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of the Pacific. Bettina currently serves on the boards of the Climate Trust, Forest Trends, and Friends of Opal Creek.

David L. Willcox, Randolph Community Forest
David Willcox is a resident of Randolph, NH. He is a retired consultant who specialized in comparative law, administration and land policy issues related to urban and regional development. He was associated with various technical assistance organizations and lived and worked extensively in Asia and the Pacific.

Mr. Willcox currently serves the Town of Randolph as Town Moderator and as a member of the Randolph Planning Board, in which capacity he was involved with others in the effort to acquire the Randolph Community Forest and to design and establish a management system for it. Although not a member of the Randolph Forest Commission, he regularly attends its meetings and continues to participate in the operation of this new Town asset.

Alan Wood, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Alan Wood was born in California, raised in Utah and migrated to Montana some 20+ years ago to work on a Ph.D. at Montana State University in Bozeman. After earning his doctorate in wildlife management in 1987 and finding a home in Montana, but no job, Alan moved to Casper, Wyoming to work for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. He later jumped at the opportunity to return to Montana and become the first permanent wildlife biologist for the state forestry office of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation where he helped craft a management plan for 700,000 acres of state forestland.

For the last 10 years, Alan has worked for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks coordinating a program of activities designed to mitigate for wildlife impacts resulting from federal hydropower facilities in northwestern Montana. Alan works with an outstanding team of resource professionals that recently completed a $34.5 million purchase of a 142,000-acre conservation easement in northwestern Montana. Their team is now working with partners in the Swan Valley to help find conservation solutions for forestlands in that biologically rich landscape.