Shelby Cook

Project Manager – Tahoe Prosperity Center

Shelby Cook was born and raised in Reno, Nevada and moved back to the area after receiving a B.S. in Community Development from Portland State University. She is the Project Manager for the Tahoe Prosperity Center, focusing on community and economic indicators data, broadband expansion, and fundraising. She has a background in community-based research, nonprofit work, grant writing, and civic engagement and uses these passions to contribute to her work at the Tahoe Prosperity Center.

Jeff Cowen

Board Member – Clean Up The Lake

Jeff currently serves as Public Information Officer for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), where he has worked on the communications team from 2006 to 2014 and to which he returned in 2020. As a Tahoe sportfishing captain of eight years, Jeff marveled at the crystal‐clear waters and took in a daily panorama of Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking environs. When the chance to work with Colin West and the team at Clean up the Lake emerged, Jeff saw a natural confluence of his skills and knowledge with a mission that was close to his heart. He came onboard with CUTL as an assistant to the fundraising team and has since been transitioned to the non profit’s board of directors. Jeff understands complex policy, large‐ and small‐scale budgets, public and private finance, and collaborative frameworks; and has proven experience in project management, organizational leadership, conflict resolution, public speaking, and strategic communications.

Dr. Darla DeRuiter

Executive Director – Friends of Plumas Wilderness

Darla DeRuiter is an expeditionologist of high ranges, rugged coasts and free rivers. She is also the Executive Director of Friends of Plumas Wilderness. Upon reflection, Darla realizes that a nearly quarter-century teaching career, three score years with her perfect love, and a lifetime in the West convince her that she’s satisfied with the life she’s livin’. These days, her energies fit in a five-fingered glove: adventure, creativity, service, health, and human connection.

Shelton Douthit

Executive Director – Feather River Land Trust

Shelton serving as Executive Director, Leads FRLT as it fulfills it’s land saving mission. Shelton works with the Board of Directors, staff and partners to move projects forward while ensuring the health of the organization and it’s key parts, the staff. Due to his 25 plus years managing fee-title and conservation easement transactions, Shelton also leads the Land Protection Program, working with landowners to permanently protect conservation values critical to the region and the nation. Shelton also has 27 years of experience with fire management, working as both a paid and volunteer fire fighter and fire officer with the US Forest Service, National Park Service, CALFIRE and Riverside County.

Jose Esparza

Community Science Coordinator – California Native Plant Society

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco and raised in the Central Coast of California, Jose graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BA in Geography/Environmental Studies in 2019. Has had an interest in conservation work with a strong intersection in science, community outreach, and environmental justice. Jose is the current Community Science Coordinator at CNPS, leading the CA Fire Followers Project. As a way to connect with his environment, he loves to spend time outdoors, hiking, playing soccer and exploring creative outlets through drawing.

Katie Goodwin

Policy Analyst &  California Regional Director – Access Fund

Katie is part of the Access Fund’s national policy and advocacy program and serves as California Regional Director. Katie works with public land managers to address access issues and develop and implement management plans as it relates to climbing. She also supports the stewardship program and local climbing communities by providing assessment tools to protect and conserve the climbing environment.

Katie Hawkins

California Program Manager – Outdoor Alliance California

Katie Hawkins is the California Program Manager for Outdoor Alliance, where she spearheads the advocacy and policy efforts from the heart of the Sierra Nevada. With over 20 years of outdoor industry experience, Hawkins has led international sales teams and growth initiatives for key outdoor brands such as Marmot, Black Diamond Equipment, and Gregory Mountain Products.

In 2020, Katie was appointed by California Governor Newsom to the Outdoor Recreation Commission on Boating and Waterways, where she advocates to protect, promote, and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities in the state.

She lives in Truckee, California with her husband, adventurous son, and mischievous dog.

Dr. Logan Robertson Huecker

Executive Director, Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Dr. Logan Robertson Huecker joined SRT in 2020 and was appointed Executive Director in October, 2021. Logan has worked for more than two decades in the nonprofit and education sectors in California, Guatemala, and Honduras. Her work at SRT leverages her professional experience and expands upon her deep commitment to the natural and agricultural legacy of the Sierra foothills and Central Valley. She has experience leading non-profit organizations and publicly funded programs; managing staff teams, spearheading collaborative initiatives, and implementing federal, state and local policies.

Adam Livingston

Director of Planning and Policy, Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Adam Livingston is Director of Planning and Policy at SRT and Coordinator of the Southern Sierra Partnership. Widely recognized as a leading voice on land use and conservation in the Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley, Adam has built cross-sector coalitions to support compact growth in city- and county-level general plan updates, regional transportation plans and other contexts. He has authored or co-authored multiple reports on land use and transportation policy, including Sustainable Communities Strategies and Conservation: Results from the First Round and Policy Recommendations for Future Rounds. Adam also coordinated SRT’s successful applications for LTA accreditation and accreditation renewal.

Theresa L. Lorejo-Simsiman

California Stewardship Director – American Whitewater

Theresa brings over a decade of river advocacy experience to the position of California Stewardship Director. Since she first started whitewater kayaking in 1999 she has made it a point to get involved at the community level to advocate for river sheds and lands in in her back-yard. She cut her teeth in the world of hydropower by actively informing and encouraging advocacy from local paddling groups for the relicensing of the FERC Upper American River Project (UARP) owned and operated by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

Having gained practical knowledge working with utilities, federal, state & local agencies as well as local partner organizations, Theresa was eventually brought on to the American Whitewater staff as the California Stewardship Assistant in 2013. In this position she protected recreational flows on the Mokelumne River during the drought, advocated for State Wild and Scenic River status for the Mokelumne, helped remove an illegal fence blocking access to the Cosumnes River, and helped implement the first license required recreational flow releases on the South Fork American River below Slab Creek Dam and on South Silver Creek below Ice House
Reservoir.

Steve Messer

President – Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association & Board Member – California Mountain Biking Coalition

Steve has been riding bicycles in the mountains around Los Angeles for 35 years. After more than 20 years riding trails, he saw trail conditions gradually deteriorating through lack of maintenance, and diminishing agency budgets. He began doing volunteer work with CORBA’s trail crew in the early 2000s, and before long was leading crews himself. He worked on trail master plans and other planning efforts as a volunteer committee member with CORBA in the mid 2000s. He joined the CORBA board in 2009 and became board president in 2014. Steve has led trail reconstruction efforts in the wake of the Station Fire, Sand Fire and Woolsey Fire. He’s leveraged partnerships with other user groups, bike industry, nonprofits and land managers to build new trails, create a bike skills park, and continue ongoing trail maintenance efforts. He served on the CAMTB steering committee during its development, and now serves on the board of this new regional organization, as well as two other nonprofits and a Collaborative advisory group for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Malcolm North

Research Ecologist – Mammoth Lakes Ranger District

Malcolm…

David Page

Advocacy Director – Winter Wildlands Alliance

As Advocacy Director for Winter Wildlands Alliance, David has worked closely with environmental partners, grassroots winter recreation groups and forest service staff on numerous land management and winter travel plans in California and beyond, as well as on other issues that impact backcountry skiers and human powered winter adventurers. He also serves as Policy Director for Outdoor Alliance California (OACA), working with climbers, paddlers, skiers, mountain bikers and others to improve land protections, climate resilience, and equitable access to quality recreation on public lands in California.

David is also a national award-winning journalist and a finalist for a 2015 National Magazine Award. He has written for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Men’s Journal, Adventure Journal, The New York Times, Esquire, Outside, Powder, Ski and many other publications. He lives in Mammoth Lakes and spends as much time as he can on the Inyo National Forest.

Wayne Spencer, Ph.D.

Chief Scientist – Conservation Biology Institute

Wayne Spencer is a wildlife conservation biologist specializing in the practical application of science to biological conservation in western North America. Dr. Spencer guides various science-based efforts to conserve ecological connectivity, sustain resilient ecosystems, and recover endangered species. He currently leads teams working to recover the endangered Stephens’ kangaroo rat in southern California and the endangered Pacific fisher population in the southern Sierra Nevada. He also leads a multidisciplinary science team that is working to produce science-based decision-support tools for resilient forest habitat management in the Sierra Nevada.

Jorge Daniel Taillant

Director – The Center for Human Rights and Environment

Jorge Daniel Taillant is director of the Center for Human Rights and Environment, a global environmental justice organization working to accelerate fast climate mitigation action to slow, stop and reverse climate change as quickly as possible, helping keep the planet on track to avoid breaching the 1.5C warming threshold set by the Paris Agreement beyond which we will face catastrophic and potentially irreversible climate impacts. He also promotes more inclusive climate policy that works to tackle climate change while addressing historic and embedded environmental injustice. He has published numerous works on glacier protection including recently Meltdown: The Earth Without Glaciers.

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