Jeff Darlington, Placer Land Trust — Acting Co-President
Hired in May 2002, Jeff is the first Executive Director of Placer Land Trust and has dramatically increased the pace of land conservation for the Trust. Jeff grew up in Auburn and is the 4th generation of his family to reside in Placer County. His great-grandparents settled in Penryn in the 1920s, and his family has resided in Auburn since then. He lives in Auburn with his wife Christa and their sons Connell, Paul and Spencer. Jeff is a graduate of Placer High School and has a BA in History with a Minor in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley. He came to Placer Land Trust from the Mono Lake Committee, a highly successful nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of the Mono Lake Basin in the Eastern Sierras. Prior to that he worked for Electronic Data Systems in Rancho Cordova, First Health Services in Alaska, the California Department of Conservation, and two Northern California outdoor news publications (Western Outdoor News and Fishing & Hunting News) based in Sacramento. He is also a freelance writer and has been published in several regional and national publications.
Kay Ogden, Eastern Sierra Land Trust — Acting Co-President
Kay was appointed to the position of Eastern Sierra Land Trust Executive Director in May 2013 after working as Associate Director for the Sierra Nevada Alliance. She brings great passion for the Eastern Sierra landscape and experience in project management, strategic planning, fundraising, building connections, and leading effective programs. Kay also has extensive creative experience: she spent 18 years operating her own design and marketing firm, and two years as a board member of the Mono County Arts Council. Kay is a participant in the Land Trust Alliance’s two-year Leadership program, and is a board member of the California Council of Land Trusts. She also enjoys gardening, canning fresh food grown in her garden, and hiking and cycling with her husband, Jeff Boone, and their rescued German Shepherd, Rush Creek.
Bridget Fithian, Sierra Foothill Conservancy — Vice President
In January 2014 Bridget became the Executive Director for Sierra Foothill Conservancy. Bridget joined the SFC staff in 2008 to manage programs in her hometown, Mariposa. In 2011, Bridget became SFC’s Conservation Director, working on land acquisition & mitigation projects, and building relationships with conservation partners & funders. Bridget received her bachelor’s degree in Literature from UC Santa Cruz. Bridget enjoys gardening, photography and hiking.
Bill Thauvette, At-Large – Secretary-Treasurer
William Thauvette is an at-large board member having been elected in 2009. After receiving his bachelor’s in business administration from Bowling Green State University and MBA in finance from Wayne State University, Bill has served on the board of the Truckee Donner Land Trust as board secretary, treasurer, president, and chairman of the finance committee. Bill’s two passions were discovered relatively late in life – cross country skiing and the land conservation movement.
Markley Bavinger, Trust for Public Land
Markley Bavinger is the Sierra Program Manager for The Trust for Public Land working in Northern California to identify, acquire and convey lands for protective ownership. Since joining TPL in 2010, Markley has worked to protect priority landscapes along California’s coast and in the Sierra and manages our Sierra and Northern Sierra Foothills Programs. Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Markley worked in the private and public sectors completing land acquisition projects and providing design and project management expertise to stormwater improvement, habitat restoration, and river restoration projects.
Michael Delbar, California Rangeland Trust
As the California Rangeland Trust’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Delbar oversees day-to-day operations and provide landowner outreach and legislative support to the organization. Most recently, Delbar was elected and served three consecutive terms as the First District Supervisor for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and was Second Vice President of the California State Association (CSAC). Delbar served on the state and national agriculture policy advisory boards for California State Association of Counties and the National Association of Counties. He is a former Lake County Farm Bureau executive director and part of a six generation Mendocino County ranching family, raising beef cattle, timber and hay where they recently celebrated 150 years of family ownership of the original homesteaded land. Additionally, Michael currently serves on the board of directors for the Potter Valley Rodeo Association, was a former director of Mendocino County Farm Bureau and was state chair of California Young Farmers and Ranchers. Michael is a member of the California Ag Leadership Program, Class XXIV.
Shelton Douthit, Feather River Land Trust
Shelton, co-founder of Shelton Douthit Consulting (with wife Zoe Ann Ahnstrom), has been working in the land conservation field for more than thirty years. Shelton has played many roles in the land trust movement. From field coordinator with the Sempervirens Fund, to Executive Director of the Riverside Land Conservancy and Project Coordinator of The Wildlands Conservancy, he has helped protect and restore over 800,000 acres of wilderness, parkland, rangeland and forest throughout California. His specialty has been land acquisition and due diligence and he has assisted nonprofit land trusts and public agencies nation-wide to complete a wide variety of land conservation transactions, from ¼ acre lots within the Carrizo Plain National Monument to the 430,000 acre Catellus acquisition (former railroad land grant lands) in California’s Mojave Desert. Shelton is honored to join the Feather River Land Trust team and carry on the land saving mission Paul Hardy and a dedicated band of volunteers initiated.
Jake Jacobson, The Nature Conservancy
Jake Jacobson, Lassen Foothills Project Director, joined The Nature Conservancy in 2000 and took up his present duties in 2004. His primary responsibility is safeguarding important watersheds in northern California by working with landowners, other conservation organizations, government agencies, and representatives of business and agriculture. The Nature Conservancy’s Lassen Foothills Project has protected more than 100,000 acres of wildlife habitat and working ranches in eastern Tehama County and southeastern Shasta County. Mr. Jacobson has an extensive background in “on-the-ground” conservation, real estate, and land-use planning. Prior to his employment with the Conservancy, he worked with local land trusts and as a park and recreation planner. Jake is a fourth-generation Californian who holds a B.A. in geography and environmental studies from the University of Washington.
Brian Kermeen, Tuolumne County Land Trust
Brian Kermeen is President of the Tuolumne County Land Trust. He worked for the USDA Forest Service in recreation management, and is a licensed Landscape Architect. Brian has lived in the Central Sierra Nevada since 1976. He has served as a director for the Tuolumne County Visitor Bureau, the Tuolumne County Trails Council, and is active in many other community activities.
Paul Kirk, Northern California Regional Land Trust
Paul Kirk is Interim Executive Director, and has been part of senior staff at Northern California Regional Land Trust for three years, playing an integral role in conserving over 9,000 acres of our region’s irreplaceable prime agricultural lands, rangelands, open spaces, and wildlife habitat. Paul has worked for over 14 years as a natural resources professional in Northern California and looks forward to continuing the essential work of The Land Trust in concert with our conservation partners. Paul studied Agriculture and Biological Sciences at CSU, Chico, and subsequently taught in public schools for 12 years. After completing a masters in Botany in 2003, he worked as a restoration biologist and environmental consultant conducting a wide range of natural resource field studies and assessments required for regulatory compliance. Paul seeks to promote and coordinate outreach and field trips that foster appreciation and understanding for the working and wild lands in the region.
Alyssa (Lisa) Lindman, Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust
Alyssa Lindman serves as our Executive Director of Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust, and is a previous Board Director and Back-up Guide for its sister organization, Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes. Alyssa is also currently serving on the Yuba County Planning Commission for District 1. Alyssa graduated UC Davis with a B.S. in Landscape Architecture and minor in Landscape Restoration. Since graduating she has worked in the field of landscape architecture designing everything from public and residential landscapes to creek restoration and mitigation projects. Alyssa has also worked as on-site supervisor for several mitigation and restoration projects, which included project construction oversight, invertebrate and hydromonitoring, as well as land surveys. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, art, and family.
Paul Mason, Pacific Forest Trust
Paul Mason is Vice President / Policy & Incentives, for Pacific Forest Trust. PFT, working in California, Oregon and Washington sustains America’s forests for all their public benefits of wood, water, wildlife, and people’s well-being in cooperation with landowners and communities.
Sopac Mulholland, Sequoia Riverlands Trust
Soapy Mulholland joined Sequoia Riverlands Trust as Executive Director in March 2002. She brings to SRT a unique history with experience in ranch management, land development, and agriculture that guides her conservation vision.
From 1989-2014, she served as general manager of River Valley Ranch in Springville, California which her family has owned for more than 55 years. She owned and operated the McCarthy Creek Ranch in Porterville for 15 years. Currently she owns and manages McCarthy Creek Ranch in Springville, CA as well as her family’s ranch there. Through her sole proprietorship, Sopac and Associates, she actively engaged in the field of real estate entitlements and government and agency land use.
Soapy currently serves as Vice Chair of the PG&E Pacific Forest, Watershed Lands Stewardship Council; Vice Chair of the Leavens Family Ranches LLC Board of Directors; the Executive Committee of Tejon Ranch Conservancy Board of Directors; the Statewide Blueprint Committee; the California Ag Visioning Committee; the Aldo Leopold Award selection committee; the SGMA Advisory Committee for the City of Visalia; and the Graham Osborn Ditch Water Company Board, on which she has served for 20 years. Soapy lives in Springville, California.
Perry Norris, Truckee Donner Land Trust
Perry Norris is the Executive Director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. He oversees a very active land conservation program as well as a popular trails project in the Donner area. He was the former Chief Operating Officer for the North Carolina Outward Bound School, and a former Deputy Director, Pacific Crest Outward Bound School. He is a past Board member of the Tahoe International Film Festival.
Laurie Oberholtzer, Sierra County Land Trust
Laurie Oberholtzer is the Executive Director of Sierra County Land Trust, whose primary goal is to preserve the Sierra Buttes/Lakes Basin of Sierra County, located in the Central Sierra 50 miles north of Lake Tahoe.
Ellie Routt, Mother Lode Land Trust
Ellie Routt is the Executive Director of Mother Lode Land Trust. Ellie was born and raised in Amador County where she was an active 4-H member. After high school she attended Santa Rosa Junior College with a major in Forestry/Natural Resources and Recreation. Ellie attended Humboldt State majoring in Rangeland Resource Science. After graduation she started working for MLLT. Ellie and her two boys enjoy hiking, camping, horseback riding and swimming, gardening and identifying plants.
Erin Tarr, Bear Yuba Land Trust
Erin is the Co-Executive Director of Bear Yuba Land Trust. Erin brings over eight years of land conservation experience to Bear Yuba Land Trust. After graduating from CSU Sacramento with a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology she began working with CA Department of Fish and Wildlife on the American, Cosumnes, Mokelumne, and Sacramento Rivers, conducting fish research and angler surveys. In 2010, she took a job with The Nature Conservancy at Cosumnes River Preserve as a Vegetation Monitoring Technician, collecting data on much of their 40,000 acres of protected land. This is where she realized the true value and importance of permanently protected open space for wildlife and healthy ecosystems as well as for the enhancement of sustainable agriculture and forestry practices. Just before joining Bear Yuba Land Trust, Erin worked with Placer Land Trust in Auburn as their Stewardship Assistant. She is currently working towards her Master’s of Natural Resources degree at Oregon State University. Erin is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys snowboarding, hiking, camping and spending time locally on the rivers with her three children and husband.
Paul Vienneau, Shasta Land Trust
Paul Vienneau started with Shasta Land Trust in December 2015. Born and raised in Shasta County, he returned over one year ago with his fiancée after being away for nearly 14 years. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Politics and obtained his law degree at the University of La Verne, College of Law. After graduating in 2013 with his Juris Doctor he pursued a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Rather than pursue a career as a practicing attorney he focused a great deal of his time during his master’s program on water conservation, technology/innovation and water ownership rights.
Marty Coleman-Hunt, Sierra Cascade Land Trust Council Coordinator
Marty Coleman-Hunt was formerly the Executive Director of Bear Yuba Land Trust. Marty holds a BA from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from San Francisco State University. She has spent a 30-year career as a business and marketing professional for non-profit organizations and in the business sector. In 2001 she moved to Nevada County for the sheer beauty of the northern Sierra foothill landscape and access to first class outdoor recreational activities. Right away Marty became a fundraising volunteer, then a Board member for Nevada County Land Trust (now Bear Yuba Land Trust). Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Executive Director since 2007, Marty remains passionate about protecting the environmental quality of this small, rural community. She is a commissioner on the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission, board president of the Sierra Cascade Land Trust Council, and an advisory board member for the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council. Marty is also a Land Ethics Leader with the Aldo Leopold Foundation.