Conservation professionals protecting places you love

Our Team

Shelton Douthit

Executive Director

"Watching the sunrise in Sierra Valley is one of my favorite things of all time. The dawn chorus is an added joy. Watching the sunset at Lake Almanor with Mount Lassen looming large is also at the top of my list. The Upper Feather River Watershed—including the people who care so much for this landscape—is one of my favorite places on earth."

Shelton Douthit

Executive Director

   sdouthit@frlt.org

As Executive Director, Shelton leads FRLT as it fulfills its 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 its key parts, including the staff. With his 20+ years of experience 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.

Before joining FRLT in 2015, Shelton worked as a consultant to the land trust community focusing on land protection and stewardship planning. He assisted land trusts across the west by managing transactions, providing due diligence, and performing program assessments. Shelton and his team assisted with the protection of 75,000 acres of land primarily in the California desert from 2000 to 2015. Prior to serving as a consultant, Shelton was a project coordinator and vice president of The Wildland Conservancy (where he assisted with the protection of over 500,000 acres of wildlands), and Executive Director of the Riverside Land Conservancy. Shelton started his 31-year career in the land trust community when he was hired by the Sempervirens Fund as their Project Coordinator/Volunteer Coordinator.

Susan Payne

Operations Director

"The Feather River region is a very special place for me—its landscape, its people, its wildlife, and its amazing energy. I feel lucky to have landed here and to be part of a team and community of supporters working together to protect this unique and special place. What a great place to live and work and play."

Susan Payne

Operations Director

   spayne@frlt.org

Before moving to Plumas County, Susan, a business consultant and accountant, was a Director with the Loma Prieta Community Foundation and served as its Treasurer for over ten years. She has worked for the Feather River Land Trust for nearly eighteen years and is a founding member of Sierra Farmstead.

Susan has a degree in horticulture and enjoys working in her garden, loves sharing her knowledge of soil, gardening techniques, and plant propagation with others. She is a Master Gardener, serves on the Dawn Institute Board of Directors, the Lost Sierra Food Project Board of Directors, and volunteers with the Plumas Sierra Community Food Council and the newly organized Greenville Community Garden.

Gabe Miller

Associate Director

"I find the best way to get out and discover something amazing is to explore one of the many creeks, lakes and sections of the majestic Feather River. Try snorkeling down Grizzly Creek—it’s an incredible way to meet a California newt or come nose to nose with a rainbow trout as you're swimming along."

Gabe Miller

Associate Director

   gmiller@frlt.org

Gabe Miller oversees operations at FRLT, working behind the scenes to support the organization’s programs and staff in their quest to conserve the awesome landscapes of the Upper Feather River Watershed. Gabe joined FRLT in 2009 and led the Land Stewardship program for ten years before transitioning to Associate Director in 2020.

Gabe came to Plumas County in 1994 to attend Feather River College and later graduated from CSU, Humboldt with a degree in Natural Resource Planning & Interpretation. He has extensive experience in project management, targeted grazing, watershed restoration, and natural resources education, and has worked closely with the local agricultural community for over twenty years. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the trails of the Sierra by boat, foot, and mountain bike. Gabe’s wife and two children share his love of adventure, friends and family, and good food.

Corey Pargee

Development Director

"I’m continually amazed at the generosity and passion of our members. It is such a privilege to work alongside them to protect this beautiful place my family has called home for many generations."

Corey Pargee

Development Director

   cpargee@frlt.org

Corey leads the Development department at FRLT, working with our members, board, and partners to raise the money needed to sustain FRLT’s operations and programs. Securing funds from a variety of sources including individuals, foundations, and state and federal grants, Corey is focused on keeping us financially stable, while scaling our capacity to be successful now and in the future.

Born and raised at Lake Almanor, she couldn’t wait to get out and explore the world. From serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar to Director of Operations at a tech startup in New York City, she spent a decade building her expertise in social enterprise and nonprofit management and was thrilled to finally come home in 2019 to join the team at FRLT. Corey has a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University and a BA in Social Sciences from California State University, Chico.

Nils Lunder

Northern Regional Manager

"I love working on the land and getting to know each property better each year. I find it incredibly gratifying to collaborate with our staff and with our amazing network of partners to deliver on a variety of diverse, complicated, and ambitious projects throughout the Upper Feather River Watershed."

Nils Lunder

Northern Regional Manager

   nlunder@frlt.org

Nils Lunder oversees operations in the North Region (American, Indian and Genesee Valley, Lake Almanor Basin, Mountain Meadows Basin). His work includes the management of FRLT owned preserves (Heart K Ranch, Olsen Barn Meadow, and Mountain Meadows Gateway). Nils also helps manage the conservation easements in the North Region including private ranches, lands owned by Maidu Summit Consortium, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He works closely with numerous partner organizations on projects related to public access to open spaces, fund development, community engagement, and volunteer coordination.

Nils has a wide-ranging background including fisheries and wildlife biology, soil science, ecological restoration, construction, community outreach, and education. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Humboldt State University. Nils grew up in Westwood at the very headwaters of the North Fork Feather River and is deeply connected to the region. He lives with his family on a small ranch in Indian Valley.

Jeff Bue

Eastern Regional Manager

"Having grown up not far from here, I am thrilled to be back in this region with an opportunity to help contribute to the restoration, protection, and preservation of this beautiful mountain paradise. I love having the hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing opportunities of the Sierras at my fingertips once again."

Jeff Bue

Eastern Regional Manager

   jbue@frlt.org

Jeff manages the Sierra Valley Preserve based out of the Marshall Property in Sierra Valley. Jeff’s responsibilities include day-to-day maintenance and management of the Preserve, planning, development, and implementation of land stewardship projects, coordinating the development and updating of the Land Management Plan for the Preserve, facilitating community involvement of Preserve management, and strengthening and expanding relationships with partner agencies.

Before joining FRLT in January 2020, Jeff worked as a Projects Coordinator for a watershed restoration NGO in Eureka, CA focusing primarily on managing road-related sediment control and drainage design projects, but was also involved in constructing fish habitat structures, streambank stabilization and revegetation, urban and back-country trail construction, and noxious weed management. He has a B.S. in Environmental Planning from Humboldt State University and grew up in Floriston, CA, not far from Sierra Valley.

Vanessa Vasquez

People & Land Program Coordinator

"I love it here year-round but late spring/early summer is my absolute favorite time to be in Plumas County. With a quad map and phone in hand I explore back roads, hidden meadows, creeks, and trails for wildflowers and special sit-spots."

Vanessa Vasquez

People & Land Program Coordinator

   vvasquez@frlt.org

Vanessa Vasquez coordinates FRLT’s People and Land Program to restore and enhance human connections to the Sierra’s largest watershed. Vanessa implements nature-based education projects and collaborates with the FRLT Stewardship Department to improve our Preserves for public enjoyment. She is also an integral part of our communications team and regularly creates exciting content to share with our membership and community.

Before joining FRLT in 2013, Vanessa worked in environmental advocacy in Humboldt County where she deepened her knowledge of ecology, sustainable agriculture, policy, and planning. She has an MA in Environment and Community Studies from Humboldt State University. Vanessa grew up in Paradise with a family of outdoor enthusiasts and calls the Feather River her “home watershed.”

 

Aubrey Pickerell

Operations & Land Protection Associate

"Whether looking for tiny fawn lilies by the granite faces of Spanish Peak, rare pitcher plants in tucked away bogs in Butterfly Valley or the lichens that cover the volcanic rock formations at Frenchman Lake, the beauty and diversity of the Feather River Region is immense and inspiring."

Aubrey Pickerell

Operations & Land Protection Associate

   apickerell@frlt.org

Aubrey grew up in the Bay Area tripping through California poppy fields, watching the migration of the monarch butterflies, and exploring the state from the back seat on family road trips. A childhood ripe with exposure to the outdoors fostered a deep love for the natural world, and a drive to protect it—making accepting a position with Feather River Land Trust a truly ideal fit.

After graduating in 2013 from San Jose State University with a double major in Anthropology (BA) and Behavioral Science (BA), Aubrey quickly found work pursuing another of her passions, horticulture & floral design, in a role that also provided the opportunity to get involved in community outreach, teaching workshops and advocating for organic gardening and sustainable agriculture. A recent transplant to Plumas County, she is thrilled to be involved in an organization leading sustainability, accessibility, education, and conservation efforts in the Lost Sierra and Feather River Watershed.

Ellie Hinrichs

Membership Coordinator

"I am so grateful to live, work, and have grown up in this beautiful, remote region of the world. Joining the team at FRLT has been a dream come true."

Ellie Hinrichs

Membership Coordinator

   ehinrichs@frlt.org

Ellie works closely with the Fund Development and Communications teams on a variety of projects, including member relations, database management, website updates, creating marketing materials, and events.

Born and raised in Quincy, Ellie graduated from Feather River College and left the area until 2015. When she returned she began volunteering at FRLT on various projects before joining the team full-time in 2016.

Vincent Rogers

Conservation Easement Coordinator

"Fishing trips to the Little North Fork of the Middle Fork Feather River were the highlights of my childhood and welcome reprieves from hot summer days on my family’s small ranch in Live Oak, California. I was smitten with the Feather River Country early on."

Vincent Rogers

Conservation Easement Coordinator

   vrogers@frlt.org

Vincent Rogers coordinates FRLT’s Conservation Easement monitoring program, working with landowners to ensure the values outlined in our voluntary conservation agreements are protected in perpetuity. He conducts annual monitoring visits with landowners and provides technical assistance on land management and restoration projects. As a geographer, Vincent uses his GIS and mapping skills to support other FRLT program areas including land protection, fund development, and strategic planning.

After earning a degree in Physical Geography and Conservation and Resource Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Vincent worked as a Land Steward with the Sutter Buttes Regional Land Trust, then served in the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Program, monitoring endangered Coho salmon in western Marin County. Vincent first came to work and live in the Feather River region as part of the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment’s Sierra Fellows program, working with Feather River Trout Unlimited to develop a basin-wide assessment and climate-adaptive restoration strategy to guide the chapter’s fisheries protection and restoration work in the Upper Feather River Basin.

Greg Willard

Land Steward

"I love riding my bikes on the numerous backroads from the valley floor to the mountain tops, swimming in the many creeks and lakes of the region, and relaxing in the flowery meadows watching birds with my lovely wife."

Greg Willard

Land Steward

   gwillard@frlt.org

Greg Willard can be found across the watershed, helping to manage FRLT’s preserves. From building in-stream “beaver bypasses” to seasonal solar-powered fences, trail work to historic building restoration, Greg is a talented team-player who cares for the land. He is also the point person for installing and monitoring wildlife cameras and enjoys walking the preserves to observe wildlife and native plants. He was a contractor for FRLT for two years before becoming a full-time employee in 2017.

Greg is a builder and craftsman with an interest in sustainable agriculture. Before joining FRLT he was self-employed and worked across Northern California restoring and remodeling houses. In 2015 he completed the Sierra Intensive Farmer Training Program and started a small farming project in Quincy with his wife Vanessa. He is a nature enthusiast and is passionate about biking and exploring the woods of the Lost Sierra.

Karen Kleven

Legacy Giving Coordinator

"Lakes nestled into granite cliffs in the Bucks Lake Wilderness are my favorite places in the whole world followed by kayaking the waterways of Sierra Valley in the spring. Fall colors in the Feather River region always take my breath away."

Karen Kleven

Legacy Giving Coordinator

   kkleven@frlt.org

Karen Kleven coordinates FRLT’s Legacy Giving Program which encourages people to include the land trust in their estate plan in order to leave a land legacy for themselves and to sustain FRLT’s mission into the future.

Karen retired as FRLT’s Development Director in 2019 after serving in that position for 10 years. Her relationship with FRLT donors, her passion for our land conservation mission, and her interest and knowledge in estate planning all play a role in helping to expand the Legacy Giving Program. She is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and the Northern California Planned Giving Council.

Katie Bagby

Donor Relations & Communications

"I love the daily joy of seeing what birds are visiting my neighborhood preserve, the Leonhardt Ranch Learning Landscape. But my favorite thing is a plunge into clear, cold mountain waters, whether it’s Spanish Creek or an alpine lake in the Lakes Basin."

Katie Bagby

Donor Relations & Communications

      kbagby@frlt.org

Katie works with donors to build a strong base of financial and community support to accomplish FRLT’s mission and conserve the magnificent Feather River Country. A former board member (2004-2007), she has co-led FRLT’s communications since 2009, telling the story of what our members are making possible, now and for future generations.

Katie has nearly 30 years of experience empowering diverse people and organizations to make their communities more just and sustainable. She holds a MA in Sociology from Washington State University with a focus on communities and the environment. Katie grew up in Wyoming at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains. When she moved to Plumas County in 2002, she fell in love with this land and its communities.

Kristi Jamason

Land Protection Manager

"I absolutely love where I live—the landscape, the people, the wildlife, watching the storms roll in. Having experienced many thunderstorms in Sierra Valley from inside my grandpa’s VW bug, and many visits since, I count myself most fortunate to have returned here to live, work and play."

Kristi Jamason

Land Protection Manager

   kjamason@frlt.org

Kristi manages all aspects of the Land Trust’s Land Protection Program, working with a team of talented colleagues to conserve the lands and waters of the Feather River region. Kristi has been working since 2017 with ranchers and other landowners who have expressed the desire to permanently protect their properties from subdivision and development, using conservation easements as a tool.

Kristi is an Upper Feather River Region Certified California Naturalist who lives and works in Sierra Valley. Prior to joining FRLT, Kristi managed the grants program and strategic initiatives for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada for 11 years, following a 14-year career in marketing in the Telecommunications industry.

Paul Hardy

FRLT Founder and Conservation Consultant

"My favorite places in the watershed are Clover Valley, Sierra Valley, Mohawk Valley, and the Lakes Basin, where family, friends, and I have enjoyed the beauty, streams, lakes, wildflowers, and wildlife for decades. These places helped raise me and will always be part of who I am."

Paul Hardy

FRLT Founder and Conservation Consultant

      pchardy11@gmail.com

Paul assists FRLT with conservation and land management planning, wildlife assessments, land transactions, property monitoring, and fundraising. Paul helped launch FRLT and served as Executive Director for 17 years. ​His 30 years in conservation include working as a wildlife biologist on the Plumas National Forest, ​co-creating the Sierra-Cascade Land Trust Council and Northern Sierra Partnership,​ and ​serving on the​ CA Council of Land Trusts and Plumas Audubon Society boards.

Paul was born beside the Middle Fork Feather River in Portola. He and his brother were lucky to have parents who took them fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife watching, and camping throughout the Feather River Watershed and the western U.S. With degrees in wildlife biology from the Universities of California and Arizona, Paul returned to the region to help start FRLT. He leads Hardy Conservation and the Center for Conservation Renewal; however, his primary job is raising his daughter and son in Quincy, CA with lots of support from friends and family.

Trina Cunningham

Tribal Conservation Specialist

"I love being outside either high in the mountains by myself or near a lake or river with friends and family. We live in an incredibly rich and abundant region of California."

Trina Cunningham

Tribal Conservation Specialist

      trinacunningham.maidu@gmail.com

Trina advises FRLT on the cultural values of land conservation and stewardship projects. She’s an essential partner to help broaden and strengthen tribal engagement with new and existing partners. Trina served on FRLT’s board from 2002-2008, is a founding member of the Maidu Summit Consortium (MSC), and serves on the board of the Plumas County Fire Safe Council. Trina has been an integral part of the Upper Feather River Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) strategic leadership team since 2008, which developed the first State-compliant IRWM plan. She has done tribal outreach and assessments throughout the Sierra as part of state-wide tribal planning.

She shares her Maidu cultural knowledge through public presentations for audiences from preschoolers to legislative bodies, consulting with agencies, writing natural resources curriculum, and educational gatherings. Trina is pursuing a BA in Geography and Planning from CSU, Chico.

Rob Wade

Learning Landscapes Coordinator

"I have 2.2 acres on Massey Creek to hold my daily life, a 21,000 acre wilderness to keep me wild, and a 2.2 million-acre watershed to explore with kids. Coming home to the Feather River was the most important decision of my life."

Rob Wade

Learning Landscapes Coordinator

      rwade@pcoe.k12.ca.us

Rob Wade was a founding board member of the Feather River Land Trust. Since 2004 he has been the creator and coordinator of Learning Landscapes, FRLT’s nationally recognized K-12 program that engages every public school student throughout the region. He has worked in local schools since 1995 focused on place-based learning, environmental literacy, teacher development, and land stewardship.

Rob’s 25 years of Upper Feather River Watershed work is based on a deep personal and professional commitment to the nature and culture of this place. He believes in the spirit of perpetuity and the essential need to support kids to forge a personal connection to this land and their own genius. He has a BS in Conservation and Resource Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (2000) and a Master Degree and California Teaching Credential from the University of San Francisco (2002).

Ken Roby

Board President

Aquatic Ecologist

Greenville, CA

"My favorite bicycle ride is a loop around Indian Valley. The route affords spectacular views of the valley and surrounding ridges and mountains. I’m proud that FRLT has partnered with local ranchers to maintain their lands as working landscapes and protect them from development."

Ken Roby

Board President

Aquatic Ecologist

Greenville, CA

Following a 30 year career as a fisheries biologist and hydrologist with the US Forest Service, Ken is a consultant in the areas of aquatic and watershed management. He earned his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. He serves on the board of the Feather River Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment.

Ken joined the FRLT board shortly after retiring from the Forest Service in 2008 and has served on the Land Protection, Stewardship, Finance, and Audit Committees. Ken enjoys bicycling, coaching baseball, grilling, and spending time with friends and family.

Bob Marshall

Board Secretary

General Manager PSREC

Portola, CA

"As a history buff, I love the extended history of the Sierra Valley Preserve, going back thousands of years. As an outdoorsman, I love being on the water—it’s another world out there, with nooks and crannies to explore—and getting cheerfully lost for the moment."

Bob Marshall

Board Secretary

General Manager PSREC

Portola, CA

Bob works for a highly respected community-owned utility, Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications, that is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the northern Sierra Nevada. Bob is a former Trustee for Feather River College, former volunteer firefighter, and has worked on both national and regional cooperative boards.   

Bob joined the FRLT Board in 2017 and presently serves on the Audit Committee. Bob graduated from the University of California with a degree in Conservation of Natural Resources. Although he worked professionally in the energy sector, he has always wanted to work in restoration ecology, and working with FRLT is a dream come true. Bob, his wife Betsy, and their grown children love exploring and hiking the Lost Sierra, and he makes a mean home-brew.

Alan Morrison

Board Treasurer

Retired Educator

Quincy, CA

"Having grown up in the suburbs east of Los Angeles, I witnessed the gradual degradation of oak woodlands that support a diversity of plant and animal life. Living in Plumas County has once again allowed me the freedom to explore our natural world and working with FRLT provides me the opportunity to help preserve it."

Alan Morrison

Board Treasurer

Retired Educator

Quincy, CA

Alan is a retired educator following a 29 year career with Plumas Unified School District. As an elementary school teacher, he was instrumental in crafting ‘The Watercourse,’ a series of nine field trips culminating in the five day ‘Plumas-to-Pacific’ field trip. He also worked for the US Forest Service for 13 years on the Lassen and Plumas NF; 11 as a wildland firefighter and 2 as a biologist and hydrologist. He has also served on the board of Plumas Arts and spent 10 years as the board president of Quincy Natural Foods.

Alan has been a contributing member of FRLT since 2001 and joined the board in 2019. He has served on the People and Land Committee and presently serves on the Finance and Stewardship Committees. Alan’s hobbies include organic gardening, river rafting and kayaking, wilderness travel, and managing his three acres of conifer forest.

Linda Cayot

Board Director

Wildlife Biologist

Quincy, CA

"I love living in a place surrounded by gorgeous mountains, meadows, rivers, and wildlife. Joining the FRLT to protect these wonders, especially the open meadows and wetlands, is a joy and a personal commitment to the future of our planet."

Linda Cayot

Board Director

Wildlife Biologist

Quincy, CA

Linda worked as a wildlife professional for over 40 years, primarily in the Galapagos Islands, where her main focus was giant tortoises. She also participated in strategic planning, national park management planning, and invasive species eradication. Linda served on the Board of Directors of Galapagos Conservancy. Prior to Galapagos, she studied grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park. She has a BS and MS in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Biology from Syracuse University.

Linda joined the FRLT board in 2020. Her primary interest is long-term conservation of biodiversity and water. Her ancestors settled in the La Porte area in the 1850s and she grew up exploring the region on family camping trips.

Tom Hayes

Board Director

Retired Healthcare CEO

Clio, CA

"The Feather River watershed is amazing! I especially enjoy the Sierra Valley area where I can hike, observe wildlife, and canoe and kayak in the canals. It is truly a special place and I am happy to be a part of the effort to help preserve this wonderful area."

Tom Hayes

Board Director

Retired Healthcare CEO

Clio, CA

Tom has over 40 years of executive experience in the healthcare field. He was the CEO of a multi-facility healthcare system for 26 years. Most recently he was the CEO for 9 years of Eastern Plumas Health Care in Portola, CA. Tom has served on the California Hospital Association Board of Directors, the California Hospital Association Rural Advisory Board, and most recently the California State Rural Healthcare Association. His education includes a BS in Business and an MBA from California State University, Sacramento.

Tom joined the FRLT board in 2018 and currently serves on the Finance and Fund Development Committees. His motivation for becoming involved with FRLT is to help preserve the incredible beauty of the Feather River Watershed.

William Knudsen

Board Director

Retired Natural Fruit Juice Company Founder

Chico, CA

"Maintaining the land, the water, and healthy natural systems rewards the spirit."

William Knudsen

Board Director

Retired Natural Fruit Juice Company Founder

Chico, CA

Bill founded a national fruit juice business and was an instrumental part of establishing the National Organic Standards Act. He joined the board of the Organic Trade Association where he spent two terms as board president and served 8 years as a member of the board of Citizens for Health, a national grassroots advocacy organization committed to protecting and expanding natural health choices. He also served as a member of the Chico Sustainability Group, promoting sustainable policies in the Chico area.

Bill joined the FRLT Board in 2019 after having served on the Fund Development committee. His introduction to FRLT was in supporting the Olsen Barn Meadow purchase. Bill is very interested in maintaining open spaces and protecting the watershed. He enjoys hiking and kayaking, although his most consistent sport is Pickleball.

Jessica Nelson

Board Director

General Manager Golden State Power Cooperative

Graeagle, CA

"The Feather River region's beauty is unmatchable, the ecosystem is healthy, and the recreational opportunities lift my spirits. Each season offers a new gift. Most of all, I love to hike and backpack along the watershed to find quiet places that have no trace of human impact."

Jessica Nelson

Board Director

General Manager Golden State Power Cooperative

Graeagle, CA

Jessica is a government relations professional with the trade association representing California’s rural cooperatives and an advocate for electric cooperatives and rural communities. Prior to her leadership at GSPC, Jessica was the Manager of Member Services at Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative. Jessica is the Board Chair for the California Center for Cooperative Development. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and for Plumas Rural Services.

Jessica joined the FRLT board in 2019. Having grown up in California State Parks as the child of a park ranger, she is passionate about land conservation and outdoor recreation. As a parent of young children and an active participant in local public schools, she is excited to support FRLT’s Learning Landscapes outdoor curriculum and inspire the next generation to connect with, enjoy, and conserve the Feather River region.

It is exciting to see the evolution of FRLT, from a visionary band of volunteers and staff into a disciplined conservation team with the skills and knowledge needed to implement high impact projects throughout the Feather River Watershed.

—Lucy Blake, President, Northern Sierra Partnership