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Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau conservation advocates : Grand Canyon Trust

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Bill Hedden: Executive Director

Since joining us in February 1996, Bill Hedden has coordinated the Trust’s activities in southern Utah’s canyon country. He has worked on a diverse array of projects, including the Moab Uranium Millsite cleanup and Utah state land reform. He was instrumental in expanding Arches National Park in 1998, retiring grazing from ecologically critical areas like the Escalante River canyon, and creating a directory of conservation groups working on the Colorado Plateau. Appointed Executive Director of the Trust in April 2003, Bill is a longtime resident of Moab. He is also a former County Council member in Grand County, a member of the Utah Board of Parks and Recreation, and a board member of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Bill has a B.A. and Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University.


Darcy Allen: Senior Director of Administration

Darcy Allen has been with the Trust since June 1995 and has lived in Flagstaff, Arizona, for over 30 years. A graduate of Northern Arizona University (NAU), Darcy earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Public Relations. Darcy is responsible for many different aspects of Trust life. Her main focus is the loyal and knowledgeable members of the Trust. Additionally, she is responsible for all board meetings, events, personnel benefits, and facilities, and she provides program support when needed. Darcy Allen loves her job. [back to top]

Ethan Aumack: Conservation Director

Ethan, a program manager from 1997–2001, returned to the Trust in 2004 as Director of Restoration Programs and took over as ranch director in June 2008. Ethan co-manages fire and forest restoration work on the southern Colorado Plateau; he also oversees restoration and general management activities at Kane & Two Mile Ranches. His work focuses primarily on initiating or accelerating the recovery of natural landscapes, landscape processes, and native plant and animal species in the region. Ethan earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from NAU. [back to top]

Deon Ben: Native American Program Associate

Deon Ben, from the community of Tohatchi, New Mexico, joined the Trust’ Native America Program in 2009. He earned his B.S. in Environmental Studies from NAU and since has focused his efforts on environmental conservation in surrounding tribal communities and nations throughout the Southwest. Growing up on Navajo land, Deon experienced the perfect mesh of traditional knowledge and environmental education, which led him to his work with Grand Canyon National Park and into his current position with us. Deon enjoys the isolation and natural beauty of his traditional homeland and looks forward to positive environmental change. [back to top]

Eleanor Bliss: Executive Associate

Eleanor Bliss has worked for the Trust, at our Moab office, since June 1998. She has a B.A. from Harvard University, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Botany. She escaped Boston in 1976, with a huge sigh of relief, and built a home and gardens and raised two daughters in Castle Valley. She is also a member of the Castle Valley Planning Commission, Moab Music Festival board, and library board. [back to top]

Jane Butter: Utah Wildlands Program Associate

Jane grew up hiking, backpacking, and camping in the deserts and canyons of southern Utah, and enjoying the state's incredible beauty. In high school, she spent her summers volunteering for environmental organizations in Salt Lake City as well as canvassing to draw support for America's Redrock Wilderness Act. She has lobbied in Washington, D.C., to protect public lands. Jane attended Lewis and Clark College, earning a B.A in environmental studies with a minor in communication. She has been a river guide and worked for the Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners in Kanab. She joined us in 2012. When she is not working, Jane can be found playing guitar, running rivers, snowboarding, eating sushi with friends, and traveling. [back to top]

Roger Clark: Grand Canyon Program Director

Roger Clark directs the Trust’s air quality and clean energy programs and our advocacy on uranium mining and natural quiet issues in the Grand Canyon. He first began working for the Trust in 1989 on actions to control air pollution from the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station, to reduce aircraft noise at the Grand Canyon, and to protect Colorado River resources downstream from Glen Canyon Dam. Roger left the Trust in 1994 to become the vice president in charge of exhibits and education at the Museum of Northern Arizona and to serve as a project director, faculty, and writer for the Center for Sustainable Environments at NAU. He returned to our staff in January 2005. A lifetime member of Grand Canyon River Guides Association, Roger has been teaching since 1973. His undergraduate degree is from NAU’s School of Forestry, and his graduate degrees are from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. [back to top]

David deRoulhac: Utah Forest Program Associate

David deRoulhac began working for the Trust in September 2012. He is from western Montana, where a life spent exploring the Bitterroot Mountains fostered a love for the outdoors and a passion for conserving it. He spent 10 years conducting collections for the Forest Service on whitebark pine trees. David's work with us focuses on improving landscape health through collaborative stakeholder processes and the advocacy of science-based public land management. He likes to spend much of his time outside, with his wife, three kids and their dog Molly. David holds a B.A. from the University of Montana and is close to completing a master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from Utah State University. [back to top]

Dave Erley: Utah Forests Program Associate

Dave Erley joined the Trust is 2011 as the Utah Forest Program Associate. The job involves monitoring, documenting, and providing alternatives on most forest projects and all grazing permit renewals on the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Dave staunchly believes reform of public lands grazing on the Colorado Plateau is the most pragmatic way to create resiliency to climate change in the region. A graduate of UC Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Water & Soil Science, Dave later earned an MBA from the University of Colorado. In his free time, Dave works to protect his community's watershed and water rights as the mayor of Castle Valley, Utah, where he has resided for 20 years. [back to top]

Cerissa Hoglander: Kane & Two Mile Ranches Program Associate

Cerissa joined the Trust in 2013 and supports many of the exciting research projects on the Kane & Two Mile Ranches. She is working to develop a climate change adaptation plan that builds on the existing conservation and restoration efforts on the landscape. Cerissa completed her M.S. in Environmental Sciences and Policy in 2011 from NAU and has had several years of program coordination, habitat restoration, and conservation biology experience. When not reading about climate predictions for the Southwest or running analyses in GIS, Cerissa can be found in the yoga studio, running on Flagstaff's beautiful trails, or riding her vintage touring bicycle. [back to top]

Natasha K. Johnson: Native America Program Manager

Natasha K. Johnson is originally from the community of Twin Lakes, New Mexico, and joined the Trust’s Native America Program in summer 2011. Prior to joining the Trust, Natasha was a legislative staff assistant for the Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker, and she helped address issues affecting the Navajo people at the local, state, and federal levels. She also worked as a journalist for several years and has contributed to several Southwest magazines on American Indian subjects. Natasha has also worked in the film industry and still is active in a number of film projects. Her passion is working with American Indian communities to help strengthen community-based projects and to help diversify their economic development portfolios. She received her B.S. from the University of Arizona. [back to top]

Neil Levine: Staff Attorney

Neil became our Staff Attorney in June 2007. For the past 15 years, he has been litigating cases for environmental and community groups throughout the country on a wide range of issues, including grazing in national parks, saving endangered species, and protecting private lands from coal-bed methane development, among others. Neil previously served as an attorney for Earthjustice and Earthlaw (in Denver) and the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara. He received his law degree from Tulane Law School and recently returned from exploring Patagonia. [back to top]

Rick Moore: Director of Recreation and Outreach

Rick fell in love with the Colorado Plateau on a hike down the Paria River in 1972. He received a B.A. in Philosophy and English from the University of Denver in 1974, moved to Durango, Colorado, and began exploring the region’s spectacular mountains, canyons, rivers, and slickrock country. Rick joined the Trust in 1992, initially focusing on the protection and management of the Plateau’s phenomenal cultural and archaeological resources. From 1994 to 1997, he represented the Trust on the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission, which worked on protecting visibility at parks and wilderness areas. In the late 1990s, Rick led our successful efforts at the Mohave Generating Station. He also led the Trust’s air quality program, which focused on cleaning up the Springerville and San Juan power plants. Rick became Associate Director for Programs in the spring of 2008. [back to top]

Andrew Mount: Volunteer Program Associate

Andrew joined the trust in November 2009. He earned his M.S. in Forestry from NAU in 2008, in addition to his B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management. Andrew’s interests include wilderness advocacy, outdoor recreation and leadership, natural sciences, ecological restoration, human health, and volunteerism. He has worked as a park ranger, backpacking guide, research technician, and in municipal water conservation. He enjoys collaborative and adaptive land management, and sharing his passion for nature with others through outdoor experiences and adventures. Outside of work, look for Andrew at live music events, in a yoga posture, or on local trails. [back to top]

Mary O’Brien: Utah Forests Program Director

Mary joined Grand Canyon Trust in Fall 2003 to help organize and co-coordinate the Three Forests Coalition’s efforts to obtain greater care for native wildlife, vegetation, and ecosystems on southern Utah’s Dixie, Fishlake, and Manti – La Sal National Forests. Since earning a B.S. in Sociology, a Masters in Elementary Education, and a Ph.D. in Botany, Mary has worked as a staff scientist for toxics reform, environmental law, and public lands conservation organizations for 28 years. She thinks backpacking and hiking are particularly amazing ways to spend days on Earth. [back to top]

Phil Pearl: Colorado Plateau Conservancy Director

Phil joined the Grand Canyon Trust in 2007 as the Associate Director/Senior Director of Development and as of January 1, 2014 transitioned to launch the Colorado Plateau Conservancy, a regional land trust program of the Trust. Previously, Phil worked in the land protection field for over thirty years, completing over 200 conservation transactions. Prior to joining the Trust, Phil was the principal of Open Space Resources, Northwest Regional Director for the National Parks and Conservation Association, Senior Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land, and Land Preservation Director for Scenic Hudson. For more than one decade Phil served as Program Director for the Lila Acheson and Dewitt Wallace Fund for the Hudson Highlands, which was, throughout the 1990's, the largest private endowment for land conservation in the United States. Phil earned his B.A. from The Evergreen State College and his M.S. from Columbia University. [back to top]

Tim Peterson: Utah Forest Wildlands Manager

As a seventh-generation westerner, Tim cares deeply about our public lands. Tim came to the Trust in January 2010, bringing 12 years of on-the-ground field experience inventorying and advocating for wildlands in eight western states. He cut his teeth assisting with a re-inventory of America’s Redrock Wilderness Act on Utah’s BLM lands in the nineties, then moved on to conduct field inventory and off-road vehicle monitoring on Utah’s national forests and in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Arizona, Oregon, and Idaho. Between field stints, he’s conducted GIS mapping, NEPA project work, and policy and legal analysis for local, regional, and national conservation groups. Tim enjoys spending time hiking in, fishing, floating through, and photographing the backcountry he seeks to protect. [back to top]

Adrianne Sanchez: Finance Associate

Adrianne joined the Trust in 2004 as our Administrative Assistant. She was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona, and attended Yavapai College. Adrianne is responsible for accounts payable, payroll, and much of our membership outreach. If you are a member, you’ve likely seen her handwritten “thank you” notes. When she’s not working, you'll find Adrianne with her two daughters at soccer and gymnastics events across Arizona or boating at Lake Powell. [back to top]

Evelyn Sawyers: Senior Director of Finance

Since joining the Trust in October of 1994, Evelyn has been responsible for the organization’s financial and administrative affairs. In addition to representing the Trust to the financial community, she prepares and maintains financial records, statements, and reports. Evelyn brings us over 12 years of progressive experience in accounting, with a developed expertise in fund accounting. [back to top]

Tony Skrelunas: Native America Program Director

Tony rejoined the Trust in 2003 after spending 12 years working on sustainable economic development. He not only served as Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Economic Development Division and Government Development Office, but he was also a partner in Horizon Springs Partnership. He coordinates our work with tribes, communities, and nongovernmental organizations on conservation and sustainable development projects. Currently a partner in Southwest Tradition Log Homes, Tony is Board President for the Navajo Nation Shopping Centers, Inc., a $40M realty management company. In addition, he chairs the Native American Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit affiliate of the Native American National Bank. He successfully combines his traditional Navajo upbringing with a western education that includes a B.A. and MBA from NAU. [back to top]

Stephanie Smith: GIS Manager

Fueled with a strong passion to live in the West, Stephanie uprooted her life in North Carolina and joined the Trust in April 2012. She earned a M.A. and B.S. in Geography from Appalachian State University with a focus on Biogeography and Geographic Information Systems. Prior to joining the Trust, she served as the GIS Specialist for the ASU Energy Center and Adjunct Instructor for Appalachian State University’s Geography Department. When not tackling the cartographic and analysis needs of the Trust, you can find her playing in any garden, backpacking, hiking, making clothing, playing music, or attending music and cultural events. [back to top]

Christine Sweeter: Membership & Administrative Associate

Christine became part of the Trust team in December 2012 and works in membership outreach and covers general office duties. She was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona, and has lived in Flagstaff for 12 years. Prior to joining the Trust she had 17 years of experience in finance. Christine earned an A.A. degree in Art, as well as a paralegal degree at Yavapai College in Prescott. When Christine isn't working, she's out enjoying her two children, hiking the outdoors, and riding her horse. [back to top]

Tory Syracuse: Development Director

Tory joined the Trust in 2013, returning to her hometown of Flagstaff after nearly 10 years away. As Development Director, Tory focuses on fundraising for Trust programs and on connecting supporters with the work and places they are most passionate about. Prior to joining us, she served as Associate Director for the Tucson-based nonprofit Watershed Management Group, where she gained extensive experience in fundraising, nonprofit management, and urban policy development. Tory has also worked as an environmental educator, university English instructor, and freelance writer. She holds an M.S. in Urban Planning and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, both from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. in English from NAU. In her free time, Tory enjoys exploring new places either by foot or on bike, and curling up with her two cats, husband, and a good book. [back to top]

Anne Mariah Tapp: Energy Program Director

Anne Mariah joined the Trust in November, 2012. Initially working as a Law & Policy fellow and then as staff attorney, Anne Mariah took over as Energy Program Director in November, 2014. Her work focuses on safeguarding the Colorado Plateau from destructive energy development, and encouraging transitions to renewable energy. Anne Mariah earned a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin focusing her research and fieldwork on the impact of oil development on indigenous communities in Peru's Pastaza River Basin - and a J.D from the University of Colorado. While at Colorado Law, Anne Mariah interned for the Environmental Defense Fund and the Native American Rights Fund, and worked as a research assistant for David Getches. Anne Mariah loves the Colorado Plateau, and spends most of her free time climbing and running in the Plateau's incredible landscapes. [back to top]

Emily Thompson: Volunteer Program Associate

After receiving her M.S. in Environmental Studies with a focus on Watershed Ecology, Emily returned home to northern Arizona and joined the Trust in February 2011. She is currently Project Coordinator for an AmeriCorps crew that is living and working on the Paria Plateau. Emily worked on the Colorado River as a research technician for over 5 years doing native fish research and sediment work, studying the ecological and geomorphic impacts of Glen Canyon Dam on the downstream environment. She has experience in outdoor and environmental education teaching both children and college students. When not working, you may find her hiking in the Canyon, boating down a river, skiing on the sacred San Francisco Peaks, exploring the hidden treasures of Colorado Plateau, or spending time in her vegetable garden. [back to top]

Kate Watters: Volunteer Program Director

Kate Watters joined the Trust in December 2007. Her past experience includes 10 years as a trail crew member and field biologist with Grand Canyon National Park; she has also worked for the Ecological Restoration Institute, Arboretum, and Museum of Northern Arizona, where she participated in restoration, plant survey, and native plant gardening projects. Kate earned a M.A. in Botany, Conservation Biology, and Creative Writing in the Liberal Studies Program from NAU, and a B.A. in Sociology from Wheaton College. She is coauthor of River and Desert Plants of the Grand Canyon. [back to top]

Matt Williamson: Kane & Two Mile Ranches Manager

Matt joined the Trust in 2010 to contribute to our forest restoration efforts. During that time he became fascinated by the diverse landscape on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim and enthusiastically accepted the opportunity to manage the Kane and Two Mile Ranch Program in January 2012. His primary areas of expertise are restoring forests and rangelands and estimating the impacts of restoration activities on songbirds. He has also spent considerable time developing monitoring and adaptive management strategies for large landscapes. He has over 7 years of experience leading volunteer-driven efforts to restore native species to degraded landscapes. Matt holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. [back to top]

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