Botanists at Our North Coast Forests
Botanists Geri Hulse-Stephens and Kerry Heise have spent countless hours crouched in our North Coast forests, cataloging tiny plants—and making big discoveries. So far, they’ve turned up a number of rare species that find refuge on the lands we’ve protected. Here, they describe their work.


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Brad Meiklejohn, Alaska Representative
I feel that Alaska is the perfect example of successful conservation. We still have healthy populations of predators like bears, wolves and wolverines. We still have abundant wild salmon. We still have enormous populations of migratory caribou. And we still have the tradition of subsistence living, where people can survive on wild fish and game. I think all that stems from the fact that Alaska has the world’s finest network of protected areas. We are doing our part to improve on that network.

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Brian Dangler
Working Forest Fund Director Brian Dangler is a Certified Forester and an expert in forestland acquisition, management and finance, with more than 25 years of experience. Brian has worked at the Fund since 2008.

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Chris Kelly
Chris Kelly, the Fund’s California program director, is known for his innovative approaches to conservation, including the Fund’s sustainable forest management efforts along the state’s north coast—now home to the largest nonprofit-owned working forest in the West. A new approach for both the Fund and the community, our working forest model balances conservation with economic needs and community interests. Read our interview with Chris to find out how he ended up one of the Fund’s most innovative and accomplished conservationists.

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Claire Robinson, Executive Director of Amigos de los Rios. Photo by Whitney Flanagan.
The Fund is working with the nonprofit Amigos de los Rios to combine and update the green infrastructure plan for the Los Angeles area. Watch Executive Director Claire Robinson’s interview about her work with the Fund to increase green space and improve communities in the city.


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Dave Phillips, Chief Financial Officer (Photo by Lisa Helfert)
I really wear two hats—I’m part safe-keeper of the assets and part future strategist. As a CFO, protecting the assets of the organization is your top priority, but an organization can’t stay still, it’s always moving forward. As the saying goes, “if you take no risk, you’ll have no successes.” So I want to be a part of the strategies for where the Fund is going.

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David Graham Wolf.  Photo by Whitney Flanagan, The Conservation Fund.
David Graham Wolf is Deputy Director of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, a regional Massachusetts land trust that serves 23 towns in Worcester and Franklin counties and has helped protect more than 27,000 acres since 1986. In 2014, our Land Conservation Loan Program worked with Mount Grace on the building purchase for the Quabbin Harvest market and food co-op. Check out this page for more information on the partnership, including a video featuring David talking about his experience working with LCLP.

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Erik Meyers, Vice President, at Blackwater NWR (Photo by Whitney Flanagan)
Erik Meyers has been a Vice President at The Conservation Fund for nearly a decade. Growing up in places across the midwest, far west, and east, Erik’s love of the outdoors and our nation’s natural wonders run deep. College introduced him to Washington, DC, where time on the Potomac River got him interested in environmental law. Today, he’s heavily involved with the Fund’s work in the Chesapeake Region, particularly Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. He shares thoughts on climate change and reflects on what The Conservation Fund is doing to address the multiple challenges facing coastal ecosystems.

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Frances Kennedy.  Photo by Robin Murphy, The Conservation Fund.
I became director of the Civil War Battlefield Campaign and began building partnerships with local citizens, corporations, foundations, and public agencies. Our work was to protect these hallowed grounds where, as General Chamberlain said at Gettysburg in 1889, future generations, “shall come to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them… to ponder and dream.” 

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Ginny Trocchio, Project Manager, Ann Arbor.
Ginny Trocchio works in the Fund’s Ann Arbor office, where she heads the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative, among other projects. Launched in 2003, the Initiative protects and links city parks, natural areas and working farms. An outdoor enthusiast since childhood, Ginny moved to Michigan to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and then started working for the Fund in 2005.

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