Board of Directors
OLT is governed by a Board of Directors, which sets the organization’s mission, vision, and goals. Board members also contribute their time and energy to our events and projects.
Gert is a longtime resident of Okanogan County. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Science from Ohio State University.
She managed a horse farm Iowa City, Iowa, before moving to Brewster, WA in 1977. and becoming a resident of Okanogan County. She worked as foreman at Filaree Farm from 1993-2011.
Gert was a founding member and past president of Okanogan County Animal Foster Care. She was a former board member of the Okanogan County T.V. District #1. She now serves as secretary of the Okanogan County Historical Society.
|Cynthia is a nurse and accomplished horsewoman who co-owns and operates a 720 cow-calf operation (on conserved land) near Chesaw.
Cynthia grew up in Oswego, Illinois. She earned a BS in Animal Science from Southern Illinois University, and more than a decade later, a BS in Nursing from Washington State University. Since 1998, Cynthia has been working part-time as a rural RN and floor nurse in Republic, and has been a nursing instructor since 2012.
In addition to nursing, Cynthia works as a horse trainer and breeder. She and her husband, Brian, operate the Nelson Ranch, which they placed under permanent protection in 2010 through a conservation easement held by OLT.
|Kayla is interested in all things sustainable land management. She co-manages a dryland crop and cattle ranch on the Columbia Plateau just east of the Okanogan Valley. Here she is able to spend much time outdoors working on the land to grow food, improve native pasture, soils, and water sources. During the winter months she plans the upcoming season for the ranch and supports local farms through grant writing and project management.
Growing up in Seattle Kayla has always been drawn to more open spaces. With a degree in natural resource systems from the University of British Columbia and years spent on a variety of farming operations, she returned home to Washington State in 2013 to pursue her passions in agriculture and outdoor adventure. Kayla admires the strong and open spirit that exists in the Okanogan community and believes the amazing local ecology cultivates this vitality.
|Todd appreciates the unique character of our landscape and the diverse productivity of its resource lands. He believes in OLT’s mission of supporting landowners in achieving their conservation goals and contributing to sustainable resource-based communities.
For the past 25 years, Todd has lived in Okanogan County and worked throughout OLT’s working area. He most recently served as water quality manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, building programs to improve water quality and restore watersheds. Prior to his work for the Tribes, Todd worked in various forester positions for the Department of Natural Resources.
He enjoys collaborating with a neighboring rancher in grazing his land near Havillah while continuing his stewardship of forest land at Wauconda. Interests include resource sustainability, birds and bird conservation, skiing, gardening and exploring our special landscape.
John works as a fisheries biologist for the Colville Confederated Tribes. He was born and raised in Lake Forest Park, a suburb of Seattle. He came to Okanogan in 2014 to work as a fisheries biologist, and he quickly fell in love with the open spaces, sunny weather, and excellent fruit stands!
John enjoys spending his free time hiking, fishing, and hunting alongside his loyal dog Rosie, and is grateful for the conservation work OLT does to help keep the Okanogan such a wonderful place for the people and animals who love the outdoors.
Among friends, John will reticently admit that he wastes too much time watching old music videos on YouTube and listening to podcasts about college football.
|Margaret has a lifelong interest in natural resource management, having worked for two federal land management agencies for 31 years before retirement in 2014.
She has a graduate degree in natural resources planning from the University of Washington. Her career included managing teams of wildlife biologists, fish biologists, soil scientists, social scientists, botanists, foresters, and recreation specialists on projects large and small.
Margaret plans to stay in Okanogan Country now that she is retired. There is lots of outdoors to enjoy and explore.OLT’s work is a great match to Margaret’s interest in the outdoors. She brings lots of knowledge about the natural world and much experience in managing natural resource conservation projects.
|Dale worked for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for 40 years before retiring in 2016. He grew up near Ellensburg, WA, on a dairy farm that also raised beef cattle, grain and hay. He attended Washington State University, receiving a BS in Wildlife Biology in 1972 and an MS in Environmental Science in 1981.
Dale began working for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1976 and retired in 2016. During his 40-year tenure with WDFW, Dale held six different positions; the most fulfilling of these was managing the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area for 16 years. During this time, Dale came to realize that the wildlife habitat was fire dependent and that fire would be needed to manage it. Dale is married to a very supportive wife, Kathy, who knows more about wildlife management, wildlife control, fire and prescribed fire than she cares to admit. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.
Dale helped found Okanogan Land Trust, North Central Washington Prescribed Fire Council, and Washington Prescribed Fire Council. Dale has served on the Citizen’s Committee for Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Foundation and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Okanogan Historical Society.
|Lloyd joined the OLT board in the fall, 2020. He lives near Curlew, in Ferry County, at the foot of the Kettle River Range, near the eastern border of OLT’s service area.
For most of his adult life, Lloyd has been involved in natural resources management and conservation. Early on, he worked in the timber business. Later, he went to work for the Ferry Conservation District. He started as a field technician, doing water quality tests and wildlife habitat surveys. He retired as District Manager.
Lloyd is committed to helping farmers and ranchers stay on the land. He believes that good stewardship comes from responsible land ownership. He hopes to help OLT work with more land owners in Ferry County and the eastern Okanogan Highlands.
Paul Nash has been a resident of Okanogan County for over 30 years along with his wife Nancy Nash-Mendez. He has recently retired from the US Forest Service, where he worked in timber planning and silviculture on the Okanogan National Forest. He enjoys hiking, traveling, foraging and kayaking.
Growing up in rural Idaho, Anna grew up in rural Idaho and has always enjoyed natural and open spaces. She attended college at Colorado State University, earning a degree in Natural Resources Management, Forestry Minor and Sociology with a Concentration in criminology and Criminal Justice. While in college she learned about conservation easements and was inspired by the concept. She went on to study law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law where she continued study conservation.
She came to Okanogan in 2017 to work with Okanogan Land Trust and in 2019 she left OLT and started Burica Law PLLC. Although primarily working in criminal defense, Anna has maintained her passion for land conservation, serving on the Okanogan County Water Conservancy Board. She joined the OLT board in 2022.
In her spare time Anna enjoys the many outdoor activities offered by Okanogan County including foraging, hiking, and skiing.