Board of Directors
Since my return to Petrolia in 2018, after nearly 20 years away, I have been lucky to become re-acquainted with the folks in the Valley actively working on Mattole- centered issues. I have been on the MRC Board for 2 years, and currently serve as the acting Vice-Chairman. I am also on the Board of the Mattole Valley Historical Society, and am an employee and contractor to the Mattole Salmon Group. My involvement in these three groups provides me with access to diverse perspectives on the past, present and future management and restoration of natural resources in the Mattole.
My interests in forest and watershed management have only grown since I returned. In addition to my woodshop on Lighthouse Road, I now have a small sawmill, and am stewarding over 165 acres of conifer and hardwood forest in Titus Creek. Sustainable forest management has evolved from an “interest” to a “practice” for me.
In the coming years, I hope to collaborate with other interested landowners, MRC Staff and Board Members in resuscitating the Good Roads/Clear Creeks Program. I think it is critically important that we maintain our forest roads in a way that minimizes road-related sedimentation to waterways. As a geologist with a background in roads assessment, and an increasing interest in heavy equipment operation, I believe that we have an obligation to have a program that specifically addresses erosion and sedimentation problems from upslope. A Roads and Creeks Program will provide a mechanism to assist landowners with treating their road issues, will increase opportunities for volunteers and landowners to participate in watershed assessment. My goal for the next two years is to find funding for this program, and begin collaborations with willing landowners.
In 2018, I was hired at the MRC as a field tech, and in late 2019 I was hired as Project Coordinator for the Ecosystem Restoration Program, the position I currently hold. I have served on the MRC Board of Directors for the past two years and as an active member (I haven’t missed a meeting yet!) of the Personnel Committee and the Strategic Plan Committee. I also currently hold the position of Treasurer. I believe that as an MRC staff member, my presence on the board has bridged a much needed gap between board and staff, allowing for a more in-depth understanding of on-the-ground work being done by staff and of meaningful policy and financial considerations being reviewed by the board. I believe restoration is as much about our relationships to each other and our history as it is to the land and waters where we live, work, and play.
I first came to the Mattole in the summer of 2000 to participate in an Earth First action camp at the mouth of the Mattole River. I have been back every year since then, completely in love with the beauty of this place. In 2016 I graduated from the Evergreen State College where I earned a BA/BS and have since moved to Petrolia full time. At Evergreen I studied botany, terrestrial plant ecology, and environmental history. I was fortunate to focus much of my studies on research and restoration of a fire-adapted native grassland/oak savanna ecosystem that is being replaced by primarily Douglas-fir, Scotch broom, and non-native grasses – a situation nearly identical to the one we find in the Mattole. I have experience in rare plant botany, prairie restoration research, consultation and research in oak woodlands.
With education and experience steeped in science, restoration, conservation, and environmental history, and my continuing work as an MRC staff member, I believe I have a protective, yet pragmatic perspective on our responsibility to the Mattole watershed and its inhabitants, human and otherwise. I hope I will have the continued opportunity to work on the Board of Directors to keep the MRC a healthy organization that can fulfill its mission into our changing future.
Sue and her husband Richard are life-long supporters of watershed and wildland preservation and conservation work. He currently serves as the Mattole Salmon Group’s executive director and as the executive director of another watershed health organization in the Mokelumne River watershed; Sue serves as a member of MRC’s board. Sue, her husband, and their land partners have directly benefited from MRC’s and MSG’s restoration work. Their ranch was the site of an extensive riverbank erosion prevention and restoration project conducted by the MRC approximately 10 years ago, during which thousands of native stream bank shrubs and trees were planted in efforts to restore the riverbank. McGinnis Creek, which runs through the ranch, has been the site of more recent in stream restoration work by the MSG. Burgess Ridge, which is partially located on the ranch, is within the area proposed for fire safety work to be conducted by the MRC as well. Sue is excited about the opportunity to give back to the MRC through service as a board member. She gained a strong understanding of the role that the Board of Directors plays in fulfilling a non-profit organization’s mission through service as a board member of two legal non-profits (the Lawyer’s Committee of the San Francisco Bay Area, and California Changelawyers, formally known as the California Bar Foundation), and is eager to contribute the benefit of that experience as one of MRC’s newer board members
My name is Jane Lapiner. I have lived in the Mattole since 1970. The first four years up by the headwaters ( where I saw my first salmon spawning, watching them from a bridge over the Mattole upstream from Whitethorn) and then moving to Petrolia in 1974..
My qualifications for joining the board are threefold. First, I have been involved, though tangentially at first, in the restoration movement since it’s inception. (My husband, David Simpson was co-founder of the Salmon Group and then later involved with the formation of the MRC.). After the hatchbox program had been in existence for many years it became evident that ‘hatch boxes forever’ was not the answer and that the salmons’ habitat needed restoring. The salmon are the ultimate ‘indicator species’ for the health of the watershed.
Second, I am a believer in restoration, but as importantly, have through the years come to understand the simultaneous need for conservation. Subsequently I have been involved in forest defense, in one form or another, for many years.
And thirdly, and possibly, most important, is my belief that we human beings have an urgent need to deal with climate change. That involves the restoration and conservation of the entire planet. No small challenge. But one needs to start at home. I have been involved with climate change for many years. David and I have attended ten of the last eleven UN climate conferences (UNFCCC) Back in the late 80s David became aware, through the hatchbox work, that the salmon seeking to spawn were often stuck in pools in the lower river for long periods of time and not able to make it up to the prime spawning gravel at the headwaters to complete the cycle. When the mouth opened the salmon entered the river but soon found that they could not move upstream due the change in weather patterns, i.e. later and intermittent fall rains. It seemed that these conditions were as much due to factors out at sea as to those within the watershed. Also the decline of good feed conditions offshore added to the problems. Climate Change appeared to be the cause, which greatly enlarged the concept of restoration and habitat.
My name is Loren Miller and I am seeking reelection to the Mattole Restoration Council Board of Directors. I was first elected to the Board 10 years ago and have been through the various ups and downs of past years. Today, the organization appears to be in good condition with great staff, good relations with our sister organizations in the watershed and continuing respect within the restoration community. Getting a new Executive Director on board is, of course, a big issue. Our Board is doing well with the addition of a number of new faces over the last year and will face further changes this year. All in all, lots to do but we are programmatically and financially sound.
I have been coming to the Mattole for over 14 years. My north coast home is now in Arcata. Prior to retiring, I worked for 36 years as a manager in the Federal civil service working for the U.S. Navy in Ventura County. That experience has helped on Board issues particularly those involving personnel and finance. I was active in the creation of our endowment fund and advocated for the development of “greener” investment options with Humboldt Area Foundation which has now happened. I have been an advocate for our education and outreach efforts and for our various fire related programs. I am currently serving as Board Secretary.
As a Board member I attempt to be a positive, thoughtful contributor to the MRC. I take the responsibilities of Board membership seriously and respectfully ask for your vote.
Gary “Fish” Peterson
I’ve worked as a biologist, laborer, volunteer, and occasional board member with environmental and community organizations in the Mattole River watershed for nearly 40 years. Along with David Simpson and Freeman House, in 1980 I co-founded the Mattole Salmon Group (MSG), a leading non-profit in community-based salmon enhancement and habitat restoration on the Northcoast. I sat in the shade of the historic Council Madrone near Ettersburg in July 1983 when the Mattole Restoration Council (MRC) was first formed. In 1986 I was a founding Board member of the Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF), California’s foremost non-profit in promoting restoration and stewardship of the state’s native salmon, steelhead, and trout populations and their habitat. In addition to serving as SRF’s first Secretary from 1986-89, I was awarded the organization’s highest honor in 1995 when I became the recipient of their annual Restorationist of the Year Award. I am presently semi-retired and work part-time for the MSG, but I want to become more strongly engaged with the MRC and put my decades of local knowledge and experience to better use on their Board of Directors. I last served on MRC’s Board from 2007-12 and am excited about the prospect of serving again with the present group of dedicated community members.
I’m Rob Roscoe, and would like to express my interest in joining the Board of the Mattole Restoration Council. I am a Humboldt County native with roots that run deep in the Mattole Valley. My generation is the fifth to occupy the family cemetery in the Valley, and I enjoy having my grandsons visit to continue family traditions. My very earliest memories are of fishing the Mattole with my grandfather, Stan Roscoe, before the flood in 1964, on the family ranch between Petrolia and Honeydew.
I’ve witnessed firsthand how logging and land use practices impacted the Mattole watershed in the ‘60’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s, and I’ve watched how more recent efforts have demonstrated how focused and science-based efforts can aid restoration efforts. My interests include water resources, water quality, fisheries and wildfire issues. I’m interested is seeing how targeted local projects can contribute to improvements on a watershed-wide scale. If a watershed can die by a thousand cuts, perhaps we can accelerate healing with a thousand surgically applied bandages.
My professional background is on the “wet” side of Civil Engineering, and I’ve spent over 40 years working in water resources as a private engineering consultant, and in engineering and executive management of public water supply systems. My Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering included a dual focus in water resources and water quality. I have been actively engaged with a number of organizations engaged in water resources in California, and presently serve the American Society of Civil Engineers on the California Water and Environment Committee.
I look forward to engaging with the Mattole Restoration Council, in whatever capacity I can. Thank you for your consideration of my desire to become a Board Member.
I am a Program Coordinator with the Smith River Alliance. My work is focused on stream and riparian restoration in the agricultural landscape of the lower Smith River floodplain. I am a former MRC Nursery Manager and Project Coordinator. I first moved to the Mattole in 2008 and fell in love with the people and place of the Mattole and intersection of people and place at the MRC. I grew up on the Oregon coast and spend most of my free time with my family at the ocean.
My name is Edwin Smith. Currently, I am the Vice Chairman of the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria. I have served on the Tribal Council for many years, and I was employed as Environmental and Natural Resources Director for the Tribe for over twenty years. Last year I received the Conner Byestewa Jr. Environmental Award from the Region 9 US EPA in recognition of my many years of environmental stewardship and advocacy. I am familiar with both local history and traditional cultural knowledge of the Mattole Valley.
I am interested in serving on the Mattole Restoration Council. I have served on the Council in the past and enjoyed it very much. Establishing a working relationship between the Mattole Restoration Council and the Tribe is very important since the Mattole Valley is our ancestral home. I have had the pleasure of working on many projects in and around the Mattole valley and have a good rapport with the residents and other agencies, such as CA DFW and USFWS.
Linda Stansberry grew up in Honeydew, California on her family ranch, which she continues to help steward today. A graduate of Mattole Triple Junction High School, she moved to the Bay Area in 2000 to earn a degree in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco and to pursue her dreams of world travel. Since moving back to Humboldt County in 2008, Linda has worked variously for the California Conservation Corps, as a substance abuse counselor, a marketing manager, investigative journalist and communications specialist. She is currently pursuing a career as a writer and continuing to work with her family on their ranch on Wilder Ridge. Despite wearing a lot of different hats and traveling to a lot of different places, Linda still calls the Mattole Valley her home, and its residents her people. She is proud to bring her experience and perspective to the board of the MRC.
I first came to Petrolia to attend Lost Coast Camp when I was 16 years old and immediately fell in love with the Mattole Valley, returning every summer for the next 8 years to work at LCC. I have directed the teen backpacking trip for three years and last summer I was meant to be director of the entire camp before COVID shut us down for the season. Last fall, I moved to Petrolia full time and have been working at the MRC as the nursery assistant since December. I have admired the MRC from afar for many years and am excited to be working for this amazing organization.
I graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology last June with a minor in anthropology. A large portion of my studies focused on the impacts of climate change and various ways to adjust to or combat them –– knowledge that I would love to apply to the protection of the Mattole. Additionally, throughout my time in college and until recently, I worked with Cassie Pinnell as an environmental consultant focusing on grassland and wetland conservation in the Central Valley. I was honored when she asked if I was interested in running for this position and would love to work alongside her and the rest of the board.
As a member of the board, I would bring fresh energy and a passion for conservation to the organization. My extensive experience as a camp counselor has afforded me the patience and rationality needed to find common ground without compromising growth and progress. I believe this would be useful for bringing together the various perspectives our community holds in regard to local restoration. If elected, my specific goals would be to increase community environmental education and awareness as well as acquiring more funding for the nursery and other programs. I would love the opportunity to help protect this area so future generations feel the same sense of wonder I did when I first landed here almost a decade ago.