Marty Coleman-Hunt, Executive Director
Marty holds a BA from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from San Francisco State University. She has spent a 30-year career as a business and marketing professional for non-profit organizations and in the business sector. In 2001 she moved to Nevada County for the sheer beauty of the northern Sierra foothill landscape and access to first-class outdoor recreational activities. Right away Marty became a fundraising volunteer, then a Board member for Nevada County Land Trust (now Bear Yuba Land Trust). Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Executive Director since 2007, Marty remains passionate about protecting the environmental quality of this small, rural community. She is a commissioner on the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission, a board member of the Sierra Cascade Land Trust Council and an advisory board member for the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council. Marty is also a Land Ethics Leader with the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Jean Gilbert, Operations Manager
Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Jean joined the Land Trust staff in 2007. As Operations Manager, she supports lands and trails programs, outreach and events, and also serves as Grant Writer, Land Acquisitions, and Finance Manager. Jean led the Land Trust’s accreditation team for the original application process (culminating in national Land Trust Alliance accreditation in 2009) and again for accreditation renewal in 2014. Jean and her family moved to Nevada City in 2003 in search of “a road less traveled.” They love living in a natural environment and enjoy the varied wildlife which shares their rural property – bears, mountain lions, bobcats, fox, coyotes, and a wide variety of bird species.
Mariah Simpson, Operations & Development Coordinator
Mariah holds a BA in English from CSU Sacramento, with an emphasis in American literature and a minor in ethnic studies. Mariah is returning to school to study Depth Psychology with a specialization in Liberation Psychology, Community Psychology, and Ecopsychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Born on the San Juan Ridge, she developed an appreciation for nature early in life. She joined the staff of Bear Yuba Land Trust in 2013. As Operations & Development Coordinator, she supports outreach and events, land and trail programs, and also serves as Official Clerk of the Board, Volunteer Coordinator, Membership Coordinator, technical support, and Webmaster. Her operations and marketing experience stems from different fields including retail, medical, petroleum, and insurance. Mariah is grateful to use her skills for the greater good at the Land Trust.
Lisa Hooper, Bookkeeper
Lisa grew up in Pennsylvania, swimming in the creek (pronounced crik) and picnicking. After living in the too-urban Bay Area, Lisa was delighted to move to Nevada County in 1998. The rivers, numerous trails, and plentiful outdoor opportunities make Nevada County special to her. Lisa continues her life-long enjoyments of hiking, swimming, camping, and backpacking. Lisa holds BAs from Lycoming College and Penn State and an MS from Naval Postgraduate School. Her careers include aeronautical engineering, stay-at-home parenting, and bookkeeping. Lisa feels at home at the Land Trust because she whole-heartedly admires and supports its mission of voluntary conservation.
Laura Petersen, Community Engagement Manager
For a decade, Laura lived on a remote five acres, 20 miles inland from California’s rugged North Coast. She moved back to Nevada County in 2002 to be near family and raise her two sons. Laura has worked as a reporter for three Northern California newspapers and has written extensively about outdoor recreation, agriculture, water and the environment. Laura worked closely with the Olmsted Park Fund in an effort to keep California State Parks open. In the summer of 2012, she worked full time on a local organic farm where she learned the importance of preserving open space for agriculture. She is happy to join Bear Yuba Land Trust, working alongside a smart team, supporting the things she loves: nature, trails and local farms!
Lands & Trails
Erin Tarr, Director of Land Stewardship
Erin was born and raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She attended CSU Sacramento where she received a BA in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology. Upon graduation Erin worked with CA Department of Fish and Game on the rivers conducting angler surveys. She then worked for The Nature Conservancy at Cosumnes River Preserve as a vegetation monitor on much of their 40,000 acres of protected lands. This is where she learned the true value of open space. Erin then worked with Placer Land Trust in Auburn, CA as a Stewardship Assistant just before getting a full time position with Bear Yuba Land Trust. She is very excited to be part of a great organization with a meaningful mission.
Shaun Clarke, Land Access Manager
As an Eagle Scout, Shaun built his first trail on conservation land in his home town of Littleton Massachusetts. He earned his Associate’s degree in horticulture from SUNY Morrisville in Morrisville, New York and graduated from UMASS Amherst in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Studies. Shaun has worked for New Hampshire state parks with the Student Conservation Association and as an outdoor environmental educator with an organization called Nature’s Classroom. He worked as a farmer in small scale, organic agriculture for a decade before coming to Bear Yuba Land Trust where his career has returned full circle to nature and trails.
Matthew Shapero, Rangeland Manager
Matthew was born and raised in southern California and earned a BA from Columbia University, New York City. He moved to Nevada County in 2010 to farm and ranch, working first with Living Lands Agrarian Network and later as the owner and operator of The Buckeye Ranch in Penn Valley, where he raised sheep and sold lamb and garlic at local farmers’ markets. In 2016, Matthew received an MS in Range Management from the University of California, Berkeley. The graduate work he pursued there only deepened his commitment to land stewardship and reinforced for him the compatibility of livestock production and land conservation.
Bill Haire, Trails Coordinator
Bill Haire was born in Fresno, California and raised in the small farming community of Kingsburg. He now lives in Grass Valley with his wife of 50 years, Joyce. They have two children, Mike and Jennifer. After majoring in Forest Management at Humboldt State University, Bill spent 34 years working for the Forest Service, in Mendocino, San Bernardino and Tahoe National Forests. He specialized in Recreation and Land Management and managed the trail program for the Nevada City and Downieville Ranger Districts. Bill became Trails Coordinator for Nevada County Land Trust (now Bear Yuba Land Trust) in 2003. Bill educates the community about trails, meets with groups interested in developing trails, plans trail routes that will connect to public lands, works with property owners to secure public trail easements, organizes and trains volunteer work parties to construct and maintain trails and assists the Land Trust in raising funds for the Trails Program. In 2007 Bill was awarded the Lifetime Professional Achievement Award at the California Trails and Greenways Conference for his accomplishments in trail planning, construction and maintenance, and for his work with diverse groups of trail users throughout his career.
Elias Grant, Stewardship Coordinator
Elias Grant grew up in Bowdoin, Maine. His love of the outdoors and all things mechanical started from a very young age. Growing up, he spent much of his time outside riding bikes and hiking. As a college student, he spent two summers working on the Maine Coast Heritage Trust trail crew. Upon graduating from Warren Wilson College with a degree in sustainable forestry, he moved to California to join the AmeriCorps program and Bear Yuba Land Trust.
Board of Directors
Terry Hundemer, President
Terry grew up on a small family farm and has lived in Nevada County nearly 40 years. His interest in the outdoors has always played a big role in his life. He joined a local ranch brokerage firm whose motto was “To preserve what is left of the West.” Originally licensed as a real estate agent 1991 then a broker in 2001, Terry specializes in brokering unique ranch, lake and river properties throughout the West. When not pursuing projects for his clients, Terry spends time with his wife and two children. Other interests include fly-fishing, skiing and biking. Terry is a past director for, and continues to be active with, the local bicycle advocacy non-profit, Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC), helping to build and maintain local trails.
Fran Cole, Vice President
Fran Cole grew up in a small farming town in Indiana. Her family loved the land and worked to preserve its landscapes. Today she is an attorney who spent a career in financial services. She first joined the Land Trust board in 2007. She has served as President and a member of the Land Trust’s Finance, Investments, Board Development, Governance and Salter Fund Committees. She helped start the Land Trust’s popular Equitrek program.
Art Thielen, Treasurer
Art Thielen grew up climbing the hills and trails in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles. With an Economics degree from UC Santa Barbara, Art spent his career working for accounting firms, the last 26 years in Pasadena as an audit partner specializing in real estate and charter schools. Summer vacations with the family included backpacking and camping in the Sierras, Idaho and Yellowstone Park and river rafting in Alaska always chasing rainbow and brook trout, salmon and arctic char. Art and his wife now live next to a creek in Alta Sierra where mayflies and midges hatch on a regular basis.
Bill Trabucco, Secretary
Bill Trabucco was born and raised in San Francisco, and spent much of his youth exploring California and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada. After graduating from UC Berkeley, he spent most of his career as a research engineer with a Stanford University upper atmospheric physics program. He designed, built, and installed diverse types of electronic instrumentation to implement carry studies, mostly in the Antarctic. Bill is an enthusiast of smooth-gaited Peruvian Pasos. Bill and his wife, Anna, live in an off-the grid solar home on an 865-acre cattle ranch, which operates under a conservation easement with Bear Yuba Land Trust. The Trabuccos want to ensure that the land they love stays rural, in agriculture and well managed.
Andy Cassano, Board Member
Since 1969, Camptonville-bred Andy Cassano has been a local leader in all aspects of land surveying, city and regional planning, environmental planning and land conservation. He was involved in important projects such as Alta Sierra, Tahoe Donner, Lake Wildwood and Lake of the Pines. Andy served as the first official City Planner for the City of Nevada City. Andy was an early leader of what was formerly known as Nevada County Land Trust). In 2012, Andy rejoined the Board of Bear Yuba Land Trust.
Rebecca Coffman, Board Member
Rebecca holds a BA in Architecture and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. She served as Vice President of the Ecological Design Institute, a non-profit green architecture firm located in Sausalito. As an independent contractor working to develop and restore large tracts of land, Rebecca emphasizes the integration of structure and landscape while respecting a site’s history and culture. Rebecca often donates her design expertise to local non-profits. In 2003, after her three children were in college, she moved to Nevada County with her husband. She joined Bear Yuba Land Trust’s Board of Directors in 2010.
Brent Fraser, Board Member
Brent holds a BS in Economics from Santa Clara University with one year at Hong Kong University. Brent spent 10 years based in San Francisco doing business strategy consulting work for Andersen Consulting. Brent co-owns Caseywood Corporation, a retail building materials supplier. An avid mountain bicyclist and trail advocate, Brent helped establish the trails organization with Bear Yuba Land Trust. Brent joined the Board of Directors in January 2010. He lives in Nevada City with his family.
Letty Litchfield, Board Member
Letty holds a BA in English from the University of California, Davis, and a JD from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific and has more than 23 years of experience in Civil Litigation. Letty is a Yuba County resident and owns a small farm and historical house built in 1856. She has worked collaboratively on salmon and steelhead restoration, as well as conservation easement efforts on the lower Yuba River. She has served on the non-profit boards of the Yuba River Preservation Foundation and the Tsi Akim Maidu Tribe and as a member of the Beale Military Liaison Committee. Letty showed Quarter Horses as a girl and raised cattle as an adult. Her passion in on the water. She has raced outrigger canoes all over the world and has kayaked the entire 72-mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe.
Bill Stewart, Board Member
Bill Stewart is a Forestry Specialist at University of California, Berkeley. After graduating from college, Bill Stewart lived for five years in small villages in rural Sri Lanka. He worked, talked and walked with villagers. While there, he observed a culture where people knew and appreciated every trail, plant and animal. He believes land trusts with a focus on getting outdoors can bring some of these values to communities. He enjoys hiking the scenic trails along the steep canyons of the Yuba River.