Joe Byrne has been a commercial real estate developer for over 25 years. He presently owns and manages properties in Utah, Arizona and throughout California. He has also served as the Chairman of the California Business Properties Association (the legislative advocate of the commercial real estate industry), a Board Member of the National Institute of Community Empowerment (formerly, the Real Estate Initiative of the Martin Luther King Center) in Atlanta, Georgia and as a regional director of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He is also a member of the California State Bar and has a California Real Estate Broker License. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and events, including Continuing Education classes for both lawyers and real estate licensees. He formerly served as a Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 219 in Lafayette, CA, board member of the Martinez, CA-based Muir Heritage Land Trust and as a volunteer naturalist for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation leading hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains. He is an avid fly fisherman, backpacker and outdoorsman.
Rebecca holds a BA in Architecture and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. After living and working in small towns in the mountains of the southwest, she returned to the Bay Area and served as Vice President of the Ecological Design Institute, a non-profit green architecture firm located in Sausalito, before starting her own office in 1998. Rebecca's practice has included working with large tracts of land in both the development and restoration capacity. Her emphasis is on the integration of structure and landscape with respect for the historical and cultural context of the site. Rebecca’s office donates design expertise to local non-profits as a way of supporting community and advancing ecological planning techniques. She moved to Nevada County in 2003 with her husband after their three children were all in college and joined the Board of Directors in 2010.
Jason holds a BA in environmental science and MS in engineering, both from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a registered professional engineer and a managing principal of a local engineering firm. Jason works closely with local and state regulators on a variety of environmental cleanup projects, addressing local issues such as abandoned mines and agricultural pesticides.
Since 1969, Andy Cassano has been a local leader in all aspects of land surveying, city and regional planning, environmental planning and land conservation for community development. He was involved in planning for some of the most important civic projects in our community: Nevada County Campus of Sierra College and the City of Grass Valley Wastewater Master Plan, among many other projects. Andy worked extensively on the surveying, mapping, and construction staking of Alta Sierra, Tahoe Donner, and portions of Lake Wildwood and Lake of the Pines. In addition to private sector work, Cassano served contractually as the first official City Planner for the City of Nevada City. Andy was an early leader of Nevada County Land Trust (today Bear Yuba Land Trust) for 9 years as Chairman of the Lands Committee and in 2004 as President of the organization. Under Andy’s leadership, nearly 5,000 acres came under the protection of conservation easements and many of the area’s most beloved trails were built. In 2012, Andy has rejoined the Board of Bear Yuba Land Trust.
Board Member, Past President
Fran is a semi-retired business and corporate lawyer, formerly Chief Counsel of Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. and Sr. Vice President of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. She received her law degree form the University of Virginia School of Law and practiced in major law firms and corporations for over 20 years. She volunteers with several animal welfare organizations.
Board Member, Investment Committee Chair
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. Upon the birth of his first child, he moved to Nevada City where he now resides. Brent co-owns Caseywood Corporation, a retail building materials supplier. Brent is an avid mountain biker and trail advocate. He helped establish the trails organization with Bear Yuba Land Trust. Brent joined the Board of Directors in January 2010.
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 also a director for the local bicycle advocacy non-profit, Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC), helping to build and maintain local trails.
Letty holds a BA in English from the University of California, Davis, and a JD from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. She has more than 23 years of experience in Civil Litigation. Letty practiced for several years with a Sacramento law firm before opening her own law practice in Sacramento in the mid 90’s. For the past four years, the Law Offices of Letty Litchfield has had an office in Marysville. She is a member of the California State Bar, Capitol City Trial Lawyers in Sacramento and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Letty is a Yuba County resident, owning a small farm and one of Yuba County’s historical houses built in 1856. She has worked collaboratively on Yuba River salmon and steelhead restoration, as well as conservation easement efforts on the lower Yuba. In the past, she served on the non-profit Boards of the Yuba River Preservation Foundation and the Tsi Akim Maidu Tribe. She has worked with the Tribe and Yuba County to establish a native plant garden in the County-owned Sycamore Ranch Park. Letty is a member of the Beale Military Liaison Committee, and this is the third year she has served as the Honorary Commander to the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron. As a youth, Letty showed Quarter Horses. She also raised cattle into her adult years. Her passion has been racing Outrigger canoes all over the world for the past 21 years. After kayaking the entire 72-mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe in 2012, she plans to make that an annual outing.
Jack Stillens grew up on a Nevada County cattle and sheep ranch, going on to earn an accounting degree from San Jose State. After a 28 year career with IBM, he worked part-time for Truckee River Bank (Bank of the West) before starting an income tax and bookkeeping service in Truckee. Jack also helped organize and incorporate Truckee Community Care, serving as the group's treasurer for 15 years.
As a member of the Land Trust's Finance Committee since June 2006, Jack has found a great venue for his financial expertise. He and his wife, Marie, live on a ranch off Bitney Springs Road where they lease out grazing land and manage about 30 acres in timber. They have three married children and three grandchildren.
Bill Trabucco was born and raised in San Francisco, with much family travel in California, and backpacking in the Sierra. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a BSEE and 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 retains a strong avocational interest in music. He built a now-15-rank pipe organ, plays piano, sings, and is strongly interested in early music, jazz, and ragtime. Under his wife’s influence, Bill has become a horse enthusiast, especially of smooth-gaited Peruvian Pasos. Bill’s many years of field work in remote parts of the globe prepared him well for his present life on an 865-acre cattle ranch, much of which is operating under a conservation easement with Bear Yuba Land Trust. He and his wife Anna want to ensure that the land they love stays rural, in agriculture and well managed. On the ranch he has (mostly) completed building an off-the-grid solar home and music studio. He's looking forward to having a garden, orchard, and poultry flock.
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Executive Director/ Administration
Marty holds a BA from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from San Francisco State University. She has had a 30-year career as a business and marketing professional for non-profit organizations and in the business sector. Soon after moving to Nevada County for the sheer beauty of our landscapes and access to first class outdoor recreational activities, Marty became a fundraising volunteer, then a Board member for Nevada County Land Trust (now Bear Yuba Land Trust). In 2007 she became Executive Director and today she works to protect the quality of our rural community. She is on the Boards of Sierra-Cascade Land Trust Council and the Northern Foothills Partnership. In the past, she held a Board seat for the San Francisco Special Olympics for 5 years, she ran an anti-toxics campaign under Mayor Dianne Feinstein, and she launched Green Communications Group. In 2003 she was given the Leadership Award from TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) and also for the 2020 Vision and Leadership Award. email@example.com
With a professional background in management and finance in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jean joined the staff of Nevada County Land Trust (now Bear Yuba Land Trust) in 2007. As Operations Manager, she supports Land Trust programs, outreach and events and also serves as Membership Coordinator, Board Liaison, Accounting Manager and Webmaster. Jean led the Land Trust’s accreditation team and managed staff, board members and volunteers during the application process spanning a year and a half and culminating in national Land Trust Alliance accreditation in 2009. She will again lead the team for reaccreditation in 2014.
Jean and her family moved to Nevada County in 2003 in search of “a road less traveled.” They love living in a natural environment and enjoy the varied wildlife which shares their property – bears, mountain lions, bobcats, fox, coyotes, and a wide variety of bird species. firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacey's passion is and always has been protecting the environment. She has a BS degree in forestry from UC Berkeley, worked as a forestry technician on the Plumas National Forest, led backpacking trips in Yosemite National Park, and fought wildfires for the Forest Service. She comes to Bear Yuba Land Trust with more than six years of experience as the membership and development manager for Sonoma Land Trust.
After studying systems analysis at Miami University, Stacey worked as a programmer for General Electric and Primary Payment Systems and as a software diagnostic engineer with the telecom company Alcatel. She also has extensive event planning experience and skills, having owned a successful event decor/design business. In 2010, Stacey joined her new husband Chuck in Nevada County and served as the development director for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. Stacey joined BYLT in 2012 and brings her expertise in direct mail, capital campaigns, donor stewardship and grant writing. email@example.com
During her 20s, Laura and her husband moved to a remote five acres on California’s rugged North Coast where they built a cabin and lived off the grid for a decade. She moved back to Nevada County in 2002 to be close to 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. She befriended the late naturalist John Olmsted while hiking on the Independence Trail and later worked closely with his son, Alden Olmsted and the Olmsted Park Fund in an effort to support state parks threatened by closure. 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. Laura is committed to helping Bear Yuba Land Trust promote its good work building trails, conserving land and connecting people to nature. firstname.lastname@example.org
Stewardship Program Manager
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. email@example.com
Lands Conservation Coordinator
Chris grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of California, Davis. A self-professed adventurer, he has always had a deep appreciation for nature but it was not until he studied abroad in China that he realized the importance of conserving the land on which we live. Chris got hands-on experience in 2010 as an AmeriCorps intern with the Student Conservation Association in Idaho’s Salmon-Challis National Forest, engaged in a variety of projects from trail maintenance to Quaking Aspen inventory, all the while nestled in endless miles of mountain ranges carved out by creeks that drained into the nearby Salmon River. He came to Bear Yuba Land Trust in 2011 via the AmeriCorps program as Conservation Programs Assistant, working on trails and youth programs. In 2012, Chris joined the staff to coordinate the Lands Conservation program. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill was born in Fresno, California and raised in the small farming community of Kingsburg. He now lives in Grass Valley with his wife of 41 years, Joyce. They have 2 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 in the Forest Service, with some experience in timber, range, wildlife, and watershed management. He managed the trail program for the Nevada City and Downieville Ranger Districts for 7 years. Bill retired in 2003 and became Trails Coordinator for Nevada County Land Trust (now Bear Yuba Land Trust). He works to insure community involvement and understanding of the trail program, meets with other groups interested in developing trails, plans trail routes that will connect to public lands in accordance with the terms of a grant from the Forest Reserve, works with property owners to secure public easements for the trails, 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. email@example.com
Larry, a Registered Professional Civil Engineer, was the Tahoe National Forest’s Staff Officer responsible for engineering, real estate and recreation. He worked with the Trust for Public Lands to prioritize and implement land transactions to assure the public acquisition and eventual conservation of special places for future generations.
Melony Vance calls herself an “Adventure Guide” leading hikes not only for the Bear Yuba Land Trust, but also for the Sierra Club - and she’s a volunteer whitewater rafting guide for the Friends of the River on the South Fork of the American River. As if those aren't enough to keep her busy, she's also the Executive Director of the Yuba Watershed Institute.
Melony’s roots in the area began as a child when her family spent the summers on the North Fork of the Yuba River where her dad mined for gold. Remembering how much she had loved the river, she moved back here in 2008. Shortly after settling in, while out hiking, Melony met the late John Skinner, former Tahoe National Forest Supervisor, who became her hiking & trails mentor.
In addition to her love of the outdoors, Melony is an avid reader (and former bookstore owner), and world traveler. She has a daughter who also shares her sense of adventure. firstname.lastname@example.org
Conservation Program Assistant
Cathy was born in the land of cheese, brats and beer, otherwise known as Wisconsin. Although she is from the Milwaukee area, Cathy decided to attend school in central Wisconsin at UW-Stevens Point, majoring in Biology and minoring in Wildlife Management. It was there she realized how important conservation of natural resources really is. After moving to California three years ago, she discovered her true passion was working with flowering plants. She has worked in the area doing invasive species removal, seed collection and vegetation monitoring. Cathy welcomed her first daughter, Scarlet, into the world on January 19, 2012.
She is now serving with Bear Yuba Land Trust as the Conservation Program Assistant via the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership. Cathy assists the Stewardship Program Manager as well as the Trails Coordinator. email@example.com
Board Advisory Council
Zachi Anderson - Trails Builder
Peter Arnold - Forester (ret) and Past Director, NCLT
Cheryl Belcher - CCLT, Past NCLT Executive Director
Geri Bergen - Retired USFS, Past NCLT President
John Bilheimer - Attorney at Law, Haley & Bilheimer
Brian Bisnett - Bisnett Design
Andy Cassano - Nevada City Engineering
Jeff Darlington - Executive Director, Placer Land Trust
Beth Donnelly - Past Director, NCLT
Al Dover - Easement Donor
Steve Frisch - Sierra Business Council
Holger Hahn - Conservation Easement Landowner
Hilary Hedman - Past Director, NCLT
Anne Hendrickson - 20-year Resident of Yosemite Valley
Glenn Hovemann - Publisher
Ron Jauch - Author, Past Pres of Wheatland Historical Society
Rick Kalb - Northwestern Mutual Financial
Peggy Levine - President, North Star Historic Conservancy
Ron Mathis - Past President & Treasurer, NCLT
Irv Mazur - Past President, Gold Country Trails Council
Bill Nickerl - Past Director, NCLT
Judy Nielsen - NCLT Founder, Imaginarium
Tom Parilo - Independent Land Use Planning Consultant
Ray Patton - State Parks Supt (Ret)
Janey Powers, President, Wildlife Rehab & Release
Don Rivenes - President, Local Audubon Chapter
Lowell Robertson - SYRCL, FORE, Sierra Club, NCLT
Don Ryberg - Chairman, Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe
Dave Sutton - Trust for Public Land
Bill Trabucco - Conservation Easement Landowner
John Vander Veen - Friends of Deer Creek
Mark Weyman - Real Estate Agent, Coldwell Banker GRR
Kevin Whitlock - Forrester
David Wright - Architect