Team Land Trust

At Bear Yuba Land Trust we work together to further our mission to protect and defend the working and natural lands in the Bear and Yuba River watersheds and empower a healthy, resilient community through nature access and education. We as a team are passionate about protecting the open spaces and wild places around us for the community to enjoy for generations to come.


Interested in working for BYLT? check out our careers page to see any available job openings.


Erin Tarr | Executive Director | | (530) 272-5994 x 205


Erin has been working in the land conservation field for 12 years and brings a wide range of skills to her position at BYLT. In 2012, she joined the staff as the Stewardship Manager and has been leading the organization since 2018. Erin grew up in Iowa and moved to Colorado upon graduating high school to explore the Rocky Mountains and follow her passion for snowboarding. Eventually landing in California, Erin received her degree from CSU Sacramento in Environmental Studies and Biology in 2009. After working with California Department of Fish and Game on the American, Mokelumne, Sacramento, and Cosumnes Rivers conducting fish research and angler surveys, she took a position with The Nature Conservancy at the Cosumnes River Preserve. This is where her understanding of the power of private land conservation was realized. Just before joining BYLT, Erin worked with Placer Land Trust in Auburn. In her free time Erin enjoys exploring nature, snowboarding, music, and spending time with her three kids.


Jorie Emory| Development and Communications Director | | (530) 272-5994 x 213


Jorie is passionate about connecting people to nature. Prior to joining the team at BYLT, Jorie was Director of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival and held leadership roles at Children & Nature Network and River Network. She is a Humboldt State University alumna and later earned a Ph.D. in arts administration, education, and policy from the Ohio State University, where she researched emerging practices in participatory philanthropy and arts-based action research methodologies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, yoga, and making art.

Kate Gazzo | Conservation Program Manager | | (530) 272-5994 x 201


Kate grew up on the beach of the west coast of Florida. She studied Environmental Studies and Biology at Florida Gulf Coast University.  She has 10 years of experience working on a variety of projects across the U.S. ranging from water quality monitoring to wetland restoration and invasive species eradication.  She came to California in 2012 to explore the Sierra Nevada Mountains and pursue a graduate degree in Environmental Management at the University of San Francisco.  Her Master’s research focused on using land conservation as a tool to achieve clean drinking water and avoid the use of gray infrastructure.

Kate now lives in Nevada City.  While working in California, Kate has served as a biologist to evaluate proposed impacts to special-status species and natural communities. She has supported the development of conservation and mitigation banks and coordinated in-lieu fee mitigation projects.  Kate is passionate about land conservation and promotes land conservation as a “multi-tool approach” to protect air, water, and soil resources in addition to wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.  In her spare time, she is happy doing yoga, cooking, mountain biking, snowboarding, and “botanizing”.

Sarah West | Administrative and Development Manager | | (530) 272-5994 x 204


Born in Ventura, CA, Sarah grew up exploring the coast and wild areas that surrounded her. She always had a love for the outdoors and wildlife and knew she wanted a career that focused on those things. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA in 2013 with a degree in Animal Science. After graduating from Calpoly she got married and moved to Nevada County where she fell in love with the beautiful foothills. She spent some time as a zookeeper for Folsom City Zoo and she worked as a Wildlife Technician and Administrative Assistant for Gold Country Wildlife Rescue in Auburn, CA. Through these experiences, her love for wildlife and beautiful Northern California grew and she recognized the importance of promoting conservation of our local lands. She joined Bear Yuba Land Trust in May 2019. In her free time she enjoys hiking, recreational soccer, and spending time with her husband and two dogs and cats.

Aleena Church | Community Engagement Manager | | (530) 272-5994 x 207


Aleena grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada where her love for rivers and natural lands began. She got her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University, where she had the opportunity to work for environmental nonprofits, CALPIRG and Environment California. Aleena then went on to continue her education at Cal Poly Humboldt where she recently earned a masters degree in the Environment and Community program. During her masters degree, Aleena worked with the Nisenan Tribe to cultivate conversations in the community around federal recognition and local acknowledgement for the Tribe. Returning to the foothills, now working for the Bear Yuba Land Trust has been a grounding experience. In her free time Aleena enjoys trail running, roller skating at the Grass Valley skatepark, and kayaking our pristine lakes.

Shaun Clarke |Public Recreation Stewardship Manager | | (530) 272-5994 x 203


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.

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.

Jason Landers | Conservation Program Manager | | (530) 272-5994 x 209


Jason was born in Los Angeles, but loves to call the Sierras home. At a young age he developed a passion for exploring the mountains and forests near his home. He knew early on that his calling was to work in service to people, animals, and our natural world. As such, he has devoted his academic and professional life to the pursuit of community and collaborative resource management. Jason graduated from Humboldt State University with a BS in Natural Resources Management and a minor in Geospatial Analysis. After graduating he worked with Food Forward, the largest food recovery nonprofit in California and then for the El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts, an organization dedicated to advising and assisting individual landowners and public agencies in planning and implementation of conservation practices. He is also pursuing a MS in Forest and Watershed Sciences at the University of Colorado. He is grateful to work with the Land Trust and to help defend and conserve natural resources and improve community resilience. When he’s not working he can be found cooking delicious plant-based meals, reading by a river, or exploring the Sierras by foot and bike.


Zane Burnett | Restoration and Engagement Assistant | | (530) 272-5994 x 211


Growing up, Zane developed his love of the outdoors while exploring Folsom Lake and the Sierra Nevada Foothills. He attended UC Santa Cruz in 2015 and spent his free time hiking through the Santa Cruz mountains. He graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and spent the next five years working in the construction industry. In November of 2022 Zane was accepted into the SNAP program before being placed with the Bear Yuba Land Trust. In his free time Zane enjoys trail running, camping, art in its many forms, and reading.