NDF Advisory Committee


This committee was formed in 2016 to achieve greater integration between NDF programs, as well as State & Private Forest programs sponsored by the US Forest Service. This single committee meets the Federal requirement for two individual groups organized under the Urban and Community Forestry as well as Stewardship and Legacy programs.  It provides a streamlined process for all State & Private Forest program guidance and advice, and which will lead to greater efficiency and synergism among program areas, stakeholders, and cooperators.  Representation has been expanded to include representation from fire professionals, local government decision makers, environmental groups, academia, and others.

The group will serve NDF in the following capacities:

  • To ensure a greater degree of integration between all NDF programs and enhance the interaction between communities, private landowners, related interest groups and local, state and federal government agencies.
  • To assist with state strategic planning through providing input into updating and revising the Forest Action Plan.
  • To broaden the reach of NDF’s Forest Stewardship, Forest Health, Forest Legacy, Urban & Community Forestry, and Community Fire Protection programs to maximize their value.
  • To help focus limited resources from NDF and other organizations on areas and topics that are most valuable for natural resource conservation and desired by the public.
  • To enhance the quality of grant proposal ideas and completed proposals received from formal solicitations, and increase award success of submitted proposals.
  • Provide guidance for the Forest Legacy Program.

The committee meets twice per year, and members serve for a two year term. If you are interested in serving on the committee or more information on the committee, please contact:

Heather Giger 
Stewardship/Legacy Coordinator

The Fall 2017 Advisory Committee Meeting will be held on October 3, 2017. Agenda and meeting location information.

Committee Members (2016-2018)

Coreen Francis, Forestry Program Lead, Bureau of Land Management

Coreen Francis is the Nevada BLM Forestry Program Lead and the Carson City District Forester. The BLM manages approximately 8 million acres of forests and woodlands in Nevada. Coreen oversees the policy, budget, accomplishments, and training aspects of the BLM Nevada Forestry Program. She has been in this position since 2012, and was an Assistant Field Manager for the 3 years before her current position. Prior to moving to Nevada, Coreen was implementing and planning timber sales for BLM in Western Oregon from 1998-2009. She also worked as a Forestry Technician for five seasons on the Tahoe and Plumas National Forests in California.

Duncan Leao, Silviculturist and Vegetation/Fuels Program Manager, US Forest Service

I have worked in the integrated world of fire, fuels, vegetation, and timber management from as early as 1998.  I consider myself a forester by trade and experience.  My work experience has included working in fire management in both fire suppression and fuels management including prescribed burning and various forest thinning projects.  I have worked on several field crews conducting stand exam data collection, timber marking/cruising, and contract preparation/administration.  As a vegetation and fuels planner I helped lead teams for efforts of forest management at landscape level analysis and decision making. As Timber Management Officer I led the timber program for implementing timber sale and stewardship contracts for forest health, fuels reduction and aspen enhancement.  Currently I serve as the forest Silviculturist and Vegetation/Fuels Program Manager for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF) and hold fireline qualifications as a crew boss for fire suppression, and technical specialist as an air resource advisor.  Finally, the various places that I have worked in and around have included the Lassen and Modoc National Forests, Northern Arizona and Northern New Mexico, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, and the HTNF.

Kelly McGowan, Program Manager, Sagebrush Ecosystem Technical Team

Prior to being named the Program Manager of the Sagebrush Ecosystem Technical Team (SETT), McGowan served as a Conservation Staff Specialist II representing the Nevada Department of Agriculture on the SETT since 2013. Previously, McGowan served as an environmental scientist for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) in its Safe Drinking Water Bureau. In that position he worked with drinking water operators throughout the state and reviewed and approved operator certification, as well as conducted meetings of the Nevada Drinking Water and Wastewater Operators Forum. Prior to joining NDEP, McGowan served for more than eight years on the staff for the Nevada Division of Conservation Districts, where he provided technical, environmental and administrative assistance to the state’s 28 conservation districts and also served as staff to the State Conservation Commission. For seven years prior to working with the state program, McGowan was the district manager for the Mason and Smith Valley Conservation Districts where he administered several natural resource conservation programs. McGowan has a B.S. in Geography (Land Forms and Climatology), from the University of Nevada, Reno and is also a Certified Public Manager.

Dale Wisniewski, Southern Nevada Urban and Community Forestry Representative

Mr. Wisniewski Landscape Specialist for The College of Southern Nevada who partners within the community to preserve and increase knowledge of our Urban Forests. Working professionally for over 4 decades in Horticulture in Las Vegas. He has always had a deep appreciation for plants and trees and never assumed that anything was impossible to grow. He has been the Director of Horticulture Caesars Palace and Facilities Director Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Dale has published articles in Desert Green Magazine, been a Guest speaker on the local scene (CSN, Golf Course Superintendents Conference, Desert Demonstration Gardens, Guest on National TV show, Paul James Gardening show and on the Travel Channel.

Lee Turner, PhD, Partnership for Conservation and Development Lead, Nevada Department of Wildlife

Dr. Turner has a background in plant ecology, vegetation sampling, river restoration, biological and ecological assessments, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents, endangered species management, plant community classification and delineation and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to natural resource management. He has designed, implemented and managed projects in the Great Basin states and Colorado and has conducted various studies and worked across much of the western US, arctic Canada and Alaska and Antarctica.  He has strong field and laboratory botany skills including use of dichotomous keys, microscope techniques, herbarium organization and voucher specimen preparation. Dr. Turner has experience with non native plant and animal species eradication and native plant revegetation plans. He has strong quantitative skills with univariate and multivariate statistics, ordination and spatial analysis techniques. He has taught field and classroom biology, botany, ecology and GIS classes.

Prior to coming to NDOW, Dr. Turner was ecologist and project manager on sagebrush/grassland, Pinyon-Juniper ecosystem and riparian habitat restoration efforts as well as a number of utility projects. He has worked with the University of Nevada Reno, the US Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the California Department of Fish and Game, private landowners, ranchers and coalitions of groups with diverse interests in outcomes of management on public lands to design and implement large scale restoration projects.  Dr. Turner is adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and is the incoming president of the Society for Ecological Restoration’s Great Basin Chapter.

Sherman Swanson, PhD, State Range/Riparian Specialist, University of Nevada, Reno

Dr. Sherman Swanson is a riparian specialist for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and associate professor in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Swanson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Resources from the University of Idaho, and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Resource Geography and Rangeland Resources from Oregon State University. His range extension specialist work in Nevada has addressed rangeland monitoring and collaborative management of grazing, riparian areas, fire and fuels, weeds, and wildlife habitat. His primary research and extension focus has been on riparian functions and integration of hydrology, vegetation, and landform through proper management of land uses. He leads the interagency and interdisciplinary Nevada Creeks and Communities Team which has taught more than 85 classes on riparian proper functioning condition assessment and riparian management and monitoring. His research addresses riparian functions and water quality, hydrology, vegetation, and landforms in relation to livestock management and fire effects, and the resilience and resistance of mowing and fire in sagebrush and pinyon-juniper woodlands. He has been active in Coordinated Resource Management, Cooperative Stewardship, local and statewide collaborations, resource advisory councils and represents the general public on the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council. He is also a teacher in the Undergraduate Rangeland Ecology and Management Major at UNR.

Julie Malvitz, Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Reno

Through building cooperative relationships, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provides land stewardship in the management and administration of NRCS conservation and financial assistance programs. In her position with NV NRCS, Julie Malvitz promotes and fosters conservation partnerships that help sustain agricultural productivity and environmental quality.

Before coming to Nevada, Julie served as the Assistant State Conservationist of Field Operations for USDA NRCS in Great Falls, MT. She oversaw field operations and partnerships in North Central MT.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a BS and MS in Natural Resource Management, Julie began her federal career as a seasonal employee with the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park. Julie then went on to work as a District Conservationist in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. As the Lead Supervisor and Tribal Liaison, she provided assistance to four counties and three Tribal Nations. During her years in Rhinelander she was appointed to be the Tribal Liaison for the entire state. She also directed all NRCS private land forestry programs and projects in Northern Wisconsin. Additionally, Julie served as the National Program Manager for the Organic Initiative at USDA/NRCS in Washington DC. 

Pat Irwin, Washoe County Fire Services Community Coordinator/Pershing County Commissioner

  • 8-year Pershing County Commissioner
  • 4-H leader for rock climbing and Caving 25 years
  • Lovelock Volunteer Firefighter 28 years
  • Past president Nevada State Fire Fighters Association
  • Past Chairman State of Nevada Board of Fire Services
  • Past Chairman State of Nevada Standards and Training Committee
  • Past State EMS Manager
  • Retired AT&T Senior Account Manager for GEMs (Government-Education-Medical and 911) with 32 years
  • Washoe County Fire Services Community Coordinator – Gerlach Volunteer Fire Department
  • Married 36 years, 2 kids one boy and one girl and 1 Grandson
  • Live in Lovelock NV 34 years, raised in Sparks NV and graduated from Reed High School
  • Also a balloon pilot and I fly in the Great Reno Balloon Race

Bill Campbell, Tribal Nations Representative, Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada

Calculating regular Army, the Army Reserves, and the Army National Guard all into account, I have served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6). In 1984 graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, with a double major in Wildlife/Biology, and a minor in Environmental Law Enforcement. During the undergraduate years at the Point, I earned an Environmental Law Enforcement Scholarship, served as Executive Director for Student Government, and graduated with the Chancellor’s Leadership Award. Earned all the credits for a Master of Wildlife but moved to Arizona. After our move to Arizona in 1986, I attended the University of Phoenix earning a Master of Business Administration degree.

In Arizona I worked for Arizona Game and Fish as a Fish Culturist, Arizona Department of Water Resources in the Upper Gila adjudication, the Pinal Active Management Area in agriculture and urban water conservation. I worked for Arizona Small Utilities (AZ Rural Water) in wellhead protection. I started working as the water resources administrator for the Tohono O’odham Nation in July 2000. The Water Resources Study Program conducted an inventory of all water resources (groundwater, surface water, and precipitation) on the 2.8 million acre (Connecticut sized) reservation in southern Arizona. As part of the Program, we began the first water quality program with annual grants from U.S. EPA Region 9, an EPA source water assessment program. I sampled drinking water in eleven Northern Sonora Mexico O’odham communities and secured a grant to renovate the water system in Quitovac, Mexico. I also worked as an Environmental Manager for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Southern Arizona where I developed their first environmental program.

July 2012 I began working with the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada as the Tribal-State Environmental Liaison. In that capacity I work with the federally recognized Nevada and eastern California Tribes to assist their environmental managers to develop their environmental programs. If issues arise I will act as a liaison between the tribe and a state or federal agency to resolve the issue

Doug Martin, Co-chair, Pinyon-Juniper Partnership

Over 45 years combination of education,  passion of outdoor activities and work in the fields of natural resources and environmental sciences in the Great Basin. Activities and Experience include:

  • Bachelor of Science, Renewable Natural Resources, University of Nevada – Reno
  • District Manager, Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, Lake Tahoe Nevada.
  • Principle Scientist, SECOR International, Carson City, Nevada
  • Environmental Specialist and Project Manager, Vector Engineering, Carson City, Nevada.
  • Program Supervisor, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
  • Secondary Substitute Teacher, Douglas County and Carson City School Districts
  • Hunter Education Instructor, Nevada Department of Wildlife. 
  • Board Member, Nevada Tahoe Conservation District. 
  • Board Member and Volunteer Educator. Masion T Ortiz Youth Outdoors Skills Camp.  
  • Board Member and Current Chair, Carson City Wildlife Advisory Board. 
  • Co- Chairman – Nevada Pinyon Juniper Partnership. 

Jake Tibbits, Treasurer, Nevada Association of Conservation Districts

Jake Tibbitts was born and raised in Blackfoot, Idaho on a family farm and ranch.  Jake is a biologist and geo-spatial rangeland scientist, receiving both a B.S. and M.S. from Idaho State University.  He is the Eureka County Natural Resources Manager where he keeps the County involved and engaged on natural resource issues and management.  Jake is current treasurer of the Nevada Association of Conservation Districts, current chairman of the Nevada State Land Use Planning Advisory Council, commissioner on the Nevada State Conservation Commission, member of the Nevada Pinyon-Juniper Partnership Executive Committee, member of the White Pine – Nye US Forest Service SRS Resource Advisory Committee, ad hoc board member of the Nevada Weed Management Association, supervisor on the Eureka County Conservation District, Zone Councilman for the Nevada Section Society for Range Management, and Nevada delegate on the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) through the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

Sheila Anderson, Natural Resources Policy Analyst , Office of the Governor

Sheila Anderson currently serves as the Natural Resources Policy Analyst on Governor Sandoval’s staff. Sheila is a range and wildlife ecologist with more than 30 years of experience in the Great Basin working on wildfire risk assessments in the wildland-urban interface, ecological health evaluation of upland and riparian ecosystems, habitat assessments and surveys for threatened, endangered, and special status species, and writing conservation action plans.

Teresa Taylor, PhD, Watershed Specialist, Nevada Rural Water Association

Dr. Taylor has a B.S. in Geology, M.S. in Geological Engineering and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. She was a member of the engineering faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and the University of Washington during the early part of her career, where she taught (in addition to standard engineering courses) multi-disciplinary courses in rock engineering/slope stability, engineering geology, groundwater hydrology and geotechnical engineering. While in academia Dr. Taylor was a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award, and served on multiple proposal review committees for the National Science Foundation. Tiring of academic life, she turned to private practice for several years, working with environmental reviews, watershed studies, mine permitting and construction plans and reviews. After moving to Nevada for family reasons, she became a watershed specialist with Nevada Rural Water Association, and has since been continually learning about the unique hydrology and geology of Nevada, with a particular interest in processes and activities potentially impacting current and future drinking water supplies within the state.

John Crandell , President, Nevada Shade Tree Council

John Crandell worked 32 years for City of Reno Parks Department in park maintenance and urban forestry. John retired as the City of Reno Tree Inspector and now operates John Crandell Tree Care. John was the first certified tree worker in Nevada and also holds an ISA Arborist Certification, Utility Specialist, and Municipal Specialist. John has served on the Western Chapter ISA certification committee and is currently President of the Nevada Shade Tree Council.

Janet Valle, Regional Office Liaison, US Forest Service

Janet has a degree from the University, Nevada Reno in Range and Wildlife Management.  She has worked for the National Forests as a Rangeland Management Specialist on three National Forest in three states including Nevada, and has worked for the Forest Service for 29 years.  She joined State and Private Forestry’s, Forest Health Protection staff in 2001 as the Intermountain and Northern Regions Pesticide Specialist/State Noxious Weed Grant Coordinator, overseeing the pesticide programs for 24 National Forest and working with six states.  Janet is currently the Intermountain and Northern Regions Forest Stewardship, Forest Legacy, and Community Forest and Opens Space Program (CFP) Program Manager.  She has been in this position for four years but has working in State and Private Forestry for 15 years.

Danny Mcbride, Partnership Coordinator, US Forest Service

I was born and raised on a small farm in Southern Idaho. I attended Utah State University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Soil and Water Science. While attending USU I started as an Earth Team Volunteer for the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service and the local Soil Conservation Districts. This led to a part time position with the Utah Association of Conservation Districts and then full time once I graduated. In 2008 I switched from the state to the federal service and started work for the NRCS as a Resource Conservationist. In 2011 I became the Area Resource Conservationist for the NRCS for the north half of the state of Utah. I have been involved with writing watershed plans, conservation plans on a variety of land uses, GIS mapping, working with numerous partners and programs to get conservation on the ground, and teaching and facilitating numerous types of trainings. I have served as a national cadre trainer for Civil Rights, as a member of the NRCS National Civil Rights Committee, and national service delivery tool teams. I love my family, faith, agriculture, tractors, gardening, hunting, fishing, and Aggie Football and Basketball. 

Tina McKeand, Project Manager, Davey Resource Group

Tina McKeand is an urban and community forestry specialist and project manager for Davey Resource Group (DRG). Since joining DRG in 2007, Ms. McKeand has worked with multiple communities to explore and better understand their urban forest resources. She has developed unique and engaging documents and outreach materials for reporting advanced resource analysis and land cover assessment. Working closely with urban forest managers and a variety of stakeholders, Ms McKeand has developed urban forest management and master plans for communities across the US and was a co-author and illustrator for the US EPA guide Stormwater to Street Trees. She is a Certified Arborist (WE-5005AM) with a Municipal Specialist designation and a graduate of the Municipal Forestry Institute.

Prior to joining DRG, Ms. McKeand was a park development specialist and urban forester for the City of Yuma, Arizona (1998-2007), where she was responsible for developing the urban forest program and tree protection ordinance, staff training and safety, and stakeholder and volunteer coordination, along with coordinating construction of the 110 acre Yuma West Wetlands Park restoration project along the Colorado River. Concurrently, Ms. McKeand served as a senior instructional specialist with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, coordinating and providing training for arborist certification and Master Gardeners. She has served as a board member and president of the Arizona Community Tree Council (1999-2007), board member of the Nevada Shade Tree Council (2008-present), and volunteer for the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (2007-present). She is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Western Chapter ISA, and the Society of Municipal Arborists.

Sean Gephart, Agriculturist IV, Nevada Department of Agriculture

Sean Gephart is the Noxious Weeds Coordinator for the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA). Prior to this positon, he spent 11 years with the agency’s Environmental Services Program acting as lead EPA inspector and Worker Protection Standard Coordinator. Before joining the department, Sean spent fifteen years in the horticulture and pest control industries. Preceding that he worked for the National Park Service and California Conservation Corp. He has a degree in horticulture, is a certified crop adviser (CCA) and was a certified arborist from 2005 through 2014.

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