BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Unless otherwise noted, the board meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm.
Jim Lautner – Chair
Scott Collins –Vice Chair
Denis Garvin – Treasurer
Lynn Bakker – Director
John Werner – Director
Bernard (Buzz) Long – Executive Director
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Karen Long – Administrative Assistant
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Steve Christensen – Soil Erosion & Sediment Control Inspector/ Drain Commissioner
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Collin Oosse — Natural Resource Specialist / Soil Erosion Technician
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Ellie Johnson – District Forester
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Adam Brown – Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Technician
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Tom Adams – Natural Resource Specialist
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Kelly Claar – Conservation Technical Assistance Initiative Program Services Assistant
Jason Kimbrough – NRCS Conservationist
Audrey Menninga – Invasive Species Network (ISN) Coordinator
TBD – Produce Safety Technician
Meet the new LCD staff!
Adam Brown, MAEAP Technician
LCD is excited to announce that Adam Brown will be filling the position of Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Technician for Leelanau and Benzie counties!
Adam, born and raised in LaPorte IN, feels at home in Northern Michigan after living north of Elk Rapids for 10 years. He received a B.S. in Earth Science with minors in Biology and Environmental Studies from Western Michigan University in 2010.
In 2011, Adam completed an 8-month long, hands-on organic farm training course at the at the Organic Farm School on Whidbey Island, WA, an experience that launched a career in organic farming. He and his wife, Haley Breniser, began by managing Chinook Farms in Snohomish, WA, later relocating to Northern Michigan where they established a certified-organic vegetable and fruit farm in Kewadin -- Undertoe Farm. Throughout its 8 successful seasons, Undertoe Farm has built an amazing community of kind and environmentally-conscious customers that have helped the business thrive.
Adam enjoys playing mandolin, attending live concerts, backpacking in the Upper Peninsula and Canada, and, naturally, growing vegetables organically. However, his favorite activity is spending time with his wife, Haley, and son, Atticus. If he could check one activity off his bucket list today, Adam would take a family trip to Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.
“I wanted to make a larger environmental impact in and around the ecologically sensitive and significant land in Northern Michigan,” says Adam when asked why he applied for the job, “I’m looking forward to networking with an incredible group of conservation associates and local growers working to implement best practices on their farm ecosystem.”
Ellie Johnson, District Forester
Meet Ellie, our new forester! She hails from Erie, Pennsylvania, and earned her B.S. in Environmental Biology and B.S.E. in Secondary Biology Education from Clarion University. Her M.S. degree in Forest Resources comes from from Clemson University in South Carolina.
Ellie lived in eight different states before she discovered Northern Michigan when working for the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) out of the Antrim Conservation District. She really liked the area and was pleased to have the opportunity to stay here with the Forestry position!
One thing Ellie is looking forward to is working with landowners, getting to know them and their land, and helping them to be good stewards of their forested property.
Her hobbies include hiking around looking at cool trees, performing at open mic nights, playing games like Ultimate Frisbee, arting around, and botanizing (i.e., trying to key out plants).
One of Ellie's bucket list items is to visit the giant sequoia trees in Northern California, she'd love to see them growing in their native habitat.
Collin Oosse, Natural Resource Specialist
Our new Natural Resource Specialist, Collin Oosse, has already proved to be a welcome addition to the District!
Collin graduated from MSU in 2019 with a B.S. in plant biology and a minor in plant, animal, and microbial biotechnology. Before that he attended West Senior High in Traverse City. He was born in Kalamazoo but moved up north when he was 3 years old.
Collin has enjoyed what Leelanau County has to offer (trails, forests, beaches) since he was young. Working for the LCD seemed like a perfect fit.
When asked what he's looking forward to in his new position, Collin said he's very excited to become more familiar with the forests, waters, and soils that make up the natural beauty in this area and looking forward to enjoying and protecting it with the Leelanau community.
Other passions include running, gardening, reading, camping, and hiking with his dog. A bucket list item for Collin is to run a 100-mile race!
Sustainable gardening is also a passion of his and something he's always trying to learn more about. Collin encourages people to contact him as he'd be thrilled to share what he knows and, in turn, he'd love to learn from others' expertise. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!