Board & Staff

The NWSA Board


andrew-downs.pngAndrew Downs, NWSA Board Chair

Andrew works as the Central and Southwest Virginia Regional Director at Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Andrew is a "born and breaded" North Carolinian who holds a degree in Cultural Resource management from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and a Masters in Natural Resource Management from NC State University in Raleigh.

First making his bones on North Carolina's Haw River and Mountain To Sea Trails, Andrew became the ATC's Southern Trail Resource Manager in 2007 and moved to the Virginia region in 2013 to serve as the Regional Director. A 2002 thru-hiker, Andrew takes a volunteers-first approach to Appalachian Trail management and is widely hailed as the savior of mankind.



Andrew Schurr – NWSA Vice Chair

Andrew Schurr lives, works, and plays in the Sierra Nevada mountains of eastern California. He has dedicated his professional and personal life to the conservation and stewardship of public lands and the resources they provide. He has served in multiple stewardship capacities within the non-profit conservation community and is an Alumni of the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership program. A graduate of the University of Michigan and a life long lover of the outdoors Andrew uses his skills to build efficacy in the conservation and outdoor recreation communities with a focus on stewardship and building a conservation ethic. He has been involved with the NWSA since its inception, attending the first 2010 meeting as a member of the youth leadership panel, and was honored to join the board in 2013. When Andrew is not working to care for the public lands of America he can be found rock climbing, skiing, trail running, backpacking, biking, and playing in the outdoors.



Darcy Shepard – NWSA Treasurer

Darcy began working with the NWSA in March 2011, assisting with logistics for the inaugural conference. She was elected Treasurer in September 2012, and serves as chairwoman for the 2016 cycle Boots on the Ground grant committee.

Her passion for numbers and the outdoors led her to her current position as the Director of Finance and Human Resources with Friends of Nevada Wilderness after serving as a yearlong AmeriCorps for the organization in 2010. She holds a BA in Journalism and Political Science and a Certificate of Excellence in Nonprofit Management (2014), both from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Darcy’s enthusiasm for wilderness and public lands stewardship is inspired by her mother, who wore the iconic Woodsy Owl costume while working with the Forest Service in southern California.


 Anne Baker – NWSA SecretaryAnneBaker.png

Anne currently serves as communications manager for Rock Creek Conservancy in Bethesda, Maryland. Previously, she was public relations and social media specialist for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, Anne holds undergraduate degrees in journalism and technical photography from Appalachian State University and a master's degree in Rhetoric and Composition from Western Carolina University. She now lives in West Virginia, where she enjoys exploring the beautiful scenery that makes up the Wild and Wonderful state. 

Anne joined the NWSA in October 2016, and she is excited to spread the word about the incredible work being accomplished by NWSA partner organizations. 


David Cantrell

 David Cantrell, NWSA Board Member

Dave grew up in the woods and lakes of North West Pennsylvania, a land his parents helped him learn to love and respect. His passion for wild places now finds a center in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he is a Poudre Wilderness Volunteer, helping maintain the wilderness areas of the Northern Colorado Front Range, which are much loved and always in danger of being much trammeled without the support of volunteers.

Dave chairs the Programs Committee, helping create an allied constituency for wilderness by connecting stewardship organizations nationwide with each other, linking our efforts and experiences, directing groups to resources, and fostering new organizations. 

In 2012 Dave was recognized by the United States Forest Service with the Bob Marshall Award as Individual Champion for Wilderness Stewardship.  Dave was the founding Chair of NWSA, and returned to the Board in 2016. 


Katie CurrierKatie Currier, NWSA Board Member

Katie is a Program Manager with Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards overseeing Field Crew and Volunteer Operations. She is a Leave No Trace Master Educator and is a C-certified crosscut sawyer. 

A New York native, Katie is a graduate of Ithaca College with a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. She has worked as a Wilderness Ranger in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and spent a couple years training and coordinating field crews for the Utah Conservation Corps. 

Katie joined the NWSA board in November 2016 and is looking forward to providing a boots on the ground perspective and working with the many partner organizations.

Randy Rasmussen, NWSA Board Member

Stuart Dodd, NWSA Board Member

Sandy Compton, NWSA Board Member

Jennifer Tripp, NWSA Board Member




SLP-Randy.pngRandy Welsh, Executive Director

Recently retired from the US Forest Service after a 36 year career, Randy is enjoying his new found freedom to serve as a executive director of NWSA.

“Having served in protected area management with emphasis on wilderness and rivers most of my career I am especially aware of the need for strong partner stewardship organizations. I hope I can help NWSA achieve it’s mission of a stewardship group for every wilderness area.”

Randy spent time in Washington DC as the National Program Leader for Wild and Scenic Rivers and as Assistant Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources. He was a Regional Wilderness Specialist in the Intermountain Region working on wilderness and rivers issues for over 16 years before moving to Washington. Married, with two grown daughters, Randy lives in Oregon and enjoys river trips, wilderness hikes, and visits with friends and family.  Let him know what you would like NWSA to become.

Past Board Members

Bill Hodge, past NWSA Chair

Bill Hodge is the Executive Director of Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS), and is based in Asheville, North Carolina. Bill started SAWS in November of 2010, originally as a program of The Wilderness Society, to serve as an organization that would educate, cultivate and empower an engaged public for the stewardship of the protected public lands across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. SAWS became an independent organization in January of 2015.

Before starting SAWS, Bill began his conservation work as an organizer on the Tennessee Wild campaign after a 25-year career as a marketing executive in the broadcast and college athletics arena.

In 2013 Bill was recognized by the United States Forest Service as an External Champion of Wilderness Stewardship with the Bob Marshall Award, and in 2014 was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to build the next generation of conservation leaders.

Doug Scott, NWSA Board Member

Doug has devoted his career to Wilderness. He helped pass many wilderness bills, including the Eastern Wilderness Areas Act (1975) and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA, 1980), as well as Alpine Lakes Wilderness in his home state of Washington.

He worked for The Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, and the Campaign for America's Wilderness.

He served as the Club’s national conservation director and associate executive director. He was honored with the organization’s prestigious John Muir Award.

Scott has written several books, including The Enduring Wilderness and Our Wilderness: America's Common Ground.  He is a past chair of the NWSA Board.

Hawk Metheny, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Shaaron Neatherton, Friends of Nevada Wilderness

Eric Melson, Montana Land Trust

Celina Montanforo, Tread Lightly