The NWSA Board
Andrew 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.
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 Secretary
Anne is the landscape partnership manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, where she works to advance the pace of conservation within the Appalachian Trail landscape. She loves her job because it allows her to connect with public and private organizations across the East Coast.
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 Board in October 2016, and she is excited to spread the word about the incredible work being accomplished by NWSA partner organizations.
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 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
Director for Public Lands & Recreation Back Country Horsemen of America
Since 2012, Randy has represented Back Country Horsemen of America—a widely respected national, non-profit volunteer service organization.
Randy assists BCHA’s 31 state organizations to advance initiatives and strengthen partnerships to ensure that current and future generations will continue to enjoy access to back country and Wilderness experiences. He was a key player in the development and promotion of concepts contained in the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, which gained widespread bipartisan support and was signed into law in November 2016.
Prior to joining BCHA, Randy was senior policy manager for American Hiking Society. He was a founding board member of Trailkeepers of Oregon, a non-profit volunteer trail maintenance organization.
Stuart Dodd, NWSA Board Member
Stuart is the current Board Chair of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Alliance (IPWA)based in Boulder, Colorado. This mission of the IPWA is to preserve and protect the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness areas - located just a 45 minute drive west of Boulder and one of the most heavily visited wilderness areas in the country. The IPWA achieves its mission through focusing on four primary programs - Wilderness Trail Restoration, Wilderness and Public Lands Education, Wilderness Advocacy and Wilderness Patrols. Stuart has been with the IPWA for more than 10 years and has been fortunate enough to visit many of the iconic wilderness areas and national parks across the US. As a new member to the NWSA Board, Stuart is supporter of the need to assist new wilderness friends groups to grow and develop and is a firm believer in the mission of the NWSA. While not volunteering with either the IPWA or NWSA, Stuart is the Vice President of Professional Services for Corptax - a corporate tax accounting software technology company.
Sandy Compton, NWSA Board Member
Sandy grew up in Montana, near the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness and the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, on the property where he lives still. He is author of several book of fiction and nonfiction and hundreds of essays and articles, many dealing with the beauty and sanctity of our natural world. Sandy has been program coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness since October, 2009. He recently received the Keith and Pat Axline Award for Environmental Activism, Idaho Conservation League's highest annual honor.
Jennifer Tripp, NWSA Board Member
Jennifer Tripp has been working with long-distance National Scenic Trail non-profits for more than 15 years. Since 2007, she has been responsible for overseeing the growth of the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s volunteer programs including the partnerships, federal agreements and accomplishment reporting, and development of safety and training programs. In the last five years, PCT volunteers contributed nearly half a million volunteer and service hours to public lands. As the Director of Trail Operations, she works on all aspects of PCTA’s Trail Operations Programs for trail maintenance and reconstruction, and trail protection and land management. Before joining the PCTA, Jennifer worked for the North Country Trail Association, another long-distance National Scenic Trail, as Director of Development and Communication.
Sandy Skrein, USDA Forest Service
Sandy has worked as the Washington Office Wilderness Program Manager since 2016. She started her career on the Superior National Forest writing BWCAW wilderness permits and working as a wilderness ranger. Sandy career changed with a move to Juneau, Alaska to manage the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, then moved to Hoonah, AK to work as an Outdoor Recreation Planner managing the West Chichigof- Yakobi Wilderness and the Pleasant, Lemusurier and Inian Islands Wilderness. Then on to Ketchikan as Director of the interagency Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. She completed her 20 years on the Tongass National Forest as the Recreation, Wilderness, Lands and Minerals Staff Officer on the Wrangell Ranger District managing the South Etolin Wilderness and the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness.
Hearing the call of canoe country and wishing to return to extended family in Minnesota, Sandy moved back to the Superior National Forest in 2008 to work as the Public Service Team Leader. While on the Superior Sandy was recognized by receiving the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Stewardship Program award with a group of wilderness and interdisciplinary managers on the Forest.
Sandy splits her time between work in DC and time at home north of Duluth with her husband Wayne St. John and yellow lab Cedar.
Randy 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 Netherton, Friends of Nevada Wilderness
Eric Melson, Montana Land Trust
Celina Montorfano, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
Adam Andis, Sitka Conservation Society