The Board of Directors of the Pines and Prairies Land Trust, March 2013
Smith Covey - President
Smith Covey is retired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service where he served various capacities in Texas, Arizona, and Washington D.C. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Central Texas RC&D Council and is an active member of Bastrop County's Lost Pines Recovery Team.
He has served as President of the Arizona Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, planning team for Arizona's Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, Chair of the water quality planning committee for Northern Arizona Council of Governments and Chair of Flagstaff Clean and Green. He worked in community conservation programs with the Natural Resources Conservation Service from 1997 to 2006. He served as President of the National Rural Development Council and as a member of the private lands committee of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.
Smith is a graduate of Lubbock Christian University and holds a Master of Public Administration from Northern Arizona University.
Joan Russell - Vice President
Bastrop County Audubon Society past President and current Board member. Bastrop Advertiser garden columnist. Fire-wise Forest designer. BA Southern Methodist University - English; BS Texas A&M University Horticulture.
Alan Jaeger - Treasurer
Corporate information technology specialist (retired); financial and web-technology chair for various non-profit environmental and fine arts organizations in Texas.
Maria is an environmental coordinator in Austin, specializing in sustainable resources, recycling, green building and water conservation. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and has been instrumental in making improvements to her neighborhood park through grants and community stewardship. Maria is also a social media and website “whiz.” Maria became interested in serving on the board because it was an opportunity to make a positive impact in the Central Texas region which she calls home.
Sandy was born and raised in Lee County and currently resides in Giddings. She has spent the majority of her professional career at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. as a data manager of the Texas Natural Diversity Database. She also worked a few years as a field technician with the Burleson-Lee Soil and Water Conservation District, as well as a seed analyst with the Texas Dept. of Agriculture. Sandy enjoys volunteering and serving as a board member of the Lee County Youth Center, as well as on the committee of the Lee County Relay for Life. B.A. – Environmental Science, Concordia University – Austin, 1993; M.S. – Population & Conservation Biology, Texas State University – San Marcos, 2009.
Travis lives in Lee County and is the renewable energy program manager for the Texas Department of Rural Affairs in Austin. He previously worked three years as energy projects director for the Texas office of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. He also worked more than 20 years as a journalist, including reporting for newspapers in Dallas, El Paso, Lubbock, Temple, Denton and Sacramento, California. He worked three years as a legal assistant for a public interest environmental law firm in Austin. In the 1990s, he led a grass-roots citizen's group in Erath County that fought water pollution from large dairies. He also helped organize and leads Neighbors for Neighbors, which formed in 1999 to battle environmental and human health threats in Lee and Bastrop counties from the strip-mining and coal-burning operations of Alcoa and Luminant. – BA Journalism, University of North Texas, 1976,
Natural Resources Conservation Coordinator for the Lower Colorado River Authority (retired), Ledbetter, Texas. Chairman-Fayette County Beef Cattle Committee. Member of the North Central Fayette County Wildlife Management Association, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. BS Texas A&M University-Agricultural Economics.
Jeremiah Jarvis PhD
Psychologist. Chairman, Bastrop County Volunteer Board; Volunteer-advocacy columnist for Bastrop Advertiser. Member Neighbors for Neighbors. Ph.D. University of Texas - Psychology
Information Technology Strategic Planner, State of Texas (retired). Member Bastrop County Audubon Society, BBA Texas Tech University - General Business, MBA Southern Methodist University - Management.
A native Texan, Mary and her husband Don moved to La Grange five years ago. Mary is an interior decorator, specializing in residential design and home staging. She is an active member of the Gideon Lincecum Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists (Training Program chair 2009 and 2010). She has participated in fundraising for the La Grange Area Chamber of Commerce and Arts for Rural Texas (2009 "Harvestfest" chair). She is a member of Texas Women's League, a 2011 graduate of Fayette County Leadership and continues a family tradition as a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Breeder's Greeters Committee).
Jarle Lillemoen PhD
Jarle was born in Norway. He moved to the great state of Texas in 1985. Jarle started playing guitar at this time. He spent his educational career in Texas. He graduated from the following institutions: Pearland High School 1989, University of Houston, 1993, B.S in Biochemical Sciences, University of Texas at Austin 1999, Ph.D. in Biochemistry working under Dr. David Hoffman. He also spent time writing songs and singing them the whole time, and discovered the Mayan calendar. Jarle spent the next five years working in Dr. Kenneth A. Johnson’s laboratories as a post doctoral fellow and later as a research associate, all the while playing gigs with his Rock band. During and after a brief stay in Maryland in 2003-2004, Jarle worked for SaplingLearning.com as a content writer. In January 2008, Jarle and his wife Callie moved to Norway to spend time with his mother Marion, and during this time Jarle worked on the web site of Dr. Johnson’s corporate website, and taught natural sciences at Eiker Videregående Skole in Hokksund, Norway. In March, 2008, Jarle experienced both the death of his mother and the birth of his daughter Sol. In September 2008, Jarle Callie and Sol moved back to Red Rock, TX. During the first year and a third of that time, Jarle built the dome in which the family resides, with lots of help from an amazing community of people in Red Rock and surrounding towns, including Austin. During this time, Jarle was introduced to the great work of the Pines and Prairies Land Trust. Jarle and Callie experienced the birth of their son Tor Marius in March 2010. Currently working at a distillery in Smithville, TX.
Licensed Texas Real Estate Broker,( retired) – Owns and operates Vogel Wildlife Farm 5 miles southwest of LaGrange. President of Temple Israel of Schulenburg, member of LaGrange Noon Lions Club, chair of Fayette Co. Board of Emergency Food and Shelter program, board member Cedar Cemetery Assoc, Texas Jewish Historical Society, Fayette County Historical Commission, Bugle Boy Listening Room, Fayette County Animal Shelter, Democratic Party Precinct Chair, Tx Master Naturalist, Gideon Lincecum Chapter. – University of Texas at Austin, 1971, BBA in Marketing.
Melanie Snyder - Executive Director
Melanie’s education and work experience center around land and wildlife conservation. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology and has been working as a biologist since 1995. Her work experience includes bird surveys, Houston toad permitting and conservation, land and wildlife conservation, education and outreach, and for the past eleven years, endangered species conservation and regulatory protection. She has a decade of experience providing technical and regulatory guidance regarding project impacts to land and how to successfully reach development and management goals while reducing impacts to wildlife and protected resources. Melanie and her husband own land and reside in Caldwell County with their two horses, three dogs and three cats.