The Whatcom Land Trust Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers whose skills, experience and expertise represent our diverse community. Together, they share a love and respect for Whatcom County’s outdoor places and natural resources. Whatcom Land Trust’s governing board provides leadership, policy development and community connections while building trust with our donors, partners and community. Together, with a talented and committed staff, the board fulfills its mission to preserve and protect and Whatcom County’s lands, waters, wildlife habitat and natural resources to benefit people and species in perpetuity. We are grateful for the many hours and generous resources they secure to further the work of Whatcom Land Trust.
Ceramic Artist, small business owner “I support Whatcom Land Trust because it enables every resident of our county to take tangible action to restore and protect the natural heritage of our landscape in ways that will be felt and appreciated by the generations to come. I have served on the board since 1990.”
Lynn Berman joined the Board in 2016 and is the current Board Vice President. Originally from the S.F. Bay Area she and her family moved to Whatcom County in 1978 after living in Norway for six years. Lynn founded and operated four businesses for over 30 years, helped establish the Bellingham Farmers Market and the Barkley Merchant’s Association, has been an advocate for sustainable agriculture, local and just food systems, and a mentor for young farmers and chefs. She was a board member of the Whatcom Humane Society for six years and an advisory board member for the Mt. Baker Vocational Technical program for over 18 years. She has volunteered extensively with WA Tilth Producers, Seattle Chef’s Collaborative (now FORKS), Slow Food USA, Slow Meat, Maple Alley Inn, and the Whatcom Land Trust. Other interests include hiking, sea kayaking, biking, traveling, and textile and fiber arts.
Lynne Givler joined the Board in 2015 and currently serves as Board Secretary. She graduated from the Evergreen State College in 1977 with a degree in marine sciences. After working several field and lab jobs, she began her career in parks and recreation in 1979 as a Naturalist with Seattle Parks, and spent her last ten years with Seattle Parks as a Project Manager at the Woodland Park Zoo. In 2001 Lynne began working at Whatcom County Parks as the Operations Manager, and retired in 2011. During her years with Whatcom County Parks she worked closely with the Land Trust on a number of projects, giving her an opportunity first-hand to see the great work Whatcom Land Trust does in the community.
Jennifer Wright joined the Board in 2011 and is serving as the Board Treasurer. She currently works as an accountant at Metcalf Hodges, CPAs.
Dave Brown works as an attorney at Brett McCandlis Brown. He joined the Board in 2016.
Laughlan (Loch) Clark has lived in Whatcom County since 1967, after starting out in Canada, then living in other locales in the U.S. He graduated from Lynden High School (1972), Western Washington State College (English, 1976) and the University of Puget Sound Law School (1980), then started a law practice in Bellingham in 1981. Loch joined his current firm in 1989 and is it longest tenured member. His practice focuses on lending law, business, and real estate. Loch has served on various non-profit boards over the decades, including Whatcom County Mental Health Board, Northwest Youth Services, and most recently Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County. His interests include music, particularly playing jazz, and also traveling, gardening, bicycling, and hiking.
John D’Onofrio joined the Board in 2015. John is the owner and managing editor for Adventures NW magazine.
Steve Hollenhorst has been Dean of Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment since 2012. Prior to that he was the Associate Dean of the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho, founding director of UI’s award-winning Building Sustainable Communities Initiative, founding director of the UI McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS), and co-editor of the international academic journals Society and Natural Resources and the International Journal of Wilderness. Prior to that he was on the forestry faculty at West Virginia University. While there he served as Treasurer and Vice-Chair of the West Virginia Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. He also founded the West Virginia Land Trust and was a founding board member of the Monongahela River Trail Conservancy and the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. He earned his B.S and M.S. degrees from the University of Oregon, and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. His research is in the areas of land use policy and management; land trusts and conservation easements; and environmental leadership. He joined the WLT Board in 2016 and currently also serves on the boards of the North Cascades Institute and Cloud Mountain Farm.
Rand Jack has lived in Whatcom County for 40 years as a lawyer, college professor and bird carver. In 1984, he was a founding Board member of Whatcom Land Trust and has been very much involved in the life of the Land Trust ever since. Rand has been involved to a greater or lesser extent in nearly every Whatcom Land Trust land transaction. For three years he was the environmental overseer of a proposed 650,000-acre sustainable forest project in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. He hikes, sea kayaks and snowshoes and has traveled all over the world to destinations of natural grandeur and ecological richness.
Hall grew up in Bellingham and graduated from Sehome High School. His professional career started in the public sector with the Budget Offices of King County and the City of Seattle, focusing on sustainable and responsible spending policies and prioritizing limited public resources. While he continues his finance career in the private sector, he spends his time with his wife and two kids exploring the Pacific NW by land and by sea. He moved back to Bellingham in 2017 and joined the Whatcom Land Trust Board in 2019.
Gabe Epperson has a background in Urban Planning and large-scale environmental planning with a focus on public outreach. He was the Planning Director at Envision Utah for 5 years, completing the Blueprint Jordan River and Wasatch Canyons Tomorrow projects, which included thousands of Utah residents and led to the formation of the Jordan River Commission and the protection of hundreds of acres of wildlife habitat and recreation lands in the Salt Lake Metro area. Mr Epperson moved to Bellingham in 2015 to do land acquisition and conservation planning for the Land Trust. Since joining the Land Trust he has helped create a new Land Conservation Plan with public input from hundreds of Whatcom County residents and has led numerous land purchases and conservation easement acquisitions protecting many new farms and habitat areas.
Director of Philanthropy
Jill Clark has more than 25 years of experience in communications, fund and organizational development in Whatcom County. She has run successful annual campaigns, major and planned giving programs, grants, events, and capital campaigns serving in director positions with Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Foundation, Kulshan Community Land Trust, WWU College of Fine & Performing Arts, Bellingham Technical College and Mount Baker Theatre. She serves on the Whatcom/Skagit planning team for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, coaching development professionals in effective philanthropy. Jill has a keen interest in deepening relationships between people, water, land, and natural resources leading to actions that create conserved, sustainable and thriving communities.
Director of Communications and Outreach
Karen has more than 15 years experience in visual communications. After graduating from college she started her own graphic design and web business. In addition to freelancing, she has also worked in real estate marketing building websites and she worked with local design firm Fifth On Sixth creating marketing materials and creating and editing video for broadcast television commercials. She has also made two short films which screened at the Limelight theater.
While attending Western Washington University for a B.S. in Environmental Science, Jennifer spent her summers interning to gain hands-on experience. She accomplished stream profile surveys, vegetation surveys, fish surveys, small mammal surveys in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. For the Mount St. Helens Institute she also co-led the Youth Stream Team, a program aiming to bring at-risk youth outside to gain a better understanding and appreciation of their natural surroundings. After graduating and completing other internship opportunities, Jennifer joined the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC), an AmeriCorps program, to gain riparian restoration experience with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. She later joined the Whatcom Land Trust team in her final year with WCC as a Stewardship Associate, and then filled in as the Interim Stewardship Director. Jennifer then spent the following year with the City of Bellingham’s watershed team in aquatic invasive species prevention before joining Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group as a Restoration Technician for over a year. When the Stewardship Director position opened up, she didn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity in joining the evolving Whatcom Land Trust team once more. On the weekends when she is not leading a work party, you can find her hiking, backpacking, camping, climbing, biking, and exploring natural areas throughout Washington.
Alex completed his B.A. in Sustainability at Baldwin Wallace University outside of Cleveland, OH. After undergraduate studies, he completed and Americorps position with the South Whidbey Commons in Langley, WA providing job training for High School and Middle School students on South Whidbey Island. He then moved back to Cleveland to work as an Interpretive Naturalist for the Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Stewardship Center. He continued work as a Naturalist after moving to Madison, WI, leading bird identification walks for the City of Madison and the Madison Audubon Society. He also worked for the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, leading nature-based programming for children and wilderness trips for teenagers. While in Madison, Alex completed two M.S. degrees from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Urban and Regional Planning and Water Resources Management, focusing on Management of Stream and River Corridors. Alex returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2019 after accepting the Conservation Easement Specialist position with Whatcom Land Trust.
Ted Morris grew up on an apple orchard/farm in Eastern Washington along the Columbia River. Always interested in the outdoors he took a Park Ranger job with Washington State Parks just out of college and worked as ranger for 40 years, retiring in 2018. Active in the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District that he helped start up again in 2007, they have raised 2.4 million over the past 12 years towards recreation facilities and programs in the Blaine-Birch Bay area. Ted really enjoys working with people and currently works with the Whatcom Land Trust as their Volunteer Coordinator.
Communications & Development Specialist
Anna recently graduated from Western Washington University, completing an Environmental Studies degree with a minor in Environmental Policy in spring of 2019. She interned with Whatcom Land Trust her final quarter at WWU, and was inspired by the work the Land Trust is doing to preserve and protect open space in Whatcom County. When the position of Communications and Development Specialist was offered to her after her graduation Anna was eager to begin working with the Land Trust.”