Our Staff

Welcome Carrie & Kari!

The Northwoods Land Trust is delighted to announce the addition of Carrie Rasmussen and Kari Kirschbaum to our staff. Adding staff capacity was a high priority in the recent NWLT Five-year Strategic Plan Update. We are thrilled to have such highly-qualified individuals already located in the northwoods with an interest in helping NWLT further our mission of working with private landowners to conserve our natural shorelands, woodlands, wetlands and wildlife habitat.


Carrie Rasmussen, Development Coordinator

Version 2Carrie Rasmussen joined the NWLT staff as Development Coordinator in May of 2018. Carrie will work with major donor development, grant writing and new membership campaigns as NWLT continues to focus on increasing our sustainable funding resources.

Carrie grew up in Wausau, WI and graduated from the University of Wisconsin –Stevens Point in 2002 with a BS in Natural Resource Management – Land Use Planning.

She moved to Maine after graduating and worked for Loon Echo Land Trust for 12 years. She was the Administrative/Land Stewardship Coordinator for three years, then was promoted to Executive Director where she made significant advancements in protecting local landscapes, engaging community leaders and residents, and spearheading capital campaigns, fundraising events and membership drives.

Carrie now resides in Sayner, WI where she and her son Grayton enjoy hiking, bicycling, gardening, cross-country skiing and being engaged in the local library and school.

“I moved back to Wisconsin in 2016 and am excited to work in the conservation field again. Being involved in a land trust feels natural, and I know that I will enjoy being a part of NWLT’s staff. I look forward to meeting many of its members and volunteers in the months to come,” said Carrie.


Kari Kirschbaum, Land Protection Specialist

IMG_4382Kari Kirschbaum was hired also in a new position as the Land Protection Specialist. Kari will be responsible for stewardship of NWLT’s fee-owned conservation properties, will provide technical assistance with preparation of baseline documentation and transactions for new conservation easement and conservation land donations.

Kari has spent the last twelve years working with the U.S. Forest Service as a wildlife biologist. During her time with the Forest Service, she worked in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Minnesota on the Allegheny, Wayne, Superior and Chippewa National Forests. She worked on a wide array of projects including forest, wetland and grassland restorations. With the Forest Service she develop a broad background in planning and management of natural resources, including monitoring and management for wildlife, rare plants, ecosystem diversity and public use through a variety of tools, including timber harvest and prescribed fire.

Kari grew up in Green Bay, WI. She attended UW-Madison, where she earned a B.S. in Biochemistry. She then attended the University of Michigan, where she earned a M.S. in Natural Resource Ecology & Management, studying the reproductive ecology of osprey in the Chesapeake Bay.

After graduate school she worked for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan, running the volunteer program and implementing management on a preserve in southeast Michigan. She then worked in eastern Kentucky as a private lands biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, where she helped private landowners develop conservation plans for their land and find funding to implement those plans. In 2006 she joined the U.S. Forest Service.

Kari lives in Eagle River with her husband and two sons. She spends her free time with her family, skiing, camping, raising chickens and bees, remodeling, travelling, camping, hiking, and anything involving water, including a few annual Boundary Waters canoe trips.


Bryan Pierce, Executive Director

PiercePhoto2012Starting in 2004, Bryan Pierce became the first Executive Director of the Northwoods Land Trust. Pierce formerly worked with the University of Wisconsin-Extension for eleven years as a tenured faculty serving as Community Resource Development Agent in Vilas and Oneida Counties. Prior to UWEX, he worked at a variety of nature and environmental education centers in Wisconsin and Iowa. Pierce has a Master’s degree in natural resource management with emphasis in environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His Bachelor’s degree in zoology was from UW-Madison.

Pierce served as the founding President of NWLT in 2001, and recruited the original Board of Directors. Bryan and his wife Gail Gilson-Pierce have lived in the Eagle River area for 25 years. Gail worked at Trees For Tomorrow Natural Resources Education Center for 17 years before becoming a partner in “Wooly Lady”, a hand dyed wool fabrics business. The Pierces live on 11 acres adjacent to the Blackjack Springs Wilderness Area of the Nicolet National Forest.


Trisha Moore, Conservation Specialist

TrishaMooreTrisha Moore was hired as NWLT’s first Conservation Specialist in 2009.  The Conservation Specialist is currently working on a limited time basis on special projects for the land trust.

Trisha spent her childhood in Greybull, Wyoming and Phillips, Wisconsin and graduated from Phillips High School.  She furthered her education at UW-River Falls where she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a secondary education license in Biology and Chemistry.  After graduating from UW-River Falls, Trisha taught in the Winter School District and Mayville High School.  Trisha left Mayville to work as a research technician on a Sage Grouse study for Oregon State University and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  After that project, Trisha was hired as a naturalist at the Trees For Tomorrow Natural Resources Education Center in August of 2003 where she was employed for six years.

Trisha and her husband, Mark Shepherdson welcomed their son Iland into the world in October of 2008 and Trisha decided to switch careers to become full-time mom and part-time naturalist.  The family grew in 2011 with the birth of their daughter, Ayla.  Trisha spends her free time playing with her kids, reading, cross-country skiing, biking, hiking, gardening and traveling to spend time with family and friends.  Trisha, Mark, Iland and Ayla share their Three Lakes, WI home with two energetic dogs.


Sandy Lotto, Outreach & Monitoring Coordinator

IMG_3207 - CopySandy Lotto joined NWLT in February 2016. As Outreach & Monitoring Coordinator, Sandy will be working on our membership renewals, generating new members, assisting with major donor development, and conducting educational outreach programs. Sandy will also be coordinating the annual conservation easement monitoring program, including organizing volunteer monitors and communicating with landowners for the required annual visit to each property.

Sandy was born and raised in Green Bay, but Eagle River has been “home” for 27 years. She went to UW-Stevens Point where she earned her degree in Forestry with a Recreation Emphasis. She has worked as a Naturalist at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, sold skis at Bertrand’s Sporting Goods, and served as as the summer Recreation Director for the town of Wiggins, CO. In 1989 Sandy was hired as a Naturalist/Teacher at Trees For Tomorrow Natural Resources Specialty School in Eagle River. For 18 years she taught people ranging from in age from 4th grade to senior citizens.

In 2007, Sandy “branched out” from TFT to start her own outdoor school for adults, focused on rustic furniture-making and cross country ski lessons. Lotto’s Log Cabin Outdoor School offers full-day, half-day and 1-2 hour classes in rustic furniture-making and other outdoor skills.