Bryan Pierce, Executive Director
Starting 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.
Kari Kirschbaum, Land Protection Specialist
Kari 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, WI 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.
Trisha Moore, Conservation Specialist
Trisha 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.
Carrie Rasmussen, Development Coordinator
Carrie 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 resides in Boulder Junction, WI where she and her son Grayden and partner Matt enjoy cooking, bicycling, gardening, cross-country skiing and kayaking.
Troy Walters, Outreach & Monitoring Coordinator
Troy Walters joined the NWLT staff in May of 2019 as the Outreach and Monitoring Coordinator. He oversees annual monitoring visits of each conservation easement property and coordinates NWLT’s public programs, events and speakers.
Troy grew up in West Bend, WI and credits his love of the outdoors to a 7th grade teacher with a passion for the environment, especially birds. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin -Stevens Point in 1997 with a B.S. in Water Resources – Water Chemistry.
Troy taught environmental education for over 11 years, most of which occurred at Trees For Tomorrow – Natural Resources Specialty School from 2003 to 2014. While at Trees For Tomorrow, he not only taught students grades 4 – 12, but also coordinated Road Scholar which provides exceptional learning opportunities for adults in their 50’s and beyond.
Troy has led birding and canoeing trips for the Natural Resources Foundation, and conducted numerous surveys including owls, nightjars, waterfowl, breeding bird survey, Kirtland’s warbler, cranes, woodcock, and coordinated the acoustic bat monitoring project for the Eagle River area. He has also worked as an environmental lab analyst, lab tech at a wastewater treatment plant, and zookeeper.
In his free time, Troy enjoys cross country skiing, rollerskiing, canoeing, biking, and hiking with his dog Addie.