Staff

Grant Werschkull

Co-Executive Director

Grant began working on Smith River watershed issues in 1977 as a consultant to the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. Since then, Grant has worked as staff and consultant for a wide range public and private sector clients throughout California including the Nature Conservancy, Redwood National Park, the interest-based Water Forum negotiations in the Sacramento region, and Lopez Agricultural Services. Grant received his M.S. in Ecosystems Management from Antioch University West and his B.S. in Resource Recreation Management from OSU’s School of Forestry.

Patty McCleary

Co-Executive Director

Patty McCleary shares the responsibility of managing the Smith River Alliance with Mr. Werschkull. Patty is also the Project Manager for land conservation projects like the Lake Earl Wildlife Area expansion and Smith River National Recreation Area additions. Patty has over 30 years of experience working on conservation issues and has served as the Pacific Program Director for the Land Trust Alliance; Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land; Executive Director for the Washington Water Trust; and as National Conservation Representative for the Sierra Club. Patty received her B.A. from the U.C. Santa Barbara.

Priscilla Winters

Fisheries Biologist

Priscilla works with the Program Director on research and monitoring focused on Pacific salmonid species in the Smith River and its tributaries. In addition, she manages the Annual Fish Count held at Rock Creek Ranch, conducts biological monitoring during habitat restoration projects, and assists with preparing biological assessments, permit applications, and permit compliance reports. Priscilla received her B.S. in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Ecological Restoration and a minor in Fisheries Biology from Humboldt State University in 2019. In her free time, she enjoys foraging, fishing, and reading.

Monica Scholey

Program Coordinator

Monica is the coordinator for the SRA’s estuary restoration program and works with the Program Director and project partners to plan, design and implement habitat restoration and land stewardship projects in the Smith River Plain. She is also involved in the Elk Creek Feasibility Study and is partnering with the Executive Director team, diverse stakeholders, agencies and private landowners to plan multi-benefit projects that will increase the resilience of this urban watershed. Monica received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Oregon in 2006, and comes to the Alliance with over 10 years of experience participating in and leading watershed restoration projects with Mattole Restoration Council.

Aimee Chudy

Operations Manager

Aimee manages human resources, provides financial and administrative support to the Co-Executive Directors, and assists with grant administration. Aimee has over 25 years of experience in human resources, accounting and administration across a variety of sectors and holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University and a Master’s degree from St. Mary”s College. She is an avid reader and enjoys the beach, cooking, gardening, hiking, and fly fishing.

Carole Petracek

Royal Bookkeeper

Carole helps manage the books by documenting daily transactions, preparing checks and serving on the annual audit team. She attended Syracuse University and loves travel, music, reading, Mah Jongg and a good joke. (Carole is the 2nd person from the left)

Jessica Swanson

Rock Creek Ranch Manager/Caretaker

Joining SRA from Southern Oregon, Jessica manages Smith River Alliance’s Rock Creek Ranch, the 175-acre home of SRA, nestled up the South Fork canyon of the Smith River. In addition, she will serve on restoration project teams throughout the watershed. Jessica has a background in Environmental Health and Safety, and a passion fueled by backcountry hiking and exploration in the Siskiyou Mountains. She enjoys chasing headwaters and rock hopping while collecting stones amongst the mountains and waterways. As an avid rockhound and lapidary artist, she has a heartfelt love for working with her hands and stones as a way of connecting with the land.

Sam Mosey

Rock Creek Ranch Special Projects

Sam has a broad range of experience maintaining and repairing systems and equipment, supervising landscape projects, and is experienced with construction, carpentry, and metal fabrication. He studied automotive and diesel technology before moving to Del Norte in 2015. His wife, Keri, and sons, Miles and Jasper embody the spirit of the place.  The entire Mosey family has fallen in love with Rock Creek Ranch since then, and are great stewards of this an extraordinary place.

Vimal Golding

Field Biologist and Special Projects

Vimal has worked on the Smith River salmonid abundance and distribution surveys, including taking the lead on the backcountry component of the summer juvenile surveys. Presently, he works on special projects. Vimal holds a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and has worked for universities, federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations in fisheries, wildlife, ecological restoration and forestry. Vimal has logged over 10,000 miles on America’s long distance hiking trails, including earning his “triple crown of hiking” by completing the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide and Appalachian Trails.

Jon Guczek 

Stewardship Associate

Jon works on projects involving wildfire preparedness, the Smith River Collaborative and Rock Creek Ranch. Jon holds a B.S in Environmental Conservation Studies from the University of New Hampshire and has lived on the North Coast since 2015. His experience includes four seasons with the Smith River Interagency Hotshot Crew, CDFW fisheries winter survey crew (South Fork Eel) and he has served as  fisheries biologist (Trinity River) for the Yurok Tribe.

Currently, Jon works as a helicopter rappeller out of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest while spending the off-season with SRA. In his free time, he can be found climbing rocks, playing bass guitar or kayaking rivers of which the Smith if one of his favorites.

Gustavo Vasquez

Program Associate

Gustavo comes to us with years of experience in community engagement, outdoor recreation and volunteer programming. His previous roles including being a Park Program Assistant at Sonoma County Regional Parks, a Field Supervisor with Conservation Corps North Bay and AmeriCorps VISTA at Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County. He currently holds an A.A. and B.A, in Fine Art and Studio Art, as well as pursuing his Masters in Public Administration from Sonoma State University. On his spare time, you can find him riding around town on his bicycle, shooting with his vintage film camera or fishing in the Smith River.

 

Mike Frederick

Wildfire Preparedness Advisor

Mike Frederick supports the Smith River Alliance as an advisor in land management activities requiring an emphasis in fire and fire effects. Having served over a decade as the District Fire Management Officer of the Smith River NRA, he brings local expertise coupled with years of experience from across the nation. Mike holds a certificate in Biological Science for Land Manager’s From UNLV and spends his retirement years pursuing his outdoor passions.

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