Enviro group hires first paid staffer | SierraSun.com

Enviro group hires first paid staffer

As conservation challenges continue to grow, the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation has brought on its first executive director ” Kaitlin Backlund.

The Mountain Area Preservation Foundation is a local environmental nonprofit that has been operated entirely by volunteers for 20 years ” until now.

“We did some work with Kaitlin when the coal plant issue came up at the PUD [Truckee Donner Public Utility District],” said Stefanie Olivieri, a board member of the foundation. “She was at the top of our list and we are delighted to have her.”

Backlund brings nine years of experience to the foundation, working as a consultant for Trout Unlimited, Western Conservation Foundation and the Nevada Responsible Trails Alliance, according to a press release.

She also acted as a conservation lobbyist in the Nevada State Legislature from 1999 to 2006 and as co-founder and political director of the Nevada Conservation League from 2002 to 2005, according to the release.

Olivieri said hiring Backlund as the foundation’s first paid staff member will help the group keep up with a growing number of local issues.

“As an all-volunteer organization it had become pretty overwhelming being as effective with so many projects,” Olivieri said. “It tends to burn out volunteers.”

Right now the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation is working with the Hilltop development, the Barsell project, a pocket park on Jibboom Street, Royal Gorge on Donner Summit, the Mousehole, Joerger Ranch, the Martis Valley settlement and Canyon Springs near Glenshire, Olivieri said.

“We’ve got two board members sitting on the Martis Valley Fund board managing revenue being generated for affordable housing, open space, and habitat restoration,” Olivieri said.

Backlund’s position is being paid for by membership dues, fundraising, and the group’s reserve, Olivieri said.

“MAPF has always been a very energized organization,” Olivieri said. “With Kaitlin on board we think we will be able to do even more wonderful things for the community.”

To learn more about the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, go to http://www.mapf.org.

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