Doug joined The Little Forks Conservancy as our first – and only – Executive Director in 1997 moving down from Traverse City after three years of work with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. Prior to that, Doug’s work experiences include environmental educator, whale watch naturalist, and wetland mapper. He was also an environmental planner for a county at the head of the Chesapeake Bay. Born and raised in west Michigan, Doug returned to Michigan to help protect the natural landscapes that he remembered as a youth. Undeveloped lake and river shorelines, forests and woodlots, farms and fields are all deserving of our stewardship as we seek to build sustainable communities.
Elan Lipschitz became the Land Protection Specialist for The Little Forks Conservancy in June 2000. Elan works with landowners as they make their decisions about how best to preserve their properties. He works to negotiate the terms of a conservation easement if that is the route of land protection decided upon by the landowner. In addition to conservation easements, he is involved in conservation buyer transactions, evaluation of lands to be purchased by the Conservancy, land conservation planning and various partnerships with other conservation organizations. Additional areas of responsibility include the annual monitoring of easement properties as well as for the Geographic Information System (GIS) program at the Conservancy. Although not from Michigan, Elan has developed a deep appreciation for the wonders of our local landscapes.
Joelle joined The Little Forks Conservancy in June of 2006 as our communications specialist. Born and raised in Bay City, Michigan, she received her bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing from Saginaw Valley State University in May of 2006. While at SVSU, Joelle helped establish a student organization for professional and technical writing students. In addition, she completed two internships: one, as the media relations intern at SVSU’s Office of University Communications; and, the other as the administrative intern in SVSU’s Department of English’s PTW Unit.