Susan Britting - Executive Director
Susan Britting has been with Sierra Forest Legacy since 1998 as the primary science and policy consultant, and in July, 2012 she stepped up to take over the reins of the organization as Executive Director. Susan received her doctorate in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1992. After working with the Forest Service for four years in forest planning, Susan left to become a science and policy consultant to non-profit organizations. Her primary area of interest is habitat planning in the Sierra Nevada, although her interests in policy development extend statewide. Her consulting services have included advising on implementation of federal and state environmental policies, analysis of management plans, habitat analysis using a geographic information system (GIS), and database development for natural resource management. She has been an active volunteer with the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) serving as a board member at the chapter and state level since 1993. Susan also has been an active volunteer and board member for a local land trust in the Sierra Nevada foothills previously serving since 1995. Susan now serves as a Public Member of the California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, where she previously served from 2002 to 2004 and was chair of the Forest Practices Committee.
Craig Thomas – Conservation Director
Craig Thomas, now returning to his original role at Sierra Forest Legacy as Conservation Director, co-founded Sierra Forest Legacy in 1996 as the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign and served as the organization's Executive Director for more than a decade. Craig has been intimately involved in the protection and restoration of the forests of the Sierra Nevada for over twenty-five years and continues working to find solutions to the threats facing Sierra Nevada forests and communities today.
Craig has a degree in cultural ecology, the study of the ecological, economic and spiritual relationship of people to their landscapes. He has led Sierra Forest Legacy’s efforts to not only defend the Sierra from excessive logging, but to also protect Sierra communities from wildfire and to find environmentally sustainable solutions to reducing wildfire hazard, such as the utilization of small diameter trees and brush removed in forest thinning efforts. Before founding Sierra Forest Legacy Craig was a small-scale organic farmer and often lectured at local universities on sustainable farming practices and holistic agriculture.
Craig is a 35--year resident of the Sierra Nevada and calls the foothills north of Placerville his home. When he is not working hard on behalf of the forests he enjoys organic gardening, playing guitar and mandolin, fly-fishing, backpacking, botanizing and canoeing with his wife Vivian.
Karina Silvas-Bellanca – Fire Policy Coordinator
Karina began working with Sierra Forest Legacy in June 2008. Using Firewise Communities / USA principles and concepts, Karina has become a vital link to outreach activities in communities throughout the Sierra Nevada. She also loves working in the fire education field.
Before joining us, Karina attended Humboldt State University where she received a degree in Forestry emphasizing wildland fire management. While Karina was attending school, she worked as a forestry technician for Weyerhaeuser in Goshen, Oregon. After exploring the production side of forestry, Karina became a wildland firefighter for the Mendocino National Forest. While working as a firefighter, she felt the desire to educate landowners on fire prevention and conservation.
Karina lives in Weimar, California with her husband Ryan Bellanca, and their lovable and trusty pit-bull Carmen. Karina enjoys going to the dog park, and finding swimming holes in the American River. She also enjoys other outdoor activities such as gardening, hiking, skateboarding, wakeboarding, and snowboarding.