Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU)

Center for Natural Lands Management

Deborah Rogers
Co-Executive Director and
Director of Conservation Science and Stewardship
Center for Natural Lands Management
27258 Via Industria, Suite B
Temecula, CA 2590
Phone: (510) 799-7701

The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to the protection and restoration of imperiled species and their habitats in the states of Washington and California. CNLM has a long track record of successful land management and restoration, protecting sensitive and imperiled species and their habitats through science‐based land stewardship methods. CNLM is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and independent program of the national Land Trust Alliance, reflecting CNLM’s commitment to rigorous conservation business practices.

The mission of the Center for Natural Lands Management is:

  • To conserve native species, their habitat and functioning ecosystems in perpetuity;
  • To own and/or manage lands in an ecologically beneficial manner consistent with local, state and federal environmental laws and with science‐based stewardship;
  • To promote the conservation values of such lands through education;
  • To promote and facilitate uses of lands by the public that preserve the conservation values; and
  • To cooperate with public and private entities in their efforts to protect native species and their habitats for the public benefit.

CNLM was founded in California in 1990 with the purpose of using science‐based information to guide recovery and perpetual stewardship of ecosystems and their associated species. CNLM preserves protect federally listed and other rare plants and animals, all of which are vulnerable to random or cumulative impacts. We strive to manage imperiled species to ensure that even small populations have the best opportunity for long‐term viability. Management on CNLM owned preserves’ focuses on perpetual stewardship ‐ a dynamic process requiring constant monitoring, appropriate application of scientific principles, and periodic interventions that may include restoration or enhancement. Because there is often little scientific information for guidance for imperiled species and rare habitats, CNLM innovates as needed for perpetual species stewardship and effective habitat restoration. CNLM has more than 60,000 acres under management on 75 preserves. Our staff includes specialists with many areas of expertise, such as specific taxa, biological monitoring, prescribed burns, weed management, native plant propagation, and specific habitat restoration and stewardship. CNLM has been working in Washington since 2011, when it inherited a highly active, 20‐year‐old conservation program in the south Puget Sound region from The Nature Conservancy. This program conducts most of its work within regional collaborative conservation frameworks, which focus on development and implementation of restoration and rare species management plans and protocols. Partners range from federal and state agencies to nonprofit organizations, private landowners, and volunteers. Based in Olympia, Washington, our program is mainly involved with restoration and protection of prairie, oak, pine and wetland/riparian habitats of the South Puget Sound region. We help coordinate and implement range‐wide recovery activities for several federally listed animal and plant species. We are in the process of expanding into North Puget Sound’s San Juan Islands and Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

See and for more information on CNLM.

Full staff descriptions available here.

Mason McKinley, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Restoration and Ecological Fire Program Manager, South Puget Sound, WA

Mason McKinley joined the South Puget Sound program in 2005, and was part of the transition team that joined CNLM in 2011. Mason manages a cooperative restoration program with Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) that covers a diverse range of natural resource activities on the military installation. Activities at JBLM primarily focus on prairie and oak habitat restoration, rare species management, wetland, stream and riparian restoration, invasive species control and prescribed ecological burning. Mason is also CNLM’s ecological fire program manager, a program that in Washington, has conducted hundreds of burns in north and south Puget Sound as part of an integrated habitat restoration and rare species management strategy.

Mason has been working in natural resources management since 1992. His work experience has ranged from forest service roads maintenance, wildlife surveys, trapping and relocation, soil surveys and analysis, firefighting, forest management and ecological restoration. Mason was forest manager of University of Washington’s Pack Forest for nine years where he was involved in silvicultural and operational management, optimization modeling, forest research, as well as public outreach and education. Mason earned his bachelor’s in conservation of wildland resources and his master’s in silviculture at the University of Washington.

David R. Brunner, President and Executive Director
David Brunner is president and executive director of the Center for Natural Lands Management and has served natural resource conservation efforts for 25 years both nationally and internationally. His primary interest is the development and implementation of sustainable models for the preservation and stewardship of natural lands and their environmental benefits. A particular focus is developing and capturing revenue streams to support stewardship of conservation lands through the ecosystem services they provide. During his career David has participated in the negotiation, establishment and management of public/private conservation partnerships with a cumulative value of $1 billion and in establishing market-based models to engage the private sector in effective environmental conservation.

Patrick Dunn, Director of South Sound Program, South Puget Sound, WA
Patrick Dunn founded South Puget Sound efforts more than 20 years ago and was part of the transition team, joining CNLM in 2011. Patrick provides direction, management and oversight for CNLM’s preserves and operations in Washington and under his direction the South Puget Sound Program was designated the pilot for the Sentinel Landscape Program, a federal initiative that brings together three federal agencies to assist conservation in a specific landscape, in this case the South Sound Prairies.

Peter Dunwiddie, Ph.D., Ecologist, South Puget Sound, WA
Peter Dunwiddie joined South Puget Sound program in 1996 and was part of the transition team, joining CNLM in 2011. His responsibilities include prairie restoration, management, and research including rare species recovery (golden paintbrush, Taylor’s checkerspot), invasive species control, fire ecology, ecological monitoring, and community restoration. He also leads prescribed burns, trains crew members, and assists with many aspects of the regional fire management program.

Sanders Freed, Thurston County Program Manager, South Puget Sound, WA
Sanders joined South Puget Sound program in 2003, and was part of the transition team, joining CNLM in 2011. His responsibilities include managing and implementing restoration activities on numerous private, public and partner agency lands in Thurston County. The majority of his efforts focus on the restoration of degraded prairie/oak lands for the reintroduction or retention of imperiled species including the Mazama pocket gopher, Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly and golden paintbrush.

Sarah Hamman, Restoration Ecologist, South Puget Sound, WA
Sarah joined South Puget Sound program in 2009 and was part of the transition team, joining CNLM in 2011. Her responsibilities include restoring rare species habitat in the Pacific Northwest prairies using rigorous science and conservation planning. Sarah manages several collaborative research projects and provides scientific guidance to CNLM staff.

Nathan Johnson, Invasive Species Project Manager, South Puget Sound, WA
Nathan Johnson joined CNLM in 2012 and oversees CNLM’s invasive plant control efforts on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He is involved in coordinating regional prairie-oak weed control efforts, and is also the field lead for the CNLM fire crew.

Bill Kronland, Prairie Restoration Project Manager, South Puget Sound, WA
Bill Kronland first joined CNLM in November 2010 managing CNLM’s California preserves in Orange County and western Riverside County. In 2013 Bill moved to Washington State to coordinate restoration and monitoring activities on Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, Streaked horned lark, and the Mazama pocket gopher.

Deborah L. Rogers, Ph.D., Director of Conservation Science and Stewardship
Deborah Rogers provides leadership for CNLM’s programs and initiatives in conservation science, restoration, and stewardship. As CNLM directly and perpetually practices conservation on its preserves, Deborah provides guidance for incorporating scientific principles and information into stewardship practice, develops standards and quality control for stewardship planning and documentation, and provides leadership for CNLM’s conservation science and stewardship staff.

Gary Slater, Avian Ecologist
Gary joined CNLM in October 2014 as our Avian Ecologist in Washington State. Gary comes with more than 23 years of avian research and conservation experience, including work in south Florida, western Washington, Venezuela, and the coastal lowlands of Mexico. His research focused on a wide variety of topics, including the re-introduction of passerine bird species, particularly bluebirds and other cavity nesters, and large-scale monitoring to assess the impacts of management actions (including prescribed fire) on bird populations. In addition, he has experience with exceptionally rare birds, including the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow, whose total population is estimated to be approximately 2,000 individuals in the seasonally flooded prairies of Everglades National Park. Gary earned his bachelor’s in wildlife science from Purdue University and holds a master’s in wildlife ecology from the University of Florida.

Sierra Smith, Conservation Nursery Program Manager, South Puget Sound, WA
Sierra Smith joined CNLM in 2012 and manages the conservation nursery program. Sierra implements the seed production program and oversees contracts for plant plugs and grass seed.

Adrian Wolf, Conservation Biologist, South Puget Sound, WA
Adrian joined CNLM in 2011 and oversees CNLM’s Streaked horned lark fieldwork on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and is the field lead for lark nest and population monitoring, and our genetic rescue efforts.