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Staff and Board

General inquiries:

Press inquiries or to reach Standing Trees Executive Director, Zack Porter:; (802) 552-0160

Facebook: @standingtrees  |  Twitter: @standingtrees_  |  Instagram: @standing_trees


Zack Porter, Executive Director

Zack Porter is a co-founder of Standing Trees and a passionate advocate for America's wildest places. Born and raised in New England, Zack developed a deep bond with wild nature at an early age, and he has dedicated both his personal and professional lives to the cause of its protection and restoration. Zack's career in public land management and wildlands advocacy began two decades ago with the US Forest Service in Washington's North Cascades and Idaho's Northern Rockies. A graduate of the University of Montana, Zack worked for a decade to protect wild rivers, mountains, and prairies with Montana Wilderness Association and All Against The Haul. Among Zack's proudest accomplishments are working with indigenous communities in the US and Canada to successfully block ExxonMobil from expanding Tar Sands strip mining operations in northern Alberta, and protecting western Montana's wildlife and wildlands from motorized recreation and resource extraction. Returning with his family to New England in 2018, Zack worked with Northeast Wilderness Trust and Conservation Law Foundation, meanwhile co-founding Standing Trees to fill a gap in the regional environmental nonprofit community. Today, Zack is grateful for the opportunity to take Standing Trees to the next level as its first Executive Director, and enjoys keeping one foot (or at least a few toes) west of the 100th meridian as the Land Protection Committee Chair for The Wilderness Land Trust. When not working to protect wild places, Zack can be found exploring them with his wife, daughter, and black lab.

Mark Nelson, Board President

Mark is a retired financial services executive who retired early to commit his time and energy to conservation, environmental, and social work. Mark works to raise awareness of the importance of letting our forests recover and become old, and to be the voice for those that have no say in decisions that have an impact on them – the wildlands and wildlife. Since retiring, Mark has dedicated much of his time to protection of Vermont forests and waters. He was Chair for the Vermont Sierra Club Executive Committee from 2014 to 2018. He is a founding member of Standing Trees Vermont and a member of Wild Forests Vermont. Mark is also Chair for the Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions and the Ripton Conservation Commission, and is an Advanced EMT, Wilderness EMT and firefighter with Ripton Fire & Rescue, and Middlebury Regional EMS.

Rachel Smolker, Board Member

Rachel Smolker is codirector of Biofuelwatch where she works internationally to raise awareness and campaign on the impacts of large scale bioenergy on climate, the environment and human rights.  Her work has spanned from local grassroots organizing to participation in the United Nations conventions on climate and biodiversity. She is on the steering committee of the Campaign to Stop GE Trees, is a member (former board member) of the Global Forest Coalition, has served as a reviewer for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has engaged in various campaigns more locally in Vermont. Rachel has a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan, and worked for many years as a field biologist prior to joining Biofuelwatch. She is author of numerous peer reviewed and popular articles, reports, and a book (To Touch A Wild Dolphin). Rachel lives in Hinesburg, Vermont.

Geoffrey Gardner, Board Member

Geoffrey Gardner is a writer and has also been a lifelong tenants’ rights, climate and environmental activist in Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont. His poems, translations of poetry and essays have been published widely. Until retiring, he was a member of the English Department faculty at Tufts University from 1984-2014. He lives in Bradford, VT.

Margaret Sheehan, Advisor

Margaret Sheehan has been working to help save the planet as an environmental attorney with over 30 years experience in enforcement and public interest campaigns. Her expertise includes water pollution, forest protection and climate. Meg was recently honored with the 2022 Environmental Service Award and Land Stewardship Award by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC), and she is especially honored to have been nominated by the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe of Plymouth/Pautuxet. You can follow Meg on Twitter @EcoLawMeg.

Rich Holschuh, Advisor

Rich is a resident of Wantastegok (Brattleboro, VT) and an independent historic and cultural researcher. He has served on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and is a public liaison and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Elnu Abenaki, members of the contemporary Indigenous community. Rich is founder of the Atowi Project. His work draws upon indigenous history, linguistics, geography, and culture to share beneficial ways of seeing and being in relationship with place.

Crea Lintilhac, Advisor

Crea has a BS in Education from Skidmore College and an MST in Geology from UVM. She pursued post graduate studies and research at the Marine Science Institute in CT, the Graduate school of Oceanography at URI and the Geophysics Dept at the Univ. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. Crea serves on the Boards of Advisors of the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources and NOAA Seagrant at UVM. She also serves as an officer and trustee of environmental advocacy boards in Vermont including VPIRGEF and VTDigger and is a Corporate Board member of WHOI. Crea is committed to the need for basic science research to inform public advocacy and legislation. As director of the Lintilhac Foundation, she is focused on water quality, energy and conservation projects in Vermont. Crea enjoys alpine/Xcountry skiing, hiking and cycling with her husband Phil, a Professor in the Dept. of Plant Biology at UVM. They have three grown children.

William Moomaw, Advisor

William Moomaw is Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy and Founding Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at The Fletcher School, and Distinguished Visiting Scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center. He received his PhD in physical chemistry from MIT. He had a 26-year career in chemistry and environmental studies at Williams College, where he directed the Center for Environmental Studies.

After addressing stratospheric ozone depletion as a staff scientist for the U.S. Senate, he began working on climate change in 1988 as the first director of the climate program at World Resources Institute in Washington DC. He has been a lead author of five Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports. The IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize for its climate work in 2007. He is an author or co-author of many research papers and reports on technological climate solutions including zero emission renewable energy, and is currently working on natural climate solutions that increase accumulation of carbon in forests, wetlands and soils to more rapidly meet climate goals. He is a co-author of a recent paper declaring a Climate Emergency that has been endorsed by over 13,000 scientists.

He chairs the board of directors of The Climate Group North America and chaired the board of Woodwell Climate Research Center in Falmouth MA and is a continuing board member.

He and his wife, Margot, completed a high performance, zero net energy home in the cold Northeast U.S. in 2007 that produces sufficient solar electricity to meet all of its heating, lighting and appliance requirements while exporting surplus power to the grid. They have recently added additional solar panels to charge their battery powered electric vehicle.

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