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Board of Directors and Staff

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Board of Directors

Paul Behr
Board Member

Paul is Chair of the Rock Creek Reclamation Board and a life-time resident of the Big Chico Creek watershed.  He farms almonds on Rock Creek and has a business evaluating and treating water quality problems in domestic groundwater supply.

Tom Barrett
Board Member

Chris Colson
Board Member
Chris Colson

Chris has a B.A. from California State University, Chico and a Master's degree in Rural and Town Planning, also from CSU, Chico. His Master's Thesis was on land use planning for the Sierra Nevada as a bioregion, in order to better protect biological diversity. In 1994, as an Environmental Planner Intern for Parks & Preserves Foundation (a non-profit conservation land trust organization), Chris researched landownership in the Big Chico Creek Watershed and provided a feasibility study for a watershed plan using conservation easements. He's hiked extensively throughout the entire Big Chico Creek Watershed for more than 25 years. Chris is currently employed as a Recreation Specialist and also works as a semi-professional photographer. He provided the photos of Lower and Upper Bidwell for the large murals at the new Chico Creek Nature Center.

Stuart King
Vice-Chair

Stuart has a B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Chico. He is a long-time Chico resident and has been on the boards of many civic and governmental organizations, including CSU Chico Staff Council, Downtown Chico Business Association, Chico Aqua Jets, Chico Central Little League, City of Chico Parking Place Commission, and the Bidwell Park Centennial Committee. He is a CSU Chico employee and is also the caretaker of the Henning House at the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve.

Larry Kirk
Board Member
Larry Kirk

Larry is currently an Emeritus Professor at CSU, Chico. He retired in May 2010 from the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department but does some part-time teaching (CHEM 445: Environmental Toxicology). He is still active in research and was busy directing 5 students this summer in a multidisciplinary research project: Synthesis & Degradation of the Biodegradable Plastic (PLA) from Rice Hulls. He has two collaborators in this research, Dr. Larry Hanne (microbiologist) and Dr. Joe Greene (chemical engineer and expert in compostability). He plans to continue this research in the 2010-2011 academic year using rice straw instead of rice hulls.

John Merz
Board Chair

John was one of the co-founders of the Sacramento River Preservation Trust in 1984 and has served as the Chief Executive Officer of that organization since 1986. In addition to the BCCWA, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Altacal Audubon Society and Friends of Bidwell Park. In addition, John served as a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee that was appointed by the Chico Area Recreation and Park District (CARD) Board of Directors to help in the recent update of their Recreation Master Management Plan. He is also a member of the Chico Planning Commission.

Michael Stauffer
Board Member, Founding Member
Michael Stauffer

Michael is retired from an advertising and manufacturing career. He is a long-time Chico environmental activist, that included serving as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Streaminders and donating hundreds of hours to Streaminders stream restoration projects. He also volunteers with the Bidwell Park Vegetation Management Partners Program and is active in local politics.

Sharon Wallace
Board Member
Sharon Wallace

For the past 20 years, Sharon has worked and actively volunteered for several organizations involved with riparian restoration and farmland preservation, as well as civic education and engagement. She believes that each of us helps the environment and our communities a little bit every day by simply making conscious and careful choices -- about what we buy, what we consume, what we throw away, and what we recycle.

With a daughter studying Ag-business at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and an active son in high school, Sharon and her family continue to enjoy the bountiful recreation and wildlife found within the precious watersheds of the north state. She and her husband live, work, and play with their children on a small walnut orchard along the Lindo Channel west of Chico, and own and farm another orchard along Hoag Slough in the Vina area.