Leadership

All board members are dedicated volunteers

 

Noel Poe

Noel Poe

President 

Noel is a longtime supporter of public lands and the communities and organizations that steward them. In 2007, he and his wife, Mary, moved to Kanab and became members of Grand Staircase Escalante Partners. Noel joined the board in 2008, serving as treasurer, vice president, and president before becoming our executive director in 2014. Prior to his time with Partners, Noel spent 40 years and three days in Federal Service, including 2.5 years with the U.S. Army. He worked primarily with the National Park Service, including three assignments in southern Utah and serving as the superintendent of four national parks. Noel and his wife raised three boys, all graduates of Utah State University and now enjoying successful careers in conservation or law. Away from the office, Noel likes to spend time with his eight grandchildren, introducing them to snowy peaks and red rock canyons and the beauty of the Colorado Plateau.

Tom Hoyt

Tom HoytVice President 

Tom has interfaced with Partners through his involvement for a number of years with the Boulder Community Alliance and The Escalante River Watershed Partnership. He has a long-standing interest in and experience with both small and large-scale conservation works while at the same time having been in the home-building and development business. He has focused his career and interests on the balance between good land planning and permanent protection of our natural resources.

 

Jim Page

Jim PageTreasurer
Retired Fire Management Officer, U.S. Forest Service
Jim retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 1991. He served on 3 National Forests, specializing in fire management activities and achieved Fire Management Officer and Prescribed Fire Manager positions. In 1994 he moved to Moab, Utah and began a second 20 year career as a white water river guide. He was appointed to the Board of Adjustments, City of Moab. He served as the President, Board of Directors, Dan O’ Laurie Canyon Country Museum and the Editor of the museums quarterly Journal. Jim worked two seasons as a volunteer at El Morro National Monument, NM and Pipe Spring National Monument, UT. Jim relocated to the Lake Powell area in 2004 and for the next six years served as the volunteer house boat pilot and field supervisor for the graffiti removal program on the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. During this period he served as a board member on the Glen Canyon Natural History Association and as President of the Armijo Chapter, Old Spanish Trail Association. Jim moved to Kanab in 2014 and joined Partners and is serving his second term as Treasurer. Jim enjoys hiking, historical research and is an accomplished silversmith. 

Mike Satter

Secretary
Amateur Astronomer and Retired Computer Programmer
St. George, UT

Mike was born on Oct. 16, 1938 in Chicago Illinois and moved to San Diego in 1955.  He studied electrical engineering at San Diego State College and Cal Poly in Pomona CA.  He joined the Air Force while living in San Diego. He is now retired from 3M Company after 36 years in the computer industry as a software engineer.  Mike’s hobbies include ham radio, photography and amateur astronomy.  He has done many night sky programs for the Forest Service, Park Service and the BLM and also gives astronomy presentations to high school science classes. Hes enjoy hiking and cycling and always has his camera with him.

Directors

 

Scott Berry

Co-Founder, Boulder Mountain Lodge
Torrey, UT
I am a life long resident of Utah, raised in Holladay in the Salt Lake Valley, using Mt. Olympus as my backyard. I attended the local public schools and earned a BA in history and a JD from the University of Utah. My first impressions of southern Utah were generated by the working trips I took as a child with my lawyer father, sitting in the back of  many of the county courtrooms throughout the state. I still remember visiting Zion NP on one of those trips, back when you could stop in the pull outs in the Mt. Carmel tunnel. I think the small frogs in the stream made a bigger impression on me than the towering cliffs. In the late 60’s my friends and I began backpack explorations of Arches and Canyonlands, eventually discovering the Escalante Canyons. In 1973 we hiked from the Highway 12 bridge to Lake Powell, exploring the side canyons, pushing a small herd of seemingly wild cows all the way down. My first recollection of Capitol Reef came during the Esclalante / Bullfrog shuttle for that trip, passing a park boundary sign on the Burr Trail, seemingly the middle of nowhere in those days. In the late 70’s, which my two small children inhibiting much backpacking, I stumbled into an opportunity to buy property just south of Torrey in Fish Creek Cove. In 1981, my wife Barbra and I built a very small one room log cabin in the Cove, no facilities, no power, no running water, but a great base for exploring Capitol Reef. Back in the city, I earned a living as a civil trial attorney. As a sideline, I became involved in most of the conservation battles waged in Utah during the last quarter of the century. My first environmental campaign was focused on opposing the proposed Trans-Escalante Highway, across the canyons from Escalante to Bullfrog. In 1994 I helped establish the Boulder Mountain Lodge in Boulder, with a goal of demonstrating that the hospitality industry in southern Utah could actively support local conservation efforts without jeopardizing business success. Now, mostly retired, we  exchanged the Torrey log cabin in favor of a small home in the same location, where we spend much of our time, continuing the explorations that we started when we were young. I continue to be committed to doing what I can to protect the wild lands of Utah, with an emphasis on south-central Utah. I currently serve on the boards of two conservation organizations; the Wild Utah Project, and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. 

 

 Dean Brooks

Explorer 
Boulder, UT

Dean has been an avid explorer and adventurer across the Colorado plateau for over thirty years.  He fell in love with the Monument in 2007 after a motorcycle trip across the desert and soon after discovered his passion for canyoneering.  His love for the area inspired him to disconnect from the corporate finance world, where he spent thirty years as an executive and entrepreneur in Colorado.  He spent seven years building his dream home in Boulder, Utah, which now serves as home base for explorations into his favorite landscape on earth, the red rock desert of Southern Utah.  Dean and his wife of 25 years have three children, ranging from thirteen to thirty years old, who now serve as some of his best exploration partners.  Although new to public service and activism, Dean is enthusiastic about sharing his passion for this landscape and helping protect it for future generations. In addition to volunteering as a backcountry patroller for Capitol Reef National Park, Dean enjoys organizing, teaching and leading canyoneering adventures.  He believes that the more people he can inspire through connection with these places, the better chance we will have of protecting them for future generations. 

 

 

Rich Csenge

Master Craftsman and Founding Director, Amazing Earthfest
Kanab, UT

Rich and Debra Csenge moved to Kanab in 2007 from Maine to explore and enjoy Southern Utah’s Color Country, and to live near the magnificent Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. They lead an active lifestyle that blends hiking, backpacking, listening and learning, artistic pursuits and community service. In 2009, Rich joined GSE Partners as a member of the board to assist BLM in meeting management objectives for the “Flagship” in its new system of National Conservation Lands. His service to Partners has included chairing the Conservation and Personnel Committees, and as Vice President.Upon arriving in Kanab in 2007, Rich’s understanding of the challenges confronting public land managers and staff led him to develop Southern Utah’s annual Amazing Earthfest, which offers a way for management agencies, local governments, businesses and individuals to cooperate in producing public benefits for gateway communities. Rich is founder and president of the nonprofit Amazing Earthfest, where each May, Kane County, Utah, and the City of Kanab celebrate America’s National Parks, Forests, Monuments and Public Lands with seven days of learning, discovery, arts and entertainment events.A self-employed professional furniture craftsman, Rich began his career as owner of Joy In Wood Furniture Makers in 1979, and remains engaged in designing and creating fine hardwood furnishings to custom order by hand, and restoring antiques.

 John Holland

Co-Owner, Bryce Valley Tours
Tropic, UT

John took his first backpacking trip down the Escalante River in 1978 and was hooked. Over the next several years his relationship with the plateau country expanded to include many trips into the remote and lightly traveled areas of Garfield, Kane, Wayne and San Juan Counties. He grew up in Holladay, Utah. In 1986 John married Marsha and they have two sons. John spent 13 years outside Utah developing and implementing wireless network projects as a network program manager on start-up projects in nine countries across Europe and Asia. In 1999 John returned to Utah with his family where they took on a partner and built the KOA RV Park in Cannonville. They sold the KOA in 2014 to focus on the guiding business and other opportunities. John is Executive Director of the Scenic Byway 12 Foundation and Coordinator for the Scenic Byway 12 Committee, a partnership of 14 years with local governments, businesses and citizens, public land management agencies and UDOT Region 4. John is a member of the Utah Tourism Development Board where he also serves as chairman of the Co-operative Marketing Committee for the Utah State Office of Tourism. He is a member of the Garfield County Travel Council. John enjoys spending his free time outdoors.

Tana McTeer

Retired Application Engineer
Kanab, UT
Tana is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast.  She came to Southern Utah for a 2 year sabbatical where she hiked and explored much of the Monument. It was love at first sight and she was never able to return to her high stress lifestyle of Southern California.She is a full time resident of Kanab and is very active in the community.  Since joining GSEP as a member in 2009 she has been involved in many of their programs as a volunteer, including the Site Steward Program and Paleo Lab Program. Joining the Board of Directors in 2013, Tana now has the opportunity to use many skills from her 20+ years in the Construction and Engineering field, including strategic thinking, problem solving and project management, as a hands on board member.

Craig (Sage) Sorenson

Guide, Earth Tours, and Retired Outdoor Recreation Planner, Bureau of Land Management
Escalante, UT

Sage got his childhood nickname from devoting a lot of time to the hills, red rock canyons and mountains of Utah where the scent of ‘sagebrush’ was always a part of his nature. He was born and raised in Utah where his father worked with the U.S. Forest Service and mother taught school.  They lived in a wall tent until he was five and he learned to identify with and appreciate the outdoors, conservation, and the Intermountain West.  He graduated from Utah State University Natural Resources Department in Forestry/Recreation.  Sage has worked part time for earth tours since 2005 after finishing a 31-year career with the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming and Utah as an Outdoor Recreation Planner.  It was a great pleasure to help lay the foundation for the management of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument since established in 1996. He and his family have lived in Escalante since 1990 and, since retirement, continues to work with the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument as a volunteer with the Monument Partners, science and research studies, Escalante River Watershed Partnership, Boulder Community Alliance, the U.S. Forest Service and Garfield County Search and Rescue and Sons of Utah Pioneers.  Now, he has time to enjoy, traveling, family, continued education, nature study, breeding bird surveys, fly fishing, camping, harmonica, Native American flute, Irish Whistle, and mandolin music, photography, gardening, Pickleball, their animals – especially their singing dog, Ole, and part time guiding with Earth Tours.

Larry Spanne

Larry1Retired Archaeologist
Kanab, UT
 Larry (Laurence) Spanne began his service on the Grand Staircase Escalante Board of Directors in 2012.  He was raised on a small farm and ranch on the Central California Coast near Lompoc. Hunting, fishing, hiking, riding horses, gardening, working in the agricultural fields, helping with the livestock, and socializing with his extended family dominated his early life.  He later attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and Arizona State University, earning Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology, with a minor in Geology/Geography.  His formal education was punctuated by military service in the Continental United States and Europe.  He later worked as a Cultural Resources Management contractor and consultant for numerous private companies and government agencies.  Eventually he settled on a 23-year career at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, where he held the position of Historic Preservation Officer and Chief of Cultural Resources.  There he headed the effort that produced a 14-Volume Cultural Resources Management Plan that included complete inventories of archaeological, historical, Cold War, paleontological, rock art, and Native American resources.  In 2002 he was recognized by the Society for American Archaeology with their Excellence in Cultural Resources Management Award. While pursuing his career in archaeology and anthropology, Larry was also involved in education.  He instructed classes in anthropology, archaeology, the sociology of American Indians, plant identification, survival techniques, and natural history.  He also led hundreds of field trips over this 35-year parallel career, during which he was employed by Allan Hancock College, the University of California Extension, and local adult education programs.  Larry also served for many years on the Santa Barbara County Park Commission and the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District Board. Larry enjoys traveling with his family, exploring, hiking, and volunteering in support of the environment.  In 2006, Larry and his wife Renae Cox Spanne retired, moved to their home beneath the Vermilion Cliffs, and continue to happily pursue their interests here in Kane County.