About Us

Since 1974 Friends of Plumas Wilderness has advocated for the protection of, and mindful engagement with, the lands and waters of the Upper Feather River Watershed.

We live in one of the most ecologically diverse regions, not only in California but also in the entire world. For many decades the resources of this area have been extracted at an intolerable cost to the land itself and its residents – wild and human.

This is sacred ground, in all senses of the word, and there is substantial value and benefit to transition to a time of healing. Humanity has a duty too long ignored: To return to the Earth greater value than we have withdrawn.

Friends of Plumas Wilderness aims to see long-standing protections established on 400,000 acres of forestland and 100 miles of rivers and waterways of the Upper River Watershed by 2030.

We are Local | Wild

Mission

Friends of Plumas Wilderness is dedicated to studying, exploring and maintaining the integrity of natural ecosystems where the Sierra and Cascades meet.

We bring people together to keep local places wild, so that what we love about the Feather River region —untamed nature, clean water, and clear skies —is protected for generations to come.

We envision restoring a vast network of interconnected lands spanning across the Upper Feather River Watershed.

It’s because of the support of friends like you that we can protect the places we love.

We bring people together to protect and maintain wild places.

Defending the upper Feather River watershed so that our untamed nature and remote places stay forever wild.


Our Board & Staff

Ron Logan

Board President

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Ron Logan

Board President

Ron Logan accepted our invitation to join the board in January 2021. A fourth generation Plumas County resident, Ron enjoys skiing in the winter, and hiking, exploring, and swimming in the Feather River Watershed’s streams and lakes in the summer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from UCSB and a teaching credential from CSU Chico. Ron taught junior high and high school science and alternative education for twenty-five years. During his teaching career, he was a core teacher for Feather River Land Trust’s Learning Landscapes program and Science Vertical Team Lead for the district.

Darla DeRuiter

Treasurer

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Darla DeRuiter

Treasurer

Darla served as the Executive Director of Friends of Plumas Wilderness and the organization’s first ever employee for 18 months through December 2022. As planned when she took the position on, she retired but continues to serve on the organization’s board of directors. Darla was a professor of Environmental Studies and Outdoor Recreation Leadership at Feather River College for 17 years, and Western State College in Gunnison, CO for 7 years before that. She loves multiple-day expeditions in the mountains, on rivers, along coasts, or through deserts. Her energies focus on five interconnected areas: adventure, creativity, service, health, and human connection.

Darrel Jury

Director

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Darrel Jury

Director

Darrel served as President of FoPW from April 2015 to April 2023; and is proud to continue in the long tradition of studying, exploring, and maintaining the integrity of natural ecosystems where the Sierra and Cascades meet. After earning a Master’s degree in Wildland Management from Colorado State University, Darrel spent the better part of a lifetime studying and working at the University of Wilderness. His extensive explorations throughout the wildest parts of the West have convinced him that if we wish to maintain the integrity of the mountains, canyons, rivers, and forests of the Feather River watershed we must increase protection and care for our wildlands and waters.

Jeff Kepple

Director

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Jeff Kepple

Director

Jeff fell in love with wild places as a lad, backpacking to the emerald lakes of the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountains.To be lost meant great adventure, and assuredly an exhilarating scramble. To be found meant Jeff must go to school. He received a BS in Physical Science from Cal Poly, SLO, MD from UC San Diego, and Residency through UC Davis. He has practiced Family Medicine and Obstetrics in the Lost Sierra for over 20 years. He has a keen interest in human connectivity to remote and biodiverse places, and the impact on health and wellness. Jeff enjoys mountain biking, backpacking, gardening, songwriting and guitar, as well as theatre and literature. He is cofounder of the Sierra Nevada Conservation and Wilderness Medicine Conference.

Les Hall

Director

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Les Hall

Director

Les is of Mountain Maidu ancestry, though not part of a federally recognized tribe. He describes himself as just a guy who happens to have an ancestral connection to this land and would like to see it not burned to the ground due to ongoing mismanagement and climate change.

Lawrence Ferderber

Director

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Lawrence Ferderber

Director

Larry has fished, camped, backpacked and four-wheeled the Middle Fork of the Feather River Canyon for 50 years. Starting at Milsap Bar he slowly worked his way up the canyon searching for hiking trails and 4×4 routes that would get him deeper into the remote sections of the river. As his love for the area grew it led to him and his wife buying property in Genesee Valley and eventually a vacation home in Graeagle.  His daughter and granddaughter followed them into Plumas County outdoors and now live in Quincy.  Larry became involved with Friends of Plumas Wilderness when his granddaughter took an environmental course at FRC and the two of them earned a cameo appearance in Visions of the Lost Sierra. He joined the Board of FoPW in 2022.

Denise Battagin

Director

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Denise Battagin

Director

The thrill of flying from a new and different hang gliding launch is what drew Denise Battagin to the Upper Feather River watershed back in the early 80’s.  She gained an exceptional bird’s eye view of the place that she has called home since 1995. Denise was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California, attended the local schools, Santa Rosa Junior College, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Planning from Sonoma State University.  

After marrying and moving to Plumas County in 1995, Denise has been able to more fully appreciate the myriad diverse aspects of the Upper Feather River watershed. She shares her passion for this place she calls home with her husband, Bill, and their two adult children. Denise enjoys the unique place in California’s geography that the Upper Feather River watershed claims. This place holds such diversity not only in plants, animals, and geology, but in all of us humans that call the Upper Feather River watershed home. Between its irreplaceable beauty and diversity, Denise finds it important to engage in efforts to preserve and protect this most precious place. While change is inevitable, being able to have a say in how that change comes about is something worthy to be a part of. That’s why Denise is a Director for the Friends of Plumas Wilderness! 

From hang gliding to horseback riding, hiking, biking, kayaking, and backcountry skiing, Denise fully enjoys all that the Upper Feather River Watershed has to offer, and seeks to continue to explore this distinctive landscape.

Esa Morrison

Director

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Esa Morrison

Director


Charles Schrammel

Executive Director

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Charles Schrammel

Executive Director

 

Charles comes to Friends of Plumas Wilderness from a diverse background including, social service, professional guiding, outdoor education, and small business management. Although he grew up in Southern California, Charles’ extended family has been part of Plumas County since the late 1950’s when his paternal grandparents moved to Indian Valley and began work as educators. From infancy Charles has explored Plumas County and, in 2019, he and his family moved to Taylorsville for a change in scenery, new careers, and more time in the woods. 

 

In the years since relocating to Plumas County, Charles has seen first hand the dramatic changes to landscape and community wrought by catastrophic fire, global pandemic, and economic hardship. Charles looks forward to increased community engagement and expanded environmental education opportunities for youth while pursuing the Friends of Plumas Wilderness vision of protecting 30% of our lands and waters by 2030 through locally-based conservation and stewardship projects.

 

 

Lethi Watson

Tribal Liaison

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Lethi Watson

Tribal Liaison

Lathecia Watson is our Tribal Liaison. Lethi is from Enterprise Rancheria within the Feather River watershed. She first found her love for Plumas County’s public lands while working on the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship Youth Crew in 2013. Lethi worked with her tribe as an Environmental Technician in 2016, collaborating with environmental organizations and other tribal governments until she graduated in 2020 with an associates’ degree in Anthropology. Lethi is excited about her new position and is ready to make an impact with Friends of Plumas Wilderness!

Elizabeth Ramsey

Conservation & Planning Director

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Elizabeth Ramsey

Conservation & Planning Director

In 2017, Liz Ramsey moved to Quincy, California from New Buffalo, Michigan to attend Feather River College (FRC). Rapidly fostered connections to the lands, rivers, and creatures within the Upper Feather River Watershed inspired her to begin her career here in Plumas County. She has since received an A.S. in Environmental Studies from FRC and B.A. in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Ecology & Conservation from Cal Poly Humboldt. Before becoming FoPW’s Conservation and Planning Director in October 2022, she volunteered for the organization for 4 years and worked as a contracted GIS Technician. Liz aims to continue developing her relationship with the living and non-living beings within our one-of-a-kind watershed and advocating for their shared interests. 

 

Aubrey Pickerell

Organization & Finance Director

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Aubrey Pickerell

Organization & Finance Director

Aubrey grew up sauntering through the undulating California poppy fields in the East Bay hills where she developed a visceral and tactile connection to the natural world around her. She focused her academic studies on the intersection of humans and their natural environment, and earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Anthropology and Behavioral Science from San Jose State University. In 2018, she moved to Plumas County to begin a career in land conservation and in late 2022 joined the team at Friends of Plumas Wilderness as the Operations and Finance Director. Outside of work, she is an avid wildflower hunter, hiker, floral designer, and ranch caretaker. She is elated to continue directly supporting conservation efforts throughout the Upper Feather River Watershed working to protect wild things, wild spaces, and wild places.

 


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