Mark has over 25 years of experience protecting Northern Michigan’s natural resources and managing public land. Over this period, he has received and administered 5 million dollars worth of grants and raised an additional 5 million dollars in donations for environmental and community organizations.
Mark lives in Bellaire with his wife, Monica, and daughters Colleen and Ella. He and his family enjoy canoe camping, athletic activities, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Say hello to Mark at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Renee Penny, Conservation Specialist
Renee comes to Kalkaska with a B.A. Degree in Conservation Leadership from Lake Superior State University. Her past experience includes work as a utility arborist with Environmental Consultants, Inc., and as a restoration technician with Cardno JFNew. She also has had a variety of experiences conducting ecological restoration while working for The Nature Conservancy in Ohio and Michigan. She has participated in prescribed burns and has knowledge of many techniques used to control invasive plants, such as herbicide application, mowing and hand pulling. In addition, she assisted in bird banding and Piping Plover research at Whitefish Point in the Upper Peninsula.
Renee’s responsibilities include working with landowners in Kalkaska County to manage forest and wildlife resources. She can provide on-site assistance and is very knowledgeable in plant and tree identification, both native and invasive species. Renee can help landowners develop plans for attracting wildlife to their property, including planting trees, shrubs and wildlife food plots. She can make recommendations regarding erosion control methods and techniques. Renee will also be mapping and reporting invasive species in Kalkaska County.
Say hello to Renee at: email@example.com
Larry Czelusta, FAP Forester
Larry Czelusta, (pronounced sa-les-ta) currently the Conservation District Forester in Wexford and Missaukee Counties, has expanded his territory, and has a wealth of experience in tree-related issues and forest management. Larry has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from Virginia Technological University. He particularly enjoys working with landowners to provide solutions to what he calls, “bugs and rots.” He likes diagnosing tree illnesses, and providing recommendations on how to help the tree that is stressed, but also manage for the overall health of the forest or woodlot. Larry can work closely with landowners who would like to learn more about enrolling in the Michigan Qualified Forest Management Program, or QFP.
In addition, Larry can provide information on the selection and planting of trees and shrubs for reforestation, windbreaks, and wildlife habitat enhancement. He also has experience with such diverse topics as: timber sales, prairie restoration, and increasing pollinator habitat.
Say hello to Larry at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jodi DeHate, MAEAP Technician
Jodi provides assistance to agricultural producers in Crawford, Kalkaska, Missaukee and Wexford counties, enabling them to assess their environmental risks and come up with solutions. MAEAP can help a farm with reducing risk to the environment. The program works with various agencies to help farmers, voluntarily achieve the goal of being compliant under Right to Farm Act.
Say hello to Jodi here: email@example.com
Megan Sebright, Acting District Conservationist
Megan has stepped in to cover the Bellaire office after Pepper Bromelmeier’s retirement. Pepper did an amazing job as the District Conservationist, and Megan is excited to serve Antrim and Kalkaska counties until NRCS finds a permanent replacement. Megan lives in Rapid City with her husband Keith, daughter Brooke, and son Corey. They enjoy spending time together outdoors, visiting friends and family, and exploring everything Northern Michigan has to offer. Megan moved to Kalkaska County in 2014 to work with NRCS in Traverse City after working as an agronomist in Southern Michigan. She is an MSU alum (Go Green!) with an M.S. in Entomology and a B.S. in fisheries and wildlife management. She is also a certified crop advisor and working towards being a certified conservation planner. Megan is prepared to assist farmers and producers with their land conservation needs.
Ranger is our friendly office dog. He likes long walks in the forest and lots of ear rubs. You can find him curled up in the office chairs or in his bed under Renee’s desk. Ranger will be your forever best friend if you bring him treats or deer antlers to chew on (one of his most FAVORITE toys!).