Executive Staff

Cindy Blackburn – Director of Operations

As the Director of Operations, Cindy oversees the operations and budgets of the Watershed’s programs and ensures each program’s activities work to fulfill strategic goals. She joined the Watershed Center in 2008 as administration manager. Her specialties include business management, organizational systems, HR management, accounting, and data tracking. Prior to working at the Watershed, Cindy worked at Jefferson State Forest Products for 10 years where she held numerous positions including bookkeeper, salesman, accountant, executive assistant and Operations Manager. Cindy has lived in Hayfork since 1979, and her hobbies include volunteering at Trinity County Fair and visiting with her many grandkids.


Nick Goulette – Executive Director

Nick has worked in a wide range of capacities at The Watershed Center over the past 13 years, taking over leadership of the organization after 5 years serving first as Stewardship Coordinator and then Deputy Director. He oversees programs operating at local, regional, and national levels that focus on a spectrum of natural resource management fields including forestry, fire and fuels, watershed and fisheries, youth engagement, enterprise development, networks and coalitions, and policy and research.

Locally, he has planned and managed a wide range of forest management, prescribed fire, and community wildfire protection projects.  Regionally, he helped to establish the CA Forest Biomass Working Group, the CA Statewide Wood Energy Team, is the Chair of the Northern CA Prescribed Fire Council, and is a long-time member of the Leadership Team for the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition.  He also helped design and launch the national Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network.  Nick was born and raised in Maine, and earned a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Vermont (2004) with a concentration in Community-based Forestry.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Naomi, fishing, skiing, backpacking, and tending to their small homestead in the town of Weaverville.

Call Nick at (530) 628-4206 or email him at nickg[at]


Michelle Medley-Daniel – Deputy Director and Fire Adapted Communities Network Co-Director

MichelleMichelle has two roles at the Watershed Center. As Deputy Director, she is part of the team that steers and supports the strategic direction and operations of the organization. A Hayfork-local, she is proud to be contributing to the vitality of her hometown through her work at the Watershed Center. She also works as the Co-Director of the Fire Adapted Communities Network. In this role, she works alongside partners at The Nature Conservancy to direct the operations of a national network of communities learning to live better with wildfire. In particular, Michelle’s focus is on working with State and regional efforts to launch network-based approaches to wildfire resilience. Michelle has a background in studio art and English, and has over ten years of experience coordinating networks and providing communications and development services to non-profits. She enjoys backpacking, kayaking, local history and connecting with people who are passionate about place.

Call Michelle at (530) 628-4206 or email her at michelle[at]


Program Directors

Chester Brown – Field Program Manager

Chester runs the Watershed Center field crews. Under his management, the Watershed Center employs anywhere from 10-25 people implementing land stewardship, including landowner services including hazardous fuels reduction. Chester is a long-time Hayfork resident and brings extensive technical knowledge, and valuable experience with the community and local landowners to his position.

Call Chester at (530) 628-4206 or email him at chester[at]


Sam Chilcote – Trinity Together Cradle to Career Partnership Co-Director

Samantha Chilcote moved to Trinity County in 2010 after completing her post-doctoral work in Montana. She previously worked with the Watershed Center as a fisheries biologist. Recently, Sam joined the Watershed Center as the Co-Coordinator for a new educational partnership, Trinity Together, with the goal of offering all Trinity County students equal educational and careers options while creating a sustainable future for the community. Previously, Sam enjoyed working as the Westside Fisheries Biologist for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest before starting her own consulting company. In her free time, Sam enjoys being on the river and hiking mountain trails with her four legged companions.


David Jaramillo – Fire, Fuels, and Forestry Program Director

DaveDavid is a California Registered Professional Forester (#2839) with over 15 years of ecological and forestry experience. He has worked with private landowners, private timber, non-profits, NGO’s, tribes, and local, state, and federal governments on a variety of forestry and fire related projects. David’s principle interests include traditional ecology, fire and fuels management, ecosystem restoration, community wildfire planning, and watershed and wildlife issues as they pertain to the stewardship of our natural resources. He is dedicated to caring for our forests and ecosystems for future generations. He received a B.S in Forestry Conservation as well as Minors in Wildlife Management and Environmental Ethics from Humboldt State University.

Call David at (530) 628-4206 or email him at david[at]


Teckla Johnson – Trinity Together Cradle to Career Partnership Co-Director

TecklaTeckla grew up in Trinity County but moved to Minneapolis after graduating from Humboldt State University. There she obtained her Masters of Social Work and worked for several years in day programs, helping Adults with Developmental Disabilities find employment, enjoy meaningful enrichment experiences and build relationships. Her last couple of years in Minneapolis were spent working to provide services to seniors and dishing out meals at her local co-op. Teckla is married to a talented and funny man anfd is also a mom to two amazing young ladies, two cats and one cattle dog. She loves spending time at the river, eating good food and learning about native plants. Teckla is excited to be involved in giving back to the community that nurtured her in her youth.


Josh Smith – Watershed and Fisheries Restoration Program Director

Josh oversees the Watershed Center’s watershed and fisheries program including monitoring, landscape-scale planning, education, networking and collaboration, and physical restoration efforts. Josh brings more than a decade of hydrology and ecology experience to his position at the Watershed Center, yet his extensive local knowledge of the Trinity County landscape is potentially his most valuable asset. His work has ranged from hydrogeologic consulting in New Zealand, to snow surveys in the Trinity Alps, to sediment and fisheries monitoring here in the South Fork Trinity River. Recent restoration projects have included the enhancement of the Hayfork Community Wetlands, road upgrade implementation projects, widespread watershed assessment and monitoring work, and the development of extensive restoration projects along the South Fork Trinity River. He has a degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Joshua also helps manage the Watershed Center’s Youth, Botany, Geospatial Services, and Recreation programs.

Call Josh at (530) 628-4206 or email him at josh[at]


Martin Twer – BioMass Program Director

Bio coming soon.



Jess Eller – Watershed and Fisheries Program Associate

Bio coming soon.


Tom Evans – Recreation Program Coordinator

Tom coordinates the Watershed Center’s Recreation Program. Tom was born and raised in Hayfork, Ca and returned to Hayfork in 2014 after earning a bachelor’s in business from Chico State University. His business acumen, extensive knowledge of the local landscape and trail system, and community ties are invaluable strengths that support his projects. Tom enjoys four-wheeling, dirt bike riding, and hiking in his spare time, and is passionate about supporting economic development and recreation projects that steward the beauty of Trinity County.

Call Tom at (530) 628-4206 or email him at tom[at]


Allison Jolley – Fire Adapted Communities Network Communications Manager

AllisonAllison is the communications manager for the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net). She steers and implements FAC Net’s Strategic Communications Plan, which involves managing FAC Net’s blog, social media channels and newsletter. Allison’s background is in the intersection of natural resources, storytelling and facilitation. Before joining FAC Net, she worked for the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, focusing on facilitation, collaborative forestry and rural economic development. She has also worked as an interpretive park ranger for the National Park Service. Allison earned her Master of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School at Duke University; she also has a Bachelor of Arts in Ecology from The University of the South (Sewanee).


Heather Jones – Financial Manager

Heather is responsible for budget and financial oversight, grant management and budgeting, human resources, support to program managers, and generally making everything go. Heather joined the Watershed Center in 2015 bringing over 15 years of management experience with her, including work as a senior benefits analyst. Heather earned associates degrees in liberal arts and business administration from Sierra College. She is a born and raised Hayforker who has returned home after a 20 year hiatus. She is proud to be part of the Watershed Center team, and looks forward to supporting the organization in it’s effort to invest in the land and community.

Call Heather at (530) 628-4206 or email her at heather[at]


Ashley Grannell – Administrative Assistant

Ashley is responsible for the Watershed Center’s accounts payable, receivable and payroll. She also provides administrative support for our programs, and her adaptability, attention to detail, and efficiency are a key element in the Watershed Center’s operations. Ashley moved to Hayfork in 2013 and brings with her extensive accounting and bookkeeping expertise, including over 10 years of experience as an administrative assistant. A Bay Area native, Ashley is excited to be part of the Hayfork Community and likes living in a small town.

Call Ashley at (530) 628-4206 or email her at ashley[at]


Emily Troisi – Fire Adapted Communities Network Liaison

Emily works as a Network Liaison for the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (FAC Net). She has worked remotely for The Watershed Center as FAC Net staff since October 2014. Emily graduated from the University of New Hampshire with her B.S. in Environmental Conservation Studies and M.S. in Human Dimensions in Natural Resources Management. Her favorite thing about working for a learning network is the creativity and connections that the people in the network bring to community wildfire resilience. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Email Emily at emily[at]


Katie Van Pelt – Fire Adapted Communities Network Grants and Agreements Specialist

Katie manages the administrative and logistical aspects of the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network. In addition to developing and tracking subawards, she administers contracts and brings her expertise in accounting and bookkeeping to the program. Katie is a certified grants and agreements specialist, with expertise in subaward administration and federal grants. She has lived in Trinity County for the past 9 years.

Call Katie at (530) 628-4206 or email her at katie[at]