Board & Team

Jimmy MacLeod, President

Jimmy has lived in the Williams Valley for 30 years. He is a wildcrafter, guitar maker, fine woodworker and subsistence farmer. He has been active for years in the protection of southern Oregon’s native forests. Jimmy studied Environmental Education at Sonoma State University, was a docent at Fairfield Osborne Nature Preserve in Sonoma County, California and has served on the board of the Sugarloaf School, part of William’s Sugarloaf Community Association. Jimmy is passionate about organic farming and permaculture and is interested in the promotion of sustainable land use for both rural and urban areas of this bioregion.

Pepper Trail, Vice President & Secretary

Pepper is a professional wildlife biologist (Ph.D., Cornell University) and has been actively involved in the conservation and management of southern Oregon’s public and private lands for over 20 years. He has been a leader in the efforts to establish the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and to preserve the wildlife habitat provided by the Bear Creek Greenway. Pepper is past President and present Conservation Chair of the Rogue Valley Audubon Society. His goal is to preserve open space, farmland and wildlife habitat in the Rogue Valley, with the conviction that healthy communities depend on a healthy environment.

Jamie Talarico, Treasurer

Jamie is an outdoors enthusiast with a passion for fresh food whether it be foraged or farmed.  She has lived in Southern Oregon for the last five years but found her love of wilderness after moving to Lake Tahoe California in 2010.  After hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail and WWOOFing in various parts of the country Jamie set roots in Ashland to finish her undergraduate business degree at SOU focusing on sustainability and sovereignty of food systems. In Oregon, Jamie has worked in the recreational cannabis industry as a “jack of all trades”, but most enjoys connecting with craft producers in the Rogue Valley. She hopes to empower communities to seek education about their natural surroundings.

Steve Rouse

Steve has lived in southern Oregon since obtaining his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in 1979. He started Rogue Valley Electric where he is now a supervisor, and is experienced with builders, developers and the County land use process. His passion is preserving and restoring Rogue Basin farmlands and floodplain habitats. “Most of southern Oregon’s river floodplains are critical habitat for endangered coho salmon and deserve protection. This has been largely ignored during the development process. My Rogue Advocates work provides a voice for the voiceless.” Steve also serves on the North Applegate Watershed Protection Association board, co-chairs the Applegate Sustainable Aggregate Project and co-founded SAVE (Save Applegate Valley Environment).

Nicole Spencer, Deputy Director

Nicole is passionate about sustainable communities and has raised over $16 million to advance environmental initiatives and increase access to education. She recently graduated with an MBA in Social Innovation and holds a B.S. in Ecology & Resource Management. She studied natural systems to explore how we can mimic nature in the management of working lands, like agriculture and forestry, instead of supporting systems that work against it. She has traveled to 15 countries, led more than 70 wilderness backpacking trips, and is a passionate urban gardener who grows as much of her own organic food as possible.

Craig Anderson, Land Use Program Manager

Craig graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1988 and began his career in government as a bicycle transportation planner for the City of San Luis Obispo in 1991. He moved to Southern Oregon in 1999 working as a transportation planner for the Rogue Valley Council of Governments and then for the Rogue Valley Transportation District. He worked for Jackson County as a Senior Planner between 2007 and 2019. Craig believes that the restoration of trust in our government is a prerequisite to progress. Without trust, further efforts are a waste of time. A narrowly-focused economic agenda threatens what remains of this trust. Craig is working with Rogue Advocates to restore trust in our government and to assure that the public’s interest, as expressed in our land use laws is on the agenda.