Jimmy MacLeod, President and Treasurer
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 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.
Maud Powell has lived in Southern Oregon since 1998, when she and her husband started Wolf Gulch Farm, a certified organic vegetable and seed farm. Maud also works for Oregon State University Extension as an Associate Professor of Practice for the Small Farms Program. She sits on several boards including the Rogue Valley Food System Network, the Southern Oregon Educational Service District, and Our Family Farms.
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, Partnerships & Operations 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 close to 100 wilderness backpacking trips, and is a passionate urban garden consultant 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.
Melissa Matthewson, Communications Manager
Melissa got her professional start in agriculture as an undergrad at UC Santa Cruz where she fell in love with organic farming. She went on to operate an organic vegetable market farm in southwestern Oregon for fourteen years before moving on to other pursuits. She has worked as an educator for many years, both in adult extension and higher ed. She is a former OSU Small Farms Extension agent and spent several years teaching courses in communication, media studies, and writing at Southern Oregon University. She holds an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She currently lives in Ashland and published her first book in 2019.