Sagebrush Ecosystem Council Members

The Sagebrush Ecosystem Council consists of nine members and six ex-officio members. Governor Brian Sandoval originally established the Council via Executive Order 2012-19. During the 2013 Legislative Session, AB461 was approved and the resulting statutes provide for State administration.  Nevada's legislators are the first in the 11-state western region to formalize a state's commitment to such an effort in statute.

Council Members

J.J. Goicoechea, Chair
Local Government Representative
J.J. Goicoechea is a fourth generation rancher in Nevada’s Newark Valley.  As a seated Eureka County commissioner, Goicoechea brings his understanding of public lands to his role as local government representative on the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council.  He currently serves on the NACO Public Lands Task Force, and is past president of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association.  Goicoechea is a practicing veterinarian specializing in large-animal care, and serves as a board member on Nevada’s Veterinary Medical Association. Goicoechea attended University of Nevada, Reno, where he studied Veterinary Sciences, and received his D.V.M. from Colorado State University at Fort Collins.
Chris MacKenzie, Vice-Chair
Board of Wildlife Representative
Chris MacKenzie, a fourth generation Nevadan, grew up enjoying the bounty that the Nevada outdoors offers—with work experience as a ranch-hand, fishing guide, bar bouncer and other seasonal jobs—until going astray by attending law school after graduating with a finance degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. Today, MacKenzie is a partner in the law firm of Allison, MacKenzie, Pavlakis, Wright & Fagan, Ltd., in Carson City.  His areas of focus include business, administrative, estate, real property, and water law. MacKenzie served on the Wildlife Commission from 2001-2007 (Chairman, 2005-2007), and active member and Vice Chairman of the Nevada Dream Tags Advisory Board since its inception.
Allen Biaggi
Mining Representative
Allen Biaggi is a third generation Nevadan. He is a consultant with more than 30 years of experience in conservation and natural resources. Biaggi served on the Bi-State Fire Commission in the wake of the Angora Fire.  Biaggi is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with degrees in Hydrology and Architectural Engineering Design.
Steve Boies
Ranching Representative
A native Nevadan, Steve Boies is a rancher and cattleman with operations near Wells in the far northeastern corner of the state.  Boies understands the issues family-run cattle ranches face today. In addition to representing ranching on the Sagebrush Ecosystem Council, he serves as N-1 and central Committee Chair for the state Grazing Board.  He has been an active participant in industry and resource issues during the past several decades.  Boies attended Universityof Nevada, Reno, where he studied Agricultural Sciences.
Gerry Emm
Tribal Nations Representative
Gerry Emm is the Deputy Superintendent- Trust Services at the Bureau of Indian Affairs Western Nevada Agency in Carson City.  He has more than 20 years of experience working with various Tribes in western Nevada in agriculture, environmental, resource and economic development areas. Emm has worked on various water, resource and land issues in western and central Nevada as a member of resource teams including the Walker, Carson, and Truckee River systems.  He served on the Intertribal Agriculture Council board and as a member of Sierra Nevada RAC (BLM). Emm holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from University of Nevada, Reno.
Starla Lacy
Energy Representative
Starla Lacy leads NV Energy's Environmental and Safety Department. She has more than 20 years of experience working in the environmental field.  Lacy joined NV Energy in 2006 from Dynegy, an independent power generation company based in Houston, Texas.  Lacy is the current Board President for Western Energy Supply and Transmission Association, a consortium of western-based electric utilities that focus on environmental issues. Lacy holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and an undergraduate degree in Economics.
Bevan Lister
Agriculture Representative
Bevan Lister manages his family's farming operations raising Alfalfa hay and beef cattle.  Lister is an experienced water driller and contractor.  He has served on boards and commissions dealing with natural resources, including 11 years as a volunteer leader with the Farm Bureau.  Lister holds a Bachelor’s degree in Irrigation Engineering from Utah State University.     
Tina Nappe
Conservation and Environmental Representative
Tina Nappe worked for the Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain Studies on Nevada’s endangered species (1967-1971). She has served on the State Board of Wildlife Commissioners (1979-1994), several BLM Advisory Boards, the State Water Planning Advisory Board, the Nevada Land Trust, and the Nature Conservancy.   Nappe holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Sherman Swanson
General Public
Dr. Sherm Swanson is a range and riparian specialist for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Service and associate professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Swanson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Resources from the University of Idaho, and earned his Master’s and Ph.D. in Resource Geography and Rangeland Resources from Oregon State University.

Ex-Officio Members

Bill Dunkelberger
Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest Supervisor
Bill Dunkelberger serves as the Forest Supervisor for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, U.S. Forest Service. He brings extensive experience in building relationships between the Forest Service, other federal land management agencies, and communities dependent upon the National Forests. Dunkelberger holds a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Park Administration from Washington State University.
Mary Grim
Mary Grim is the Sagebrush Ecosystem Coordinator for the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more than 20-years, she has worked together with agencies, organizations and landowners to seek solutions to natural resource issues.  Grim holds a Bachelor's degree in biology from West Virginia University.  
John Ruhs
State Director
John Ruhs began his duties as the State Director for the Bureau of Land Management in November 2015. Ruhs previously served as the director of BLM’s eastern states and had been the acting state director for Nevada from April 2015 through September 2015. Ruhs leads the management of 48 million acres of public land in Nevada and 59 million acres of Federal mineral resources. The State Office oversees six district offices in Carson City, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Elko, Ely and Las Vegas. Ruhs received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the University of Idaho.
Ray Dotson
State Conservationist, Nevada

Ray Dotson began his tenure as Nevada State Conservationist for Natural Resources Conservation Service on August 10, 2015. Dotson oversees the agency’s 60 employees in 11 offices throughout Nevada. Dotson came to Nevada from Arizona, where he was Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations. With NRCS experience working in the Southeast, Midwest, and West regions, he broadened his agricultural scope and his ability to carry out the agency’s mission by working with producers and partners to get more conservation on the ground. He began working with NRCS as an intern, which led to his career with the agency.

 

 

Jim Barbee
Director
Jim Barbee was appointed to head the Nevada Department of Agriculture in 2011.  He is a former Secondary Agriculture Educator with a certificate as a Certified Public Manager (CPM).  Barbee  managed millions in grant monies while a supervisor in Career and Technical Education at the Department of Education for eleven years.  He has served on the National FFA Board of Directors and Foundation Board of Trustees. Barbee holds a Master’s degree in Agriculture Science, Agriculture Education from Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo and a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from California State University, Chico.
Tony Wasley
Director
Tony Wasley was appointed to head the Nevada Department of Wildlife in 2013. He has managed statewide programs, worked as an area biologist, participated in research, restoration, enhancement and protection projects for species such as the sage-grouse, mule deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. Tony holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and Wildlife Management from California State University and earned his Master’s in Biology from Idaho State University.