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Acquisition and Restoration Council (ARC) Members

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Noah Valenstein,Chairperson, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. He was appointed Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by Governor Rick Scott on May 23, 2017 and reappointed by Governor Ron DeSantis on February 15, 2019. He returned to DEP with nearly 15 years of public service experience with governmental agencies and a passion for natural resource protection. Noah previously served as executive director for the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Executive Office of the Governor and Florida House of Representatives, as well as with several of Florida’s leading environmental nonprofit groups. Noah graduated with honors from the University of Florida’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. He also holds a law degree from Florida State University.
--Shawn Hamilton, Interim Deputy Secretary for Land and Recreation, has been designated by Secretary Valenstein to represent the Department of Environmental Protection on ARC and to serve as Chairperson.
 
Dr. William Palmer, President of the Tall Timbers Research Station, an organization dedicated to wildlife research and conservation activity. He has degrees in zoology and wildlife sciences and has been working to restore grassland habitats on 100,000 acres of public land in Florida. He is the author of many papers on the environment of bobwhite, wild turkeys, and on the effects of prescribed burning for Southern forests.
 
Eric Sutton, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is responsible for the management of the FWC and serves a seven-member Commission. He has over 20 years of professional experience in land and resource management in Florida. Mr. Sutton previously served as FWC's Assistant Executive Director and as the Director of the Habitat and Species Conservation Division.  Mr. Sutton holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in zoology from the University of South Florida.
--Dr. Thomas Eason, Assistant Executive Director, has been designated by Director Sutton to represent the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on ARC
 
Erin Albury, State Forester and Director, began his career with the Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in 1997 at the Withlacoochee Forestry Center, serving as the Citrus County Forester. Following several advancements, he promoted to the State Office in 2015 as Field Operations Bureau Chief until assuming the role of Assistant Director in 2018. Albury has more than 22 years of experience in wildfire prevention and suppression, prescribed burning, land management, and all-hazard emergency response on the state and national level. He has actively served in various roles on the interagency incident management teams and is a certified Type 1 Incident Commander. Erin is a native of Citrus County, Florida and graduate of the University of Florida.
 
Dr. Timothy Parsons is a cultural resources management professional and archaeologist who has worked in the field since 2003. He completed his Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology at Florida State University and received an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Millsaps College. Dr. Parsons is a Registered Professional Archaeologist and a member of the Society for American Archaeology and the Southeastern Archaeological Conference. Before his appointment as Division Director and State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), he served as the Division’s Deputy SHPO and Supervisor of Federal and State Compliance and Review. Prior to joining the Division, he spent six years with the National Park Service Southeast Archaeological Center, and previously worked as the cultural and historical programs manager for the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in northern Virginia.
 
Lynetta Usher Griner,Officer of the Usher Land and Timber Company in Chiefland. She has been an attorney for 28 years, leaving private practice to work for her family timber business. She gained valuable experience in land-management issues as a former member of the Governing Board of the Suwannee River Water Management District. She has also worked with Friends of Fanning Springs, a citizen-support organization for Fanning Springs State Park. Plus, she was also a member of the Florida Forever Advisory Council, which evaluated Florida Forever projects when the program was set up as a replacement for Preservation 2000.
 
Elva Peppers is president of Florida Environmental & Land Services Inc., assisting private clients, municipalities, and agencies to develop permittable and sustainable projects. Ms. Peppers held positions with DEP and two private environmental consulting firms and has 25 years of experience in the environmental field. She graduated from FSU with a degree in biology.
 

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March 4, 2020 - 2:02pm

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