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Our Team

Tim Nohr

Mary Ann Perry

Sexton

Mary Ann is committed to supporting the community in understanding after-death care and disposition options, especially home funerals and green burials. Mary Ann’s connection to the ranch began in 2010 with coordinating a teen girls camp with The Rose Circle (now Rogue Valley Mentoring). Her magical wedding weekend  at our campground was in 2014. She lives in Ashland with her husband David, Iggy the cat, and Cody the dog.

Suzanne Willow and Lanita Witt, owners of The Forest Conservation Burial Ground

Suzanne Willow & Lanita Witt

Owners

Owners Suzanne Willow and Lanita Witt are dedicated to the conservation of a 445-acre gem located at 5,000’ elevation within southern Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument near Ashland. Since 1985, they have focused on restoring balanced working forests and wetlands, and improving wildlife habitat. The owners are committed to land conservation, restoration, and regenerative organic agriculture.

To carry this commitment forward in perpetuity, they established The Forest Conservation Burial Ground as an extension of stewardship beyond their lifetimes.

Joanne Kliejunas, Advisor to The Forest Natural Burial Ground

Joanne Kliejunas

Advisor

Joanne Kliejunas joined our small team in 2019 as a volunteer eager to help us make natural burial an option in our community. Joanne has taught classes in the Ashland area to encourage end-of-life decision making by completing an advance directive and to prompt reflection and conversations with loved ones about life, death and their connectedness. As a textile artist, she encourages our clients to select shrouds repurposed from natural textiles that have been meaningful in their lives. She has also salvaged beautiful, slightly damaged table and bed linens and prepared them as shrouds for purchase from The Forest. Joanne’s professional experience as a non-profit manager has contributed to The Forest’s development and planning, as well as outreach in our community.

Daniel Collay

Daniel Collay

Ranch Operations Manager

Daniel Collay grew up on his parents’ farm outside of Eugene. There he gained an early appreciation for farming and the environment. In high school he enrolled in the Rachel Carson Environmental Science Academy where he learned broad sustainability concepts, practical restoration skills, and became a certified master recycler. He followed his passion for the environment into college, graduating with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and a Minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership from Southern Oregon University. During his studies, he learned about sustainable development, food systems, and environmental policy. For his Capstone, he designed, created, and implemented a botanical tour showcasing trees on campus. Daniel grew his farming knowledge while interning with the Berggren Demonstration Farm in Springfield Oregon. He also was Trip Leader for the SOU Outdoor Program in college.

After starting in January of 2018 he has found a lot to love here at the ranch. The land seems to offer endless opportunities to support the community, not only with the bounty of food but also with its wealth of knowledge, history, and beauty. He thinks the work here is an excellent way to grow his love of farming, environmental education, and leadership.

Christine Yee, Administrative and Operations Assistant

Christine Yee

Administrative and Operations Assistant

In 2010, Christine arrived in southern Oregon through her passion for organic farming and western herbalism. Originally from Arizona with her ancestral roots in China, she developed an enduring affinity for the Pacific Northwest through its unique botanical diversity and the connections she has made with those who share her appreciation for the natural beauty of this region. Over the last ten years, she has assisted in the operations of many local farms and institutions with her organizational expertise. She is honored to offer her administrative skills to Willow-Witt Ranch and The Forest and to play a part in supporting its mission to preserve and regenerate our precious woodlands. Outside of service, Christine is an artist and lifelong learner.

Jake

Jake McKean

Camp Host and Ranch Hand

Jake was born and raised near his family’s farm outside the Twin Cities metro area of Minnesota. His siblings and parents fostered a sense of adventure and an appreciation of the outdoors, leading to several summers working at residential camp and extended backpacking trips across the country. Jake earned a degree in outdoor education and recreation from the University of Minnesota – Duluth on the north shore of Lake Superior and gateway to the northwoods of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. He also discovered the sport of ultimate frisbee and would spend two decades playing, coaching, and organizing the sport. Jake has always worked in experiential youth programs, from nature centers to team building and leadership development field trip destinations. He was the first executive director of Minnesota Ultimate, a youth sports-focused non-profit governing the sport in Minnesota. In 2019, Jake sold his urban St. Paul home and has been living and working remotely from his off-grid converted campervan; largely in the mountain west. He is taking the next step in his pursuit of simple living and access to wild and natural places, joining the team at Willow-Witt Ranch with his constant companion and adventure buddy, Cedar. 

Drew Di Prima

Drew Di Prima

Ranch Hand

Andrew (Drew) Di Prima grew up in Northern California. He spent his childhood raising animals and participating in 4-H Club alongside his brothers and sister. Throughout his upbringing, Drew developed a passion for the outdoors, farming, homesteading and self sufficiency. Drew attended College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California where he earned a degree in Communications and graduated from the Firefighter Academy.

Drew worked as a firefighter for 8 years before moving to Oregon in 2023. That same year, Drew found Willow-Witt Ranch where he has enjoyed working outdoors, taking care of animals, gardening and being a part of our team. 

Larry Lacerte

Larry Lacerte

Ranch Hand

Larry Lacerte recently moved to Oregon from Colorado. He was drawn to working at Willow-Witt Ranch by a desire to learn more about off-grid living, working with animals and market gardening. He enjoys hiking, biking, skiing and making music, and is looking forward to exploring his new surroundings.

Contact Us

PHONE

541.625.9697

EMAIL

info@theforestconservationburial.org

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Green Burial Council certified member
The Forest Conservation Burial Ground is certified by the Green Burial Council