Save the Block

Celebrating the One Year Anniversary of Saving the Block

This week we are celebrating the one year anniversary of successfully protecting the greenspace on the Block forever through a conservation easement. It was a fast and furious campaign to raise more than $7 million to keep the community-cherished, historic downtown public space safe from the development of a 90,000-square-foot hotel. The Jackson Hole Land Trust had just over four months to generate enough community support and funding to cover the conservation component of the land deal. The deal was made possible by an anonymous local family who originally placed the entire block under contract to provide project partners the opportunity to develop a community-oriented plan that ensured the protection of the greenspace, preserved the historic buildings, and kept local businesses in their homes.

With COVID-19 restrictions limiting our ability to gather to celebrate the one year anniversary of this inspiring campaign, we are revisiting the exciting timeline of the Save the Block campaign and feeling grateful for each and every one of you who made a contribution to this unified community effort. Join us in recognizing and celebrating the incredible milestones that collectively resulted in Saving the Block.

Save the Block Campaign Timeline

This effort was made possible through the support of more than 2,500 individuals and businesses who made 5,700 gifts to the campaign to Save the Block. We are excited to move forward with the plans to create an even better and bigger community greenspace opening Summer 2021.

As we celebrate this success together, we hope you will consider a gift to the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s Annual Fund which will support the ongoing maintenance and programming for the Block and other community conservation properties like Rendezvous “R” Park.

Laurie Andrews,President of the Jackson Hole Land Trust, Announces Departure

Laurie Andrews will continue career as a community leader as President of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole

Jackson, WY –It is with gratitude and commendation that the Board of Directors announces today the departure of Laurie Andrews as President of the Jackson Hole Land Trust, effective late February 2020. Andrews will be starting her new position as Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole in March 2020.

Since 2005, Andrews has played a critical role in land conservation for Northwest Wyoming and beyond. During her 15-year tenure at the Jackson Hole Land Trust, Andrews was responsible for the protection of over 8,000 acres of conservation land, led the organization through multiple forward-thinking strategic plans, and expanded the reach of the Jackson Hole Land Trust to encompass the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

“Laurie has been an exceptional President and leader for the Jackson Hole Land Trust” said Jason Snider, Board Chair. “We are grateful for Laurie’s visionary direction, which embraced inclusivity, produced strong results, created strong partnerships and prioritized the conservation needs of the whole community.”

“Under Laurie’s leadership, the staff of the Jackson Hole Land Trust more than doubled, the organization successfully completed two significant fundraising campaigns – Forever Our Valley and Save the Block, and we experienced record-breaking annual fundraising and asset growth benchmarks. While we are sad to see her go, we are excited about what her new role means for Jackson’s community and network of non-profits,” continued Snider.

The Board of Directors of the Jackson Hole Land Trust have created a search committee to identify an Interim Director and hire a new permanent leader for the Jackson Hole Land Trust. While the search is underway, the organization is in an excellent position with its accomplished senior leadership team of Jennifer Wolfrom Holladay, Director of Advancement and Engagement, Liz Long, Director of Conservation, and Derek Schaefer, Chief Financial Officer.

“I feel so fortunate to have been a part of such a strong and impactful organization for the past 15 years,” said Andrews. “The Jackson Hole Land Trust has taught me so much about what community means and the passion and generosity that I’ve seen shine through over and over again has been incredibly inspiring. I’m excited to continue my journey as a leader in this special place, and to continue working with extraordinary partners on meaningful projects.”

Continued Andrews, “While it is bittersweet to leave the Jackson Hole Land Trust, I know that the organization is in good hands. The current board and the leadership team are knowledgeable and talented and I will miss working with such a tremendously effective team. While my career is changing directions, my commitment to protecting open spaces is steadfast and I know I will be working with the Jackson Hole Land Trust in some capacity in the future.”

Lori Fields, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Jackson Hole Land Trust, will head the committee that will conduct a wide ranging and broad-based search for a new Executive Director.


About the Jackson Hole Land Trust

The Jackson Hole Land Trust is a private, non-profit organization that was established in 1980 to protect and steward the treasured landscapes of Northwest Wyoming including Fremont and Sublette counties. With over 55,000 acres protected, our vision is a legacy of protected open spaces, wildlife habitat, working lands and community spaces that inspire current and future generations. For more information, please visit


Max Ludington

Max comes to the Jackson Hole Land Trust following a career leading conservation in the Western US. Max first moved to the Tetons in 2001 to work seasonally for Grand Teton National Park. Inspired by the open views and wild character of Northwest Wyoming, he has dedicated his professional career to preserving the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Most recently, Max launched and led Teton LegacyWorks where he directed large-scale, collaborative conservation projects targeting critical regional concerns such as water availability and migrations. Max has extensive experience building and implementing collaborative strategies, developing environmental markets, developing partnerships with farmers and ranchers, and leading community conservation initiatives.

Max holds a Masters in Environmental Science and Management from UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School and a BA from the University of Virginia, with distinction. He is a Switzer Fellow, recipient of the Bren School’s Academic Achievement Award, and a recipient of the Gary Hunt Prize in Environmental Policy. Max lives with his wife Maria Hayashida, his daughter Joy, and their three dogs. He enjoys hiking, biking, backcountry skiing, fishing, hunting, and any other excuse he can find to get outside and enjoy the Tetons.

Liz Long

Liz Long joined the Land Trust in July of 2012 as Protection Manager. Liz was born and raised Birmingham, Alabama and holds a BA from the University of Georgia in Philosophy. She moved to Wyoming upon graduation and fell in love with the Tetons and the community of Jackson. She then returned to the University of Georgia to earn her law degree where she focused in environmental and land use law and gained experience with governmental agencies and numerous non-profits, hoping to return to Jackson. Outside of work Liz enjoys skiing, biking, hiking, yoga, music and time with her two pups, Murphy and Bella.

Derek Schaefer

Derek joined the Land Trust in September 2013 after many years in the ski industry. Born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he was raised in Phoenix, AZ. Derek attended Santa Clara University, earning a BS in Finance, and holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. When not out walking with his golden retriever, Derek enjoys travel, skiing, and more travel.

Mika Burdette

Mika joined the JHLT in April of 2021. Originally from West Virginia, Mika developed a love for conserving wild and open spaces while exploring the Appalachian Mountains. She holds a B.S. in wildlife and fisheries resources from West Virginia University and has held a variety of positions in both government agencies and nonprofit environmental organizations ranging from teaching outdoor education to volunteer coordination and office management.  Mika relocated to Jackson during the fall of 2017 and enjoys snowboarding, nordic skiing, mountain biking, and petting cats.

Jill Callahan

Jill joined the JHLT in December 2020. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, she discovered her love of the outdoors as a student at St. Lawrence University, exploring the Adirondack Park. Jill graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2006 with a B.S. in psychology. 
Jill has worked in advancement for nearly 15 years. She brings experience in major gift solicitation, donor stewardship, grant writing, event management, and board relations to the role. In her 10 years in Jackson, she has worked for organizations including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Jackson Hole Community School, and the Art Association of Jackson Hole. 
Jill serves as a board member for the Jackson Hole Babe Force, an organization committed to empowering all women to seek adventure in the mountains. She also serves on the Old Bill’s Fun Run committee and is an active member of the Thursday Roundtable Group. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, biking, hiking, and getting outdoors as much as possible with her husband, two dogs, and young son. 
She is thrilled to be supporting the important work of the JHLT in a time when access to open spaces is more critical than ever for our mental and physical well-being.

Derek Ellis

Derek joined the Land Trust team as Land Steward & Staff Biologist in February of 2016. Derek grew up in Ohio, but after gaining as B.S. in Botany from Miami University, he traded the flat-lands of the Midwest for the alluring landscapes of the West. After 22 years working in ecology and habitat enhancement for a number of federal, non-profit, and consulting entities, Derek is excited to help uphold the conservation vision of easement donors and landowners. Above all, Derek enjoys sharing the wonders of the Greater Yellowstone Area with his wife, Jen, and two little girls, Lila and Quinn.

Steffan Freeman

Steffan was born and raised on Colorado’s Front Range. He holds a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, and a Master’s of Natural Resources Stewardship from Colorado State University. Steffan has previously worked at the Aldo Leopold Foundation and in Minnesota for The Nature Conservancy on grassland conservation and management, as well as for the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and the USGS. He draws inspiration from Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic.

Erica Hansen

Erica joined the Jackson Hole Land Trust as a Land Steward and Staff Biologist in the winter of 2017. She holds a B.S. degree in Zoology with Honors from Colorado State University, and an M.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from Utah State University. She has conducted research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem since 2007, and brings experience working for diverse stakeholders including research institutions, consulting firms, and the National Park Service. Erica specializes in the spatial ecology of wildlife, and has worked with a number of iconic western species including mule deer, pronghorn, elk, bison, and Greater sage-grouse. She is passionate about understanding how animals move across our landscape, and how that might change as more people come to enjoy the beauty of the Jackson area. When she’s not in the field, you can find her backcountry skiing, birding, trail running, and trying not to crash on her mountain bike.

Carlie Ideker

Carlie was born and raised in Northwest Wyoming and spent her childhood exploring the region’s wilderness areas and public lands. Her early encounters with the archaeological record eventually led to a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming and an M.S. in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management from Utah State University. Carlie has eight years of research, field, and teaching experience in the Rocky Mountain West with a focus on prehistoric mountain adaptations and human-environment interactions through time. She is eager to work alongside local landowners towards the stewardship and continued conservation of Northwest Wyoming. Outside of work, Carlie enjoys trail running with her two dogs, hiking, fly-fishing, backpacking, and skiing.

Ellen Incelli

Ellen joined the Land Trust in July 2019. Originally from Boise, Idaho, she gained an early appreciation for open spaces while exploring the most remote parts of Idaho through camping, skiing and hot springs hunting with friends and family. Ellen received a B.S. in Natural Resources from Oregon State University and spent a decade discovering the old-growth forests and Cascade Range volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest. She brings business management and fieldwork experience to the Land Trust, and has worked with nonprofits and government agencies teaching outdoor education and conducting ecological assessments. As many before her did, she found the Tetons by way of her unwavering, perhaps obsessive, love of long, cold, deep winters. Ellen enjoys skiing, mountain biking, yard games, painting with watercolors and exploring with her dogs.