- Board of Directors -


JOHN H. DAVIDSON, born December 9, 1942 in Washington, Pennsylvania. Graduated Wake Forest University in 1964, University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1967, and awarded the Masters of Law degree in Natural Resources by George Washington University School of Law in 1972. Private law practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 3 years, followed by one year on the law faculty of George Washington University. Appointed to the University of South Dakota School of Law faculty in 1972, a position he has held continuously, with several breaks for assignments in Chapel Hill, Little Rock and the Loire Valley.

An author of numerous articles, law casebooks and treatises in the fields of agricultural law, water and irrigation law, and environmental law. Appointed by President William J. Clinton to the Western Water Policy Review Commission in 1995. Long association with the conservation movement, including several terms on the Board of the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts. Involvement in pro bono environmental litigation has been continuous since the early 1970s. Each summer he teaches a course titled Agriculture and the Environment at the Vermont Law School. He and his family have resided on a South Dakota farm since 1973, and have enjoyed a close involvement in the agricultural community. (the presidents thoughts)

STEVEN W. SANFORD, a lawyer since 1974, is a partner in the Sioux Falls law firm of Cadwell Sanford Deibert & Garry LLP.  He is admitted to the South Dakota Bar, the United States District Courts of South Dakota and Nebraska, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.  He is a graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee (B.A. English 1970) and the University of South Dakota (J.D. 1974).  He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of South Dakota School of Law and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the American Bar Foundation, all honorary organizations dedicated to improvement of the legal system.  He has authored numerous articles and has been a frequent speaker for the ABA Litigation, ABA Commercial Financial Services Committee, ABA National Institute on Agricultural & Agri-Business Finance, the American Bankers Association, Agricultural Banking Division, the State Bar of South Dakota and the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association.  He has also spent his working life active in various charitable and nonprofit organizations.  He is a founding director and the treasurer of Northern Prairies Land Trust, president of the South Dakota High School Foundation, director and chair of Great Bear Recreational Park, Inc. (nonprofit operator of Great Bear Ski Area) and formerly the Chair of the South Dakota Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy, and formerly a director of the Sioux Falls Community Playhouse, Sioux Empire United Way and the South Dakota Children’s Home Society.  Steve is married and has two grown children.  His particular conservation interests grow out of decades of affection for the Missouri National Recreational River corridor and the Niobrara River and its tributaries in Nebraska. (thoughts from the Treasurer)

A. J. SWANSON, born February 12, 1947, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Graduated Canton High School (Canton, South Dakota) 1965; University of South Dakota (Vermillion, South Dakota) 1969 (B.A. History); University of South Dakota School of Law, 1972 (J.D.).  Admitted to practice Nebraska Supreme Court, 1972; South Dakota Supreme Court, 1980; United States Courts of Appeal, D.C. and Eighth Circuits; United States District Courts, Districts of Nebraska and South Dakota.  Married to Sally Ann Myers, 1969.  Engaged in the practice of law at Lincoln Nebraska, 1972-1979, with emphasis on transportation regulatory issues and administrative law (Acklie & Peterson; Peterson, Bowman, Coffman & Larsen; and Peterson, Bowman, Swanson & Johanns), and at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 1979 to 2004, a general corporate and business law practice (Quaintance & Swanson; Swanson Hughes & Perrenoud; and Arvid J. Swanson P.C.), with particular interest in land use and zoning law. Law office is now located on great-grandparent’s homestead (1870), bordered by the Big Sioux River a few miles southeast of Sioux Falls, amidst a 300-acre tallgrass prairie restoration project. Prescribed burning practices are followed for control of invasive species.  Since 1999, Director and Secretary, Northern Prairies Land Trust, a §501(c)(3) non-profit corporation engaged in conservation easement and preservation efforts in South Dakota and Nebraska.

PATRICK ANDERSON became Northern Prairies’ Executive Director in May, 2005, and is initiating a number of new projects, as well as managing continuing programs. Prior to joining Northern Prairies, he was an attorney in private practice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with an emphasis on environmental issues, and experience as a mediator for the SD Farm Mediation Program. He has also worked for a variety of governmental agencies at the state and local levels. He grew up in Minnesota where he attended Braham High School and graduated in 1973. He attended and graduated from the Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) in 1977. After a brief stint in the insurance industry, he entered William Mitchell College of Law (St. Paul, MN) in 1979 and graduated in 1983. He married Kirsten Erickson in 1980 and they have two daughters, Erika and Nicole. They moved to Sioux Falls in 1983 where Pat worked with the Minnehaha County State's Attorney's Office. In 1985, they moved their family to Albuquerque, New Mexico where Pat worked for the Bernalillo County District Attorney (Albuquerque, NM) for one year and the State of New Mexico Environmental Improvement Division (Santa Fe, NM) as an Assistant Attorney General for two years. In 1988, they moved back to Sioux Falls, where Pat worked for the state's attorney's office and the Sioux Falls City Attorney's Office. While at the City Attorney's Office, he was responsible for code enforcement and environmental regulations, as well as city compliance with federal and state mandates. In 1991, Pat entered private practice with a specialty in environmental law, and later expanded to include mediation services.

"Growing up in the Midwest makes it easy to love the outdoors" explains Anderson, who is originally from Minnesota and has lived the last eighteen years in Sioux Falls. He enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities, especially tramping through prairies and swamps in pursuit of wily roosters and is passionate about protecting our natural resources. "I strongly believe that the greatest gift we can give our children is protection of the natural state of the wonderful world in which we live."


JAMES E. ROGERS, born June 24, 1977 in Omaha, Nebraska. Spent his childhood fishing, camping, and earning his Eagle Scout badge in Nebraska, Missouri, Idaho and Pennsylvania. Graduated the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1999 with a degree in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife. Graduated the Vermont Law School, cum laude, with a Masters in Environmental Law in 2002. Graduated the University of South Dakota School of Law in 2002. Was the Editor-in-Chief of the Great Plains Natural Resources Journal, in which he also had two articles published. Spent a year in Des Moines, IA, clerking for the Fifth Judicial District. Then spent 4 years in Sioux Falls, SD, as the General Counsel for the Title Resource Network, First Dakota Title, focusing primarily on title insurance underwriting decisions.

In October of 2007, he moved back to Omaha, NE, and, after a brief stint working as a Claims Attorney for LandAmerica, where he oversaw title insurance policy coverage determinations and case handling, he has returned to his position of General Counsel with the Title Resource Network. Since his graduation from USD, he has also been an adjunct professor in the School of Legal Studies with Kaplan University, teaching in subjects such as contracts, torts, family law, medical records, and legal research and writing. He is also involved with the Environmental Policy & Management program offered by Kaplan, including teaching various courses within the program.

James is also a graduate of the School of Flyfishing and The Leader's Institute. He is a member of Trout Unlimited and is an avid handyman. James, along with his wife Becky, son, Graydon, and daughter, Ellie, enjoy spending a great deal of time with their extended family in Omaha.


GREGG GREENFIELD is Northern Prairies’ newest director.  Gregg is a partner in the Sioux Falls law firm of Boyce, Greenfield, Pashby and Welk, LLP. He is a member of the State Bar of South Dakota and the American Bar Association, and has extensive experience in the areas of real estate, environmental law and closely held businesses, as well as experience in legislative and legal issues relating to water development and brownfield properties.  He is a former board member and chairman of the South Dakota Board of Natural Resources (1996 – 2004).  Current memberships include South Dakota Auto Dealers Association, South Dakota Trucking Association, and National Association of Dealer Council. He is presently on the First Lutheran Church Council, and has served on the Volunteers of America Board of Directors.
Gregg attended George Washington University, graduating with distinction in 1985, and the University of South Dakota School of Law, earning his J.D. in 1989. He is an avid outdoorsman and especially loves archery hunting for turkey, deer and elk. Gregg and his wife Julie make their home in Sioux Falls and are the parents of two boys.


BLAYNE HAGEN graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Environment and Natural Resources. During her time as an undergraduate student, Blayne spent time in the field and working with community leaders in St. Paul to create a plan to maximize green space in their community. She studied abroad in Costa Rica and Australia, studying sustainable forestry and conservation management and learned to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef. After graduating, Blayne worked at the nationís largest nonprofit recycling organization, Eureka Recycling in Saint Paul, MN, where she came to appreciate that waste is preventable. She returned to her love of the outdoors and scuba diving by spending a year conducting fish and coral reef surveys on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Mahahual, Mexico. After this international adventure, Blayne returned home with a new appreciation for the seemingly ocean-like, rolling prairies of South Dakota. Blayne attended the University of South Dakota School of Law where she focused her studies on environmental law and property issues. During law school, she served as an Intern to the Honorable Karen E. Schreier, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota and as Lead Articles Editor for the South Dakota Law Review. Her article on a property rights issue surrounding carbon sequestration was published by the journal, and she was awarded a Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation scholarship based in part on this work. She graduated law school in 2011 with Sterling Honors. Following law school, Blayne served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Roger L. Wollman of the Eighth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals. Blayne is now Corporate Counsel at Sanford Health.


- Northern Prairies Staff -

KENT PFEIFFER was born on the High Plains at Wray, Colorado and grew up in the Sandhills of Nebraska. He graduated from the University of Nebraska - Kearney with a B.S. in wildlife biology in 1990. He received an M.S. in biology degree from Kansas State University in 1993 while studying the interactive effects of bison grazing and fire on tallgrass prairie vegetation.
Kent worked for The Nature Conservancy's Platte/Rainwater Basin Project from 1994-1996. He then served as plant ecologist/land manager at the Platte River Whooping Crane Trust until being hired by Northern Prairies Land Trust as a private lands biologist in early 2006. He will be working with Jarren Kuipers to implement projects to restore and enhance tallgrass prairie remnants in southeastern Nebraska. Kent and his wife, Rebecca, have one child, Olivia.

KELLY CORMAN joined our staff in summer 2013 as a Coordinating Wildlife Biologist in north-central Nebraska. Kelly grew up on a farm and cattle operation near Edgar, NE. He graduated from University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 2007, earning a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife. In 2011, Kelly earned an M.S. in Range and Wildlife Management from Texas A&M University – Kingsville studying landscape and conservation genetics of lesser prairie-chickens. Before joining our team, Kelly worked for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and the Natural Resources Conservation Service in southeast Colorado, assisting landowners to conserve lesser prairie-chicken habitat.

Kelly has a strong interest in ecology, prairie systems, and land management. There is a lot of room for conservation and ranching to work together for mutual benefit. Grazing operations represent the greatest opportunity to conserve prairie on private lands. Kelly will be working to implement projects to restore and enhance prairies and other habitat associated with at-risk species in the Keya Paha and Middle Niobrara landscapes.

Kelly enjoys spending time with family and friends, and pursuing his love of the outdoors.

KRISTA LANG grew up in the forests of western Oregon. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2006 with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Science. After various field jobs, she went onto pursue a M.S. in Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University, finishing in 2010. She moved to southeast Nebraska with her husband and has been working for NPLT since early 2011 doing oak woodland restoration at Indian Cave State Park and throughout southeast Nebraska. In her free time she enjoys gardening and playing with her pets.