On November 16, 2019, John H. Davidson, our founder, teacher, mentor, loyal friend and relentless advocate, became our guiding light.  After education at Wake Forest, University of Pittsburgh and George Washington University, he made the pilgrimage to South Dakota with wife Cathy Beard for a 50-year career in teaching the law of our natural resources, in widening our understanding, in advocating their conservation, and finally and most importantly, in working for their permanent protection.  John founded Northern Prairies Land Trust in 2000, recruiting and inspiring former law students to join him.  Our service to landowners’ most important goals and the permanent conservation easements we hold in some of the finest examples of natural beauty and importance in South Dakota and Nebraska are and will be John’s unique light perpetual.

STEVEN W. SANFORD is a founding Director and currently President of NPLT.  Since 1974, he has been a practicing lawyer in the Sioux Falls law firm of Cadwell Sanford Deibert & Garry LLP.  In addition to a busy law practice [see], he has also spent his working life active in various other charitable and nonprofit organizations.  He is a founder, a 29 year Director and long-time Chair of Great Bear Recreational Park, Inc. [the nonprofit Operator of the City’s Great Bear Ski Valley].  He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Washington Pavilion Management, Inc, the nonprofit manager of the City’s Washington Pavilion and Orpheum Theater, and is the chief lay officer of the Episcopal Church in South Dakota.  He is formerly the Chair of the South Dakota Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy, and a director of the Sioux Falls High School Foundation, South Dakota Humanities Council, 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 affectionate wandering in the Missouri River National Recreational River corridor, the Nebraska Sandhills, and the Niobrara River and its tributaries in Nebraska.

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 returned to the Title Resource Network as General Counsel. In June of 2015, James accepted a position with CoBank, ACB, based in Greenwood Village, CO. He currently serves as a Corporate Attorney responsible the end-to-end processing and documentation of various loan transactions and collateral matters for customers of the Wichita Banking Center.

James is also a graduate of the School of Fly-fishing and The Leader’s Institute. He is a member of the Cherry Creek Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and currently serves as their board secretary. James, along with his wife Becky, son, Graydon, and daughter, Ellie, enjoy spending a great deal of time in the Rocky Mountains, fly-fishing, skiing, and enjoying all that the mountains have to offer.

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.

Ryan Donovan is the Director of Avera PACE in Sioux Falls, SD.  Ryan has a passion for the outdoors and the great state where he lives.  In addition to raising two gorgeous daughters, he is also on the following boards: The Banquet in Sioux Falls (President), The Museum of Visual Materials (Treasurer), Friends of the Big Sioux River, United Way Youth Development Community Impact Team (Chair), and the Big Sioux Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.