PPF Board of Directors, 2024 

Elisabeth Brackney – Vice President

Elisabeth Brackney moved to Moscow 32 years ago to obtain a masterís degree in UI's College of Natural Resources. She worked for the Nez Perce Tribe as a Wetlands Ecologist before retiring. A large part of her work involved native plant identification. She was particularly intrigued by remnants of native prairie, found next to some of the wetlands she assessed. As a board member of the Palouse Prairie Foundation, she hopes to help protect and restore these special ecosystems on the Palouse.

Joan Folwell – Treasurer

Joan Folwell moved to the Palouse in 1968 from the prairies of Illinois. She is trained as a zoologist and is an enthusiastic, but undisciplined and naive, gardener. She lives north of Pullman on 20 acres. Since 2005, she and her husband, Ray, have been involved in a prairie restoration on what had been a wheat farm for nearly 100 years. She also actively participates in the preservation of prairie remnants in Whitman County.

Shelley Chambers Fox – Secretary

Shelley Chambers-Fox developed her interests in gardening, weeds, and Palouse Prairie when she and her husband moved to their 24-acre farm located between Albion and Colfax. The untillable remnant of a homestead includes a small strip of Palouse Prairie. Through her training as a Master Gardener and what she learns from her involvement with the Palouse Prairie Foundation, Shelley hopes to restore the land to its former diversity and beauty.

Tom Besser – Member at Large

Tom Besser, Member-at-Large, moved to the Palouse in 1981, working as a veterinarian and performing research at WSU until his retirement in 2019. In the past ten years, he was introduced to Palouse Prairie by field trips and presentations sponsored by the Palouse Prairie Foundation. Five years ago, with invaluable help of other local prairie enthusiasts, he started a 3.5-acre Palouse prairie reconstruction project on a former wheat field next to his home. As a board member, Tom is interested in protecting and restoring Palouse Prairie and sharing his enthusiasm for Palouse Prairie with others.

Ronnie Hatley – Member at Large

Ronnie Hatley moved with his family to their farm in Union Flat in 1947. During his school years he helped his father clear the farm of hawthorn "brush" and pines, increasing the 215-acre farmís cropland from 40 to 105 acres. Walking every day up the prairie hillside to fetch the cows to milk, he never saw a wildflower. A lifelong student of Indonesia, he lived and taught 16 years in Indonesia, 18 in Australia, and 14 at WSU and UI. Everywhere heís lived, heís been an active environmentalist. He is now transforming his 100-acre farm into a Palouse Native Plants preserve-restoration-production-research farm. In 2023, besides hosting Wild Palouse Flower Walks up the deer trails at Dogwood Creek Farm, he hopes to popularize Weeding-While-Walking Walks.

David Herbold – Member at Large

David Herbold grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He has always loved being outside. In 2008 he found his way to Idaho to enroll at the University of Idaho in pursuit of an MFA in Fine Art (sculpture). In 2013 a career change led him to Thorn Creek Native Seed Farm (TCNSF). During his 8 years at TCNSF he got a good education in Palouse Prairie and farming, which he is forever thankful for!† He now works for himself, doing building and planting. As a Palouse Prairie Foundation Board member, he looks forward to contributing his experience with prairie restoration, cultivating native species, and outreach to our local population (especially the youth) about the Palouse Prairie and how one might interact with prairie cooperatively and respectfully.

Mia Rognstad – Member at Large

PPFís mission is my mission. I live in the neighboring landscape of the Hells Canyon Shrubsteppe. Here, I am using native plants to replace Victorian Era styles of lawn and European cultivars with Artemisia tridentata, big sage; Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus, rabbitbrush; Erigonum umbellatum, sulphur flower and other natives important to our pollinators and wildlife. Iíve also recently purchased a small parcel East of Palouse where I am at the early stages of transforming the plants to Palouse Prairie Natives. My landscape architecture education and experience help me plan native planting projects and offer the news of the benefits of native planting to our community. At PPF, learning to time weed pulling and seed sowing is the careful skill Iím gaining. The more involved, the more skilled.