As a self-proclaimed tomboy, Laura grew up loving everything about nature and the outdoors. Climbing trees, collecting rocks and bugs, and swimming in the lakes of western Kentucky laid a firm foundation for a future in conservation. After many years as a volunteer and conservation advocate, Laura is happily in her element working on the Tennessee Wilderness Act as the Campaign Coordinator for Tennessee Wild and WildSouth.
Tennessee Wild is near and dear to Laura’s heart, both figuratively as well as literally. She and her husband, Bill, live in Coker Creek (TN) surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest where more than half of the nearly 20,000 acres slated for wilderness designation are literally in their ‘neighborhood’. Together, they have been working for over 15 years to preserve and protect the natural resources, cultural heritage, and biodiversity of the Cherohala Region they call home.
Since moving to Coker Creek in 1999, Laura has served as the Executive Director of the Monroe County Tourism Council, the Board Chair of the Coker Creek Heritage Group, and was also active with the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association for a number of years. An accomplished nature and adventure sports photographer, her work has appeared in “This Land: A Guide to Eastern National Forests”, and various regional and national magazines. She regularly donates her time and the use of her images to conservation organizations like The Wilderness Society, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Tennessee Wild, and the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards.