Meet the Board of Directors

Emily Nieman

Secretary and Past President

Emily Neiman’s family re-connected three smaller parcels of land on the main Llano River near Junction. For over twenty years the land has supported 100% native wildflower and prairie grass production as well as ecotourism. After living and traveling in Central America, working with a non-profit community and youth gardening program, Emily is back on the Native American Seed farm. She enjoys a lifestyle that allows learning more about how to preserve and enhance clean rivers, native plants, and diverse wildlife connections.

Nol Dear

Board Member

  Nol Dear, a south Louisiana native, moved from Houston  to Junction in 1998 and lives on the South Llano River.   She got involved in the community by serving on seven non-profit boards which include LRWA and Friends of the South Llano River State Park.  Nol loves the river and wants to keep it pristine for her children and future generations.

Scott Richardson

Gary Garrett

Vice President

Dr. Gary Garrett is currently a research biologist at the University of Texas and his interests are centered on the conservation of natural resources in Texas. From 1982 - 2008, he worked as a Conservation Biologist in the Research Division of Texas Parks & Wildlife at the Heart of the Hills Fisheries Science Center.  In 2009 he was appointed Director of the Watershed Conservation Program of TPWD served in that capacity until his retirement in 2013.

Art Mudge

Board Member

Art Mudge is a fourth generation rancher on the North Llano River watershed.  A Texas Tech graduate, he has served on the Upper Llanos Soil & Water Conservation Board for over 40 years.

Board Member and Past President

Scott Richardson is a retired public school teacher who moved to Kimble County with his wife, Martha, in 1980. He is an active member of the Hill Country Chapter of TMN. He also serves on the board of the Friends of the South Llano River State Park. He served on the board of the LRWA from 2009 to 2012 and as President of the board from 2011 to 2012. He and Martha feel very fortunate to have lived in the Llano River watershed for the past 38 years. Scott and Martha believe that the best way to address the changes, that are inevitable in our watersheds is to be proactive through education and awareness of the functions, values, and best management practices of our watersheds. 

Ivy Whitener


Ivy Whitener moved to Junction in 2017 with her husband, Scott, who manages South Llano River State Park.  Ivy currently works as a medical laboratory microbiologist for Peterson Health in Kerrville. As a student and upon graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Ivy worked as a laboratory assistant at UT’s Center for Research in Water Resources. She has also previously volunteered her time with the San Marcos River Rangers. In her spare time, Ivy enjoys exploring South Llano River State Park and the surrounding area via foot, mountain bike, and kayak. 

Andrew Burnard


Andrew Burnard, a native of Australia, moved to Dallas in 2000. After 30 years working in grocery retail and software sales, he fulfilled a life long dream of digging in the dirt full time. Andrew married Melissa, moved to Kimble County in 2015, and is now living on North Llano river. Chickens, Quail, vegetables, and restoring a 100-year-old house moved from Junction city limits and a neglected piece of land keep him busy.

Ruthie Russel
    JD Kidwell

Board Member

JD Kidwell is retired from a career in environmental sales. He moved to 100 acres in Kimble County where he earned a degree in Cedar chopping as well as a PHD (Post-Hole Digging). This is what makes him a great guy. He currently lives in Mason, Texas

Znobia Wootan

Board Member

Board Member and Past President

Ruth Russell is a Texas rancher and a life long conservationist, especially supporting riparian habitats, watersheds, and range restoration. She has put a conservation easement on her own Devils River ranch and seeks to educate landowners and the public about the benefits of open space and the threats of fragmentation and the over drainage of our aquifers and springs as population pressures expand. Ruthie serves on the San Antonio TNC advisory board, the LRWA (was SLWA), the DRC (Devils River Conservation Board) and Borderlands Research Institute (BRI).


Znobia Wootan is currently employed at Native American Seed and in her spare time she manages a small apiary and dairy goats using sustainable Holistic management practices. Znobia received a BS degree in Education from Texas A&M University in 1987 and taught in public and private Montessori schools for many years. She returned in 2008 to her childhood home on the South Llano River and has a deep love for the rivers, land and community where her grandparents first settled in Kimble County in the early 1900’s. In 2016, Znobia was elected to the City Council of Junction, Texas.

Lorissa Digiacomo

Board Member

My name is Lorissa Digiacomo and I am from San Antonio, Texas. I graduated at Texas Lutheran University with a bachelor’s in biology and from Texas State with a master’s in Population and Conservation Biology. My previous job was as a zookeeper at the San Antonio Zoo and I had been there for 15+ years doing various things. I started when I was 14 years old as volunteer and have worn many hats so to speak in the education department. I was a zookeeper for three years. I also did some seasonal work for USFWS in San Marcos when I was in graduate school. I was also part of the Ambassador program for TPWD. I am married, and I have a border collie named Ronan. Ronan and I participate in sheepherding trials. I have been with TPWD for 7 months out at South Llano River State Park.

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PO Box 725

Junction, Texas 76849

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