Committee Members

Conservation Committee

The Conservation Committee encourages each scout and scouter using the BRSR to serve as an adjunct to the committee by providing feedback regarding observations and experiences that impact the Reservation's natural and cultural resources. Scouts and scouters are encouraged to make the committee aware of any environmental damage or concerns, unusual wildlife encounters, or other matters relating to the Reservation's resources observed or experienced during their visit to the Reservation. Reports may be made to:

David Hurt, Conservation Chairman (

Mr. Greg Harmon, Director of Camping and Staff Advisor (


Member Information

David Hurt —Committee Chair—David is a Franklin County native who has been an adult leader wiht Troop 17 in Roanoke.  David raises and markets grass-fed beef as owner and operator of Truman Hill Farm in Hardy.  He is also a Realtor wiht MKB, Realtors where he specializes in farms, land and rural homes.  David has worked in land conservation as a project manager for Conservation Partners, LLC.  He was named a 2012 Outstanding Forest Steward by the VA Department of Forestry and championed many conservation causes while serving two terms on the Franklin County Board of Supervisors.  David now serves on the VA Recreational Facilities Authority and the Roanoke County Recreational Advisory Commission.  

Dr. Bill Shiner - Bill is a retired professor of park and resource management at Slippery Rock University in PA. He received a BS in Forestry and Wildlife (VT), an MS in Forestry (UFL) and a PhD in Forest Management-Recreation (SUNY- Syracuse). A long time scout and scouter, he is a Distinguished Eagle Scout and recipient of the Hornaday Gold Medal. He has served on the national conservation and camping committee, as the chairman of conservation at 5 national jamborees, and numerous scouter positions including scoutmaster, as well as the author of several BSA publications. In the past he was active in the North Country Trail Assn., served on the Board of Directors of the Wilderness Education Assn., and, for 23 years, served as Chairman of the Department of Parks and Recreation/Environmental Education at SRU. Bill, and his wife Gayle, now reside in Wythe County near Fort Chiswell.

David Foster - holds a BA in economics from Bates College and an MBA from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He served in the U.S. Air Force, Strategic Air Command, with duty stateside and in S. E. Asia, with rank of Captain. For over 24 years he worked for Norfolk Southern in Roanoke in various managerial and marketing posts relating to coal and natural resources. Since August, 1996 he has been self-employed as a consultant. Besides Scouting, he is active in a number of organizations including The Nature Conservancy, where he is trail supervisor at Bottom Creek and Falls Ridge Preserves, Roanoke Valley Greenways, Appalachian Trail, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Blue Ridge Parkway. He is a regular participant in a Roanoke volunteer trail-building group.

Dan Brown - Laboratory and Regulatory Manager for Tetra, an aquarium and garden pond product company. I have 30 years experience in trail building and maintenance with the Boy Scouts of America Blue Ridge Mountain Council and National Capital Area Councils; the Virginia Tech Outing Club; and the Appalachian Trail Conference. I have participated in and taught numerous workshops in trail building and maintenance techniques. I have been in scouting since 1964 serving as a boy scout, explorer, sea explorer, assistant scoutmaster, first mate, troop committee member, pack committee member, scoutmaster, post committee chair, cubmaster, troop committee chair, OA chapter advisor, roundtable commissioner, regional camp inspector, and numerous camp, district, and council positions. Currently serving as training chair for the New River District, camp facilities chair for the Blue Ridge Mountains Council and camp inspector for Southern Region.

Bob Garst - is an Eagle Scout, Vigil Member and Lodge Chief of the Order of the Arrow, and served on the Camp Ottari staff in its first year of operation. He was later Program Director of Ottari. After graduation from Virginia Tech with a BS in forestry, Bob served for 22 years an Army officer, primarily in logistics. During that time, he received an MBA from the University of Alabama. Upon retirement, he worked in the forest products industry for 10 years, and served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Forestry Association. He has been a member of the Society of American Foresters since 1988. Since returning to Roanoke, Bob has served the Great Valley District in a number of roles including Unit, District, and Roundtable Commissioner, merit badge counselor, and adult leader trainer.  He has been a volunteer staff member at Camp since 2006, teaching nature merit badges. He staffed the 2007 Wood Badge course, is a member of the Council Conservation Committee, and received the Silver Beaver Award in 2013. He served as an instructor and director of the National Camping School Conservation/Ecology Staff in 2014 and 2015.  He currently serves on the Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources Alumni Board and is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist. 

Dan Grubb—VP of Program Blue Ridge Mountains Council

Greg Harmon, Council Conservation Advisor - Greg holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and History and a Masters in Organizational Communications. He is an Eagle Scout and reciepient of the Hornaday Gold Award. In addition to working for the Scouts at Philmont and in England, Greg has camped and lived on the Reservation since he was eleven years old. As a Leave No Trace Master and VA Master Naturalist, he enjoys sharing his conservation knowledge with the youth and adults that visit the Reservation.


Advisory Committee

John Copeland - is a fisheries biologist in the Blacksburg office of theVirginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). Most of hiswork involves fish population and angler surveys on Claytor Lake, theNew River, and warmwater impoundments in his 8 county district. From1997 to 1999, John ran a VDGIF project documenting fish assemblages inwadeable streams across the state. This survey effort provided valuablefish community data from 197 stream sites across Virginia, from thePiankatank River near Virginia's coast to the New River and the UpperJames River in western Virginia. In his spare time, John spends as muchtime as possible with his wife of 21 years, their 2 sons and 1 daughter,and takes time for whitetail deer hunting each fall. John holds a BSdegree in fisheries science from Virginia Tech and an MS degree inzoology from North Carolina State University. John previously workedfor VDGIF in the Farmville, Fredericksburg and Charlottesville offices.In addition to working for VDGIF, John held fisheries positions with theNorth Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the Adirondack LakesSurvey Corporation, Virginia Power Company, and the Virginia State WaterControl Board.

Jim Zinck - Illinois native, graduate of Western Illinois University, retired after 39 years with the National Park Service as a Ranger, Project Manager, and Park Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent. Agriculture Specialist with VDACS since 2000 for Gypsy Moth education and compliance. Married to Bonnie, 2 adult sons and 3+ grandchildren.

William O'Brochta is a recipient of the William T. Hornaday Silver Medal and William T. Hornaday Badge. He is an Eagle Scout with nine Eagle palms and has earned sixty-five Merit Badges. William is currently a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 17 in Roanoke working with Troop elections, new Scout advancement, and Eagle projects. He has been involved in Scouting for more than ten years. He attends Patrick Henry High School and the Roanoke Valley Governor's School and is ranked first in his class of 500. Currently, he is working on a three-year environmental research project dealing with using plants to remove pesticides from the soil.

Shelby L. (Lee) Spradlin, Jr.— Lee is a Certified Forester, employed by MWV (MeadWestvaco Corporation) for over thirty years.  He has been involved with forest land management and assisting private forest landowners for most of his career. He received a B.S. Degree in Forestry and Wildlife, and M.S. Degree in Forestry from Virginia Tech.  He has served as an officer at the local, state, regional, and national levels of the Society of American Foresters, and was appointed by the Governor to the Virginia Board of Forestry.  Lee is an Eagle Scout, Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow, Silver Beaver, and Hornaday Gold Badge recipient. He has served as a Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, and Scoutmaster, and is currently a Troop Committee Member.  Lee served five years as Chairman of the Council’s Boy Scout Camping Committee and has served over ten years on the Council’s Conservation Committee.

Joesph Fagan—Joey is a 1976 graduate of Emory and Henry College, where he studied Geography and Land Use Planning before attending graduate school at Virginia Tech in the early 1980’s. Joey works as a consulting karst hydrologist and environmental planner.  He previously served as a Karst Protection Specialist for the Virginia DCR Natural Heritage Program from 2001 through 2009. Joey started caving in 1966 and is one of the founders and a life member of the Blue Ridge Grotto, a life member of the VPI Cave Club, and a member of the NSS Geology and Geography, Cave Conservation and Management, and Vertical Sections.  He is NSS Youth Group Caving Coordinator for the Virginia Region. Joey is President of the Cave Conservancy of the Virginias and is a Trustee of the Cave Conservancy Foundation.  He served for many years on the committee of Boy Scout Troop 152 in Blacksburg, Virginia and is currently a member of the BRMC Conservation Committee. 

Betsy Stinson—Betsy is a Certified Wildlife Biologist for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  She has served the Agency and the public for over 20 years in various roles, including Shooting Preserve Biologist, Wildlife Health Program Manager, and District Wildlife Biologist.  She currently has wildlife conservation responsibilities for six counties in Southwest Virginia, from Craig County in the north to Carroll County in the south.  Betsy received her B.A. in biology from Lawrence University in Appleton Wisconsin and her M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at Virginia Tech.  Betsy’s awards and honors have included the Virginia Wildlife Federation’s Conservationist of the Year and the Southeastern Section of the Wildlife Society’s Management Excellence Award.  Over the years she has held several offices in the Virginia State Chapter of the Wildlife Society, including President and Vice President.  Betsy’s primary wildlife conservation interests include fair chase and commercialization of wildlife issues, pesticide impacts on wildlife, non-native species impacts and management, human-bear conflict issues, and deer management.

Dr. Jim Parker—Jim is retired from Public Education (38 years) as a teacher, counselor, and administrator, as well as, a Lt. Colonel in U.S. Army (21 years).  He holds a Doctorate of Education from Va. Tech in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and served as a member of the Adjunct Faculty in the Geography Department at Wytheville Community College.  He serves as Committee Chair for Mountain Empire’s District and on the Council Executive Board and Conservation Committee.  Jim has earned fifteen awards that include the Silver Beaver, District Award of Merit, Alumni Association, James E. West Fellowship, Wood Badge, and Vigil Honor in Order of the Arrow.  He is the Scout Advisor at Matthews Virginia State Forest in Galax, Virginia.  While in this position he has coached five Eagle Scout conservation projects that include the Hornaday Conservation Badge.  He has participated with members of Troop #83 in the Trail Master program.    In the Mountain Empire District, he presented his staff and unit leaders with the “Leave No Trace” award for keeping a clean environment.  He has authored a paper entitled, “Conservation—Being a Steward of Our Earthly Environment” for the National Scouting Conservation Committee.

Mark Alley—Scouter, Building Contractor

Dr. Jim Parkhurst—Scouter, Wildlife Specialist

Joe Roudabush—Scouter, LNT Council Advocate

Kip Foster—Scouter, VA Department of Environmental Equality

Dr. Jan Helge Bohn—Scouter, Blacksburg