Who We Are

The Living With Fire program began in 1997, when Ed Smith and Paul Tueller of University of Nevada, Reno and Fire Chief Loren Enstaad of the Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators applied for and received a Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station / Nevada Cooperative Extension Joint Program grant. Together with firefighting organizations from the Lake Tahoe Basin, they developed a set of consistent wildfire threat reduction recommendations. Following the devastating Angora Fire and the resulting findings of the 2008 California-Nevada Lake Tahoe Fire Commission Report, these recommendations have been reviewed and updated. Today, Living With Fire in the Lake Tahoe Basin is a collaborative effort involving many organizations and is managed by University of California Cooperative Extension and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Visit our Sponsors page for additional information about these partnering organizations.

Ed Smith

Ed Smith is a natural resource specialist with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, and the manager of the Living With Fire program. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in renewable natural resources management from the University of Nevada, Reno and has received a variety of national awards for his outreach efforts. Ed has written many of the research-based, peer-reviewed publications included on this website, and is often available to give presentations to interested audiences. Working with all of our program partners and other federal, state and local firefighting representatives, Ed continually reviews and updates the Living With Fire program components to provide the most up-to-date information. Contact Ed at 775-782-9960 or [email protected].

Susie Kocher

Susie Kocher is a natural resource advisor with University of California Cooperative Extension. She holds a Master’s degree in forest resources management from the University of Washington, Seattle and is a California Registered Professional Forester. She is involved in a variety of public outreach efforts for forest management research at the University of California and is a founder of the California Fire Science Consortium. She collaborates with fire protection agencies and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in the Lake Tahoe Basin to coordinate Lake Tahoe Wildfire Awareness Week and the Living with Fire in the Lake Tahoe Basin program. Contact Susie at 530-542-2571 or [email protected].

Sonya Sistare

Sonya Sistare is the program coordinator and assistant to Ed Smith. She also serves as the statewide coordinator for Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week. Sonya received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Nevada, Reno. She began working with the Living With Fire program in the fall of 2005 and was honored with a Bronze Smokey Bear, a national award for her wildfire threat reduction efforts in 2009. For any questions about the Living With Fire program, contact Sonya at 775-336-0271 or [email protected].

Marybeth Donahoe

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Marybeth Donahoe is the Fire Adapted Community Program Coordinator for the Tahoe Resource Conservation District.  She received a bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from Siena College in 2009.  She worked as an Environmental Scientist for three years in Pennsylvania.  Her passion is connecting with and teaching people about important issues.  She is passionate about helping others learn about the importance of the wildfire risk in the Lake Tahoe Basin and educating them on how they can work together with their neighbors to lower the threat to their homes and community.  She is the point of contact for the Fire Adapted Community Program in the Tahoe Basin and can answer any questions about the program.  Contact Marybeth at 530-543-1501, ext. 114 or [email protected]






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