Pocono Heritage Land Trust (PHLT) is a locally-based conservation organization dedicated to protecting the natural heritage of our Pocono Mountains region. These areas include important lands, waters, natural places, open spaces and agricultural landscapes. PHLT is overseen by a board of directors who are local residents — business people, elected officials, educators, conservationists – with a shared commitment to our natural legacy. Founded in 1984, the trust is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization funded by grants and contributions from individual and corporate donors. It is guided by the Land Trust Alliance’s Standards and Practices.
Our Board of Directors
Scott Miller CPA, CFE, CVA – President
Scott heads the litigation support section of Riley and Company, Inc. as well as oversees a number of audits and tax filings of community associations and other non-profit organizations. A 1985 graduate of East Stroudsburg High School and a 1988 graduate of East Stroudsburg University, where he received a B. S. in Business Management and a B. A. in Economics, Scott is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Valuation Analyst, and is certified in Financial Forensics by the AI CPA. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analyst.
Linda Snyder, Vice President
Linda Snyder has lived on her family farm for most of her life. She is passionate about protecting land and has served in various Open Space Committees and helped to create the Jonas Mountain Nature Preserve.
Linda is a Licensed Physical Therapist and has made a career in the health care industry. She enjoys working with the Pocono Heritage Land Trust Board of Directors. The collaboration and camaraderie of the Board enables us to accomplish our mission to protect land in the Poconos.
Jill Thatcher – Treasurer
Jill is a retired accountant. She previously worked as Comptroller at Hemlock Farms Community Association, a private residential community of 3,200 homes. She lives on 11 acres in Cherry Valley and loves her homestead lifestyle – growing vegetables, cutting firewood, roaming the woods and enjoying nature’s beauty. She also serves on the Board of the Friends of Cherry Valley.
Mary Ellen Higgins – Secretary
Mary Ellen Higgins has been a librarian at the Eastern Monroe Public Library in Stroudsburg for more than 15 years. She resides in Smithfield Township, and serves on her township’s Environmental Advisory Council (EAC). During the fall of 2016, Mary Ellen belonged to a local citizens’ group that helped to pass a referendum enabling Smithfield Township to borrow up to $2 million for the purposes of acquiring lands, development rights or conservation easements to protect clean drinking water for present and future generations. Mary Ellen can often be found hiking in the woods with her dogs.
Frank Allen has been on the PHLT board for over ten years. He served two years as Secretary and currently is co-chair of the monitoring subcommittee. He is member of the Monroe County Open Space Advisory Board, the Stroud Region Open Space Advisory Board, the board of the Brodhead Watershed Association, member of the Liberty-Water Gap Trail PA Extension Alliance and the Warren County (NJ) Parks Foundation. He is past president of the Older Adult Learning Center, Retired Senior Volunteer Program and was secretary of the Monroe County Railroad Authority for five years. He wrote a column for the Pocono Record’s senior supplement, Dignity, for years. He is an active member and former President of the Pocono Outdoor Club. He has hiked over 700 miles of the Appalachian Trail and leads hikes on the Delaware and Raritan Canal in New Jersey, with the Morris County (NJ) Park Commission and hikes on federal, state, county, local parks and open space properties throughout the northeast.
Don is a native of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania where he lives today with his wife Barbara. He taught English at Stroudsburg High School for 30 years. He served in the United States Army in 1969-71. He earned an M.S. in aquatic biology, and since 1980 has worked as a biologist with Aquatic Resource Consulting. He has been involved in stream baseline and monitoring studies of fishes and macroinvertebrates throughout the Northeast. He enjoys fly fishing the Brodhead and wrote the booklet Pocono and Upper Delaware Hatches, was published in Rod & Reel, and authored over 60 technical reports for Aquatic Resource Consulting. He has conducted a course available on a 3DVD set – Trout Stream Entomology & Fly Tying. For the last several years, he has enjoyed painting trout studies and angling and landscape scenes. He remains very active in the Brodhead Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Brodhead Watershed Association, Pocono Heritage Land Trust, and the PA Fly Fishing Museum Association
Sales, marketing, public relations private firm owner.
Member of various non profit organizations.
Brodhead trout unlimited board of directors.
Rita Lacey founded Close the Loop Company a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation in 2000. Close the Loop’s main goal is to expand the market for recycled products: rubber mulch made from waste tires, recycled plastic posts made from HDPE milk jugs, and tumbled glass mulch. She started annual Free Give & Take Days in Monroe County for Earth Day since 2008 where useful items are reused instead of landfilled. She has written a free e-book titled, “Building a Business Website, on a Shoestring Budget”. She served 6 years on the Monroe County Solid Waste Advisory Committee. Rita enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, carving, cutting firewood and loves big dogs.
William was born and raised in Scranton, PA. He attended Penn State University and has been a resident of the Poconos since the early 1990’s. Bill has been in the supermarket industry for most of his working life. He managed Insalaco Markets, was Director of Loss Prevention for the Penn Traffic Company and worked in sales for Associated Wholesalers Inc. He presently is the owner\operator of a grocery store in Bangor, PA.
Bill is a Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officer and Hunter/Trapper Education Instructor for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. He serves on the Executive Board of Conservation Officers of Pennsylvania Association (COPA), is a member of The Nature Conservancy and a Charter Member of the Slate Belt Rotary Club of Northampton County.
Bill resides in Long Pond with his wife Mary, who before retirement was an art teacher for the Pocono Mt. School District. Bill was elected to the board in May 2017
Teacher, naturalist, outdoorsman – Don Miller has been a clear, consistent advocate for the Pocono environment for over 35 years. Recently retired from a distinguished career as a technology instructor and teacher with Pocono Mountain School District, Don is still pursuing his real vocation as a partner, instigator and agitator for all manner of conservation causes. He’s well known for leading nature walks to help others discover and appreciate the environmental treasures of the region.
Zech Strauser is the president of Strauser Nature’s Helpers, a full service landscape company in East Stroudsburg, PA that serves central Eastern Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. He was born in Lancaster county and grew up in Delaware Water Gap. Zech spent several years as a Ski Coach in Vermont before returning to Pennsylvania to start his company. He enjoys hiking, skiing, biking and spending time outdoors. He is very active with the Pocono community and sits on several local boards to help enable a strong economic infrastructure, while contributing to a natural environmental influence in the region. Zech lives in Stroud Township with his wife Mary Barrett.
Doug is a retired physician and resides in Philadelphia. He is a frequent visitor to the Poconos for trout fishing and outdoor recreation. He is the current president of the Brodheads Forest and Stream Association in Analomink, PA. The club is dedicated to promoting wildlife habitat in the region. Doug played in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins for 6 seasons, winning two Super Bowls. He is a member of the 72-73 Perfect Season Team.
Fran lives in Pocono Pines. She is an advocate for Natural places. Since her retirement she has become a hiker, kayaker, and a Native Plant Gardener. Before becoming a Board member, she led many hikes with her husband, John, on Pocono Heritage Land Trust sites for the Pocono Outdoor Club and did volunteer work on cleanup of sites, planting trees and posting trails. When visiting her daughter in Flagstaff, AZ, She is a volunteer for the SEGA (Southwest Experimental Garden Array) project and the Grand Canyon Trust.
Cindy Miano – Executive Director
Cindy Miano is an educator and the former Executive Director of the Shawnee Institute, an educational/environmentally based 501(c)(3) in the Poconos. In that role Cindy developed Road Scholar Lifelong Learning programs and created a model for multi-level Appalachian Trail hikes that Road Scholar has adapted and utilizes for hundreds of their domestic and international hiking programs. She is a wilderness survival guide, avid cyclist, yoga instructor and currently completing certification for International Mountain Guide with the American Hiking Guides Association.
Christopher Hartzler – Stewardship Manager
Chris Hartzler was born and raised in Saylorsburg, PA. He attended Pleasant Valley School District and graduated high school in 2003. He then attended York College of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in biology. He currently works as an assistant manager at the Pohoqualine Fish Association, a private fly fishing club established in 1894 and located on McMichael Creek. He also does work for Aquatic Resource Consulting (ARC) conducting biological surveys on fish and macroinvertebrates. An avid fly fisherman and wildlife photographer, he also spends his time reading/learning about stream ecology and evolutionary biology.