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The EHL Team

Board Members

The Endangered Habitats League operates under the careful direction of our Board of Directors, an experienced group of seven professional men and women who are dedicated to the preservation of our natural heritage:


Dan Silver, MD - Chief Executive Officer

A physician by training, Dan was born in Los Angeles and attended the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1989, Dan led the effort to preserve the Santa Rosa Plateau in Riverside County. In 1991, after practicing internal medicine for 10 years, he retired to work full time on environmental issues. With EHL since its inception in 1991, Dan saw the organization emerge as a regional leader in conservation and growth management. On behalf of EHL, he accepted the 1995 David Gaines Award from the Planning and Conservation League. In 2004, the American Planning Association California Chapter honored Dan with its Outstanding Distinguished Leadership: Layperson Award.

Jess Morton - Chief Financial Officer
Accountant &Tax Preparer
Jess is a tax preparer for small businesses by profession, with intense interests and accomplishments in natural history, poetry, and music. He is responsible for EHL's fiscal matters as well as for those projects for which EHL serves as fiscal agent. Other responsibilities include the Palos Verdes Peninsula Natural Community Conservation Plan. As a volunteer, Jess put together the award-winning Audubon YES! program, which provides hands-on environmental volunteer opportunities for students. He received the National Audubon Society's 1996 Charles H. Callison Award in recognition of his work.

Jack Bath , PhD Secretary
Jack is a professor of zoology at California State University at Pomona. He is an expert on the burrowing owl and its grassland habitat. In San Bernardino County, Jack has led efforts to establish dairy preserves, which protect the grassland ecosystem and protect farmland from urban sprawl.

Jane Block

Jane is a civic leader in Riverside County. She is President of the Riverside Land Conservancy whose recent accomplishments include assembling a new state park in San Timoteo Canyon. Prior to working with the RLC, Jane was active in establishing the Box Springs Mountain Park and the Sycamore Canyon Park, and in expanding the Santa Rosa Plateau Preserve and the North San Jacinto Wildlife Area. She is an advisory committee member for the University of California Riverside Center for Conservation Biology and the UCR Center for Sustainable Development, and the Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority. She is also active on issues concerning women and children. In 1994 she received the Southern California Association of Governments Donald G. Hagman Regional Citizen Award.

Michael Beck

Planning Commissioner
A graduate of the University of California at Riverside, Michael is also a professional craftsman of hand-made furniture. Appointed to the San Diego County Planning Commission in 1988, Michael led the adoption of the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program. Among numerous honors, he has been State Planning Commissioner of the Year, winner of the San Diego Mediation Center’s Peacemaker Award, and recipient of the prestigious, nation-wide Alexander Calder Prize, given for establishing business-conservation partnerships. From 1996-2001, he was an Instructor at University of California Extension. A member of numerous advisory committees, he is playing a key role in the San Diego Association of Governments’ “Transnet “ transportation and environmental mitigation program.

Pete DeSimone
Preserve Manager
Pete is Director of Sanctuaries and Stewardship for Audubon California and Manager of Audubon's 4,000-acre Starr Ranch Sanctuary in the foothills of Orange County—a resource of immense ecological value. Pete also serves as National Audubon Society’s representative on many local and state matters, and is a member of the Audubon task force on habitat plans under the Endangered Species Act. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine and has conducted research on birds of prey for the last 15 years.

Karen Messer, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics
Karen is a professor of mathematics at California State University Fullerton and a member of the Division of Biostatistics at Moores UCSD Cancer Center . As a statistician, she works frequently with field biologists, and is active in the design and analysis of California gnatcatcher monitoring projects. Karen is also a board member of Audubon California and Buena Vista Audubon Society, and is married to landscape photographer Robert Turner. She is active in land use planning issues, including serving on an advisory group for the County of San Diego General Plan “2020” Update.

EHL Staff

Executive Director
Dan Silver

Dan (see above) manages the organization. He is also primarily responsible for EHL’s program work at the state level and in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.

Jess Morton

Jess (see above) cares for EHL's accounting needs and manages its funds.

San Diego Director
Michael Beck

Michael (see above) directs our array of programs and projects in San Diego County. A major current project is revitalizing and conserving the upper San Diego River as a "river parkway" for youth recreation and open space.

Program Officer
Scott Grimes

Scott assists EHL with policy analysis, fundraising, land conservation, and capacity-building activities. The former Director of Research and Program Development for San Diego Dialogue, he worked in close collaboration with EHL on the successful development of the Environmental Mitigation Program for San Diego County's Measure A ballot initiative. Scott also has extensive experience in nonprofit fundraising and resource development strategies. He is the author of three books, as well as several reports, book chapters and papers on policy issues related to urbanization, land conservation and regionalism.