Public Lands

A hiking trail in the mountains

Our Public Lands team works directly with state and federal agencies toward effective land management that conforms with the complex and dynamic regulations unique to each agency. We also serve communities and resorts adjacent to public lands where growth, management, and environmental stewardship are inextricably linked.

Our work includes

  • Environmental compliance at every stage of your project: feasibility and risk assessments, alternatives analysis, public outreach, NEPA process management and documentation, and permitting.
  • Forest health and fuels assessments to lower wildfire risk and protect communities through stand improvement thinning, fuel reduction treatments, prescribed burning, ecosystem restoration, habitat enhancement, and coordination with interest groups, communities, and local governments.
  • Planning, design, and management of state parks.
  • National Forest recreation planning including campground design, trail system development and rehabilitation, capacity analyses, and recreation experience evaluations.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS), cartography, and visual simulations and renderings.

Why us?

We understand the unique aspects of working in public lands at the unique confluence of regulatory protections, resource management, competing needs of various stakeholders, and creating access to beautiful public spaces while maintaining environmental stewardship of these sensitive ecosystems.

We bring a collaborative approach, credibility, and expertise to every project. We can anticipate common issues that occur throughout the planning process but can also partner with our clients to approach new challenges in an ever-evolving environmental, political, and social landscape.

The following are at the core of our approach:

  • Strategic thinking, planning, and the ability to perceive many steps ahead.
  • A thorough understanding of the NEPA process
  • Deep and trusted relationships with agencies and communities
  • Confident, effective, and efficient handling of the public participation process
  • Open, honest dialogue among all parties

65 Years Experience

Vision that’s Rooted in Strategy

3,000 Projects and Counting

Testimonials Don't just take our word for it


Partnership of the Year, Regional Forester Awards 

North Yuba Forest Partnership 

A person on a bike on a trail

Let’s start bringing your vision to life

Portrait of Mark Kane
A selfie of Mark Kane

Mark Kane

Managing Director, Communities & Public Lands

Broad-based strategist. Shrewd tactician. Inventive community builder.

Mark helps communities defined by outdoor recreation, the rural lifestyle, and tourism unlock and maximize economic, environmental, aesthetic, and recreational character—and potential—through community and land use planning, regulatory tools and regional cooperation. Mark brings together deep community planning expertise, an intuitive and informed understanding of how to bring together diverse communities for long-term consensus and gain, and a profound commitment to helping small communities find, articulate, tap into, and retain what makes them special. 


He brings over 30 years of experience in land use planning and analysis to the SE Group team. Mark is active in the American Planning Association and continues to learn and grow his understanding of how tourism and outdoor recreation influence communities and how they can be empowered to chart a path that fits them.  

As managing director, Mark relishes in his team's power – building deep relationships with them and supporting their professional development and growth. Mark believes that passing on what we learn is the primary role of a good leader, and he works each day to do that.

Mark has a Bachelor of Science from the School of Natural Resources – Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. 


  • Regional and land use planning
  • Tourism and outdoor recreation impacts in rural places
  • Land use regulations and development analysis
  • Geographic information systems and visualization 

Outside the Office

Despite his advancing age, Mark continues to celebrate his status as a 21st century "nerd"—enjoying all the outdoor splendor (hike, bike, Nordic ski) that New England offers while always being down for a game of Catan, listening to podcasts on quantum entanglement or getting lost in books on artificial intelligence. He loves to garden, particularly vegetables, which, upon harvest, he cooks into something yummy. Mark splits his time between a 1830s restored farmhouse he and his artist wife have spent nearly 30 years fixing up and a recently acquired small seasonal cottage on Lake Champlain where summers are spent enjoying the water, family, and friends.  

Portrait of Travis Beck
Travis Beck on a mountain

Travis Beck

Managing Director, Mountain Resorts & Public Lands

"What can we provide to this project to set it apart?" Travis asks this question of himself and his team at every stage to constantly challenge the status quo and improve the results of all processes and projects with which he is involved. 

Travis is the Managing Director for SE Group’s Public Lands and Mountain Resorts market sectors and previously led the Environmental Planning and Permitting team at SE Group. With an accomplished background in federal permitting, Travis has managed or directed dozens of EISs and EAs over his 20+ years at SE Group. Complimenting his policy credentials, and through his leadership as the Board Chair for the Breckenridge Tourism Office, Travis studies and appreciates the complex relationship between the drive for outdoor recreation tourism and the management of quality of life and place. 

Always looking to tackle complex projects and processes, Travis strives for collaboration, engagement, and innovation amongst his team and external partners. Managing Service Areas across the market allows him to create effective multi-disciplinary project teams to best meet the needs of our clients and push our project teams to new standards.


Travis’s work with public lands and mountain resorts has been recognized multiple times with the Forest Service, having earned a Regional Forester’s Award and a Chief’s Award for innovative strategies. His management experience includes projects with Forest Service and BLM managed lands, mountain resorts and ski areas, multiple-use trail networks, bike parks, and land exchanges. With a background in environmental science and policy, Travis specializes in managing large -and often controversial - land management projects. 

Travis has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from The University of Kansas. He has served as a board member for several organizations around Summit County.


  • Strategic NEPA compliance
  • Endangered Species Act – Section 7
  • Recreation tourism 
  • Master planning
  • Public engagement

Outside the Office

Travis appreciates abutting the National Forest at his home outside of Breckenridge and enjoying the beauty and recreation of his mountain community. He also really loves his flowers that only grow four months out of the year!

Portrait of Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith on a glacier

Ashley Smith

Associate Director, Environmental Planning & Permitting

A highly committed and incisive project manager, Ash excels while working on and managing large-scale and complex projects. Specializing in NEPA, her experience, insight, and enthusiasm allow her to efficiently navigate projects and clients through today’s complicated regulatory environment. Ash thrives on finding the right solutions for the challenges of our projects. She takes particular pride in getting the job done accurately and on time—enabling our clients to move forward with their project goals. 


Joining SE Group in 2016, Ash brings nearly 20 years of experience in the field of environmental permitting and planning in a wide range of planning sectors including Forest Health and Fire Management, Recreation, and Utilities. She has successfully managed and authored environmental analyses throughout the Rocky Mountain, Southwest, Pacific Southwest, Northwest, and Northeast regions.

Ash has a Master of Science in Watershed Science and Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Environmental Science from Smith College. 


  • Large-scale Project Management
  • Ecosystem Resilience and Restoration
  • National Environmental Policy Act Process Management 

Outside the Office

As a military kid, Ash grew up throughout the States as well as internationally. She spent her early years backpacking on the Olympic Peninsula, the Adirondacks, and White Mountains, as well as the Bavarian and Austrian Alps. Today, Ash and her husband can be found exploring the Rocky Mountains, taking day hikes or playing in the snow with their three daughters. 

Portrait of Gabby Voeller
Gabby Voeller biking

Gabby Voeller

Senior Associate, Community Planning

Gabby is the Service Area Leader for our Communities market and is the Recreation Planning Service Area leader within the Public Lands market.  Essentially this means she leads the community planning focused projects across the company and manages recreation planning projects on public lands throughout the northeast and mountain west.

She is passionate about helping clients solve complex problems facing their communities. Her approach is to craft strategic and broad-based engagement strategies that bring the right people to the table to work together. She applies technical, analytical, as well as soft and consensus-building skills to all aspects of community planning. Gabby approaches projects with a mind geared toward seeking out innovative and engaging solutions that move communities closer towards their vision and goals. 


Gabby brings over 10 years of experience working with rural communities in New England and the Mountain West. She has led many award-winning teams on comprehensive and subarea master plans.  She is an expert at helping rural communities face difficult challenges, particularly those related to affordable housing, growth and development, retaining community character, and enhancing outdoor recreation economies.  Her recreation work includes creating trails and open space plans for municipalities, non-profits, and multi-jurisdictional projects on federal and state lands.  She has also contributed to multi-modal transportation and streetscape design projects and helped developers through the permitting process for residential and mixed-use projects in mountain and resort communities.  

Gabby is AICP certified and has a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Bates College. 


  • Community Planning
  • Affordable Housing
  • Zoning and Permitting
  • Trails and Recreation Planning
  • Transportation Planning
  • Spatial Analysis + Land Use Modeling
  • Community and Stakeholder Engagement 

Outside the Office

Gabby likes to spend her free time with her family skiing, running, and biking the trails and mountains surrounding Leadville. Inspired by her young daughters, she recently completed the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. She is the chair of the City of Leadville Planning Commission and on the Leadville-Lake County Tourism Panel. She has an old hound dog and an even older 1880s Victorian house.    

Portrait of Patrick Olstad
Patrick riding bike in desert wearing orange pants and black jacket with a blue sky

Patrick Olstad

Senior Associate, Landscape Architecture

With a sensitivity to the uniqueness of place, Patrick seeks to create spaces that are both functional and aesthetically inspiring. He has a strong artistic sensibility for materials and forms that are expressed through custom design details. Additionally, as a LEED accredited professional, Patrick finds opportunities to integrate ecological and low-impact design strategies into each project’s aesthetic. With his affable demeanor, he easily develops strong client relationships that are enriched through collaboration—knowing that the best project outcomes come about when multiple perspectives are incorporated into the design and planning process.


Patrick is a licensed landscape architect with over 20 years of experience with a variety of project types spanning multiple scales. He has demonstrated success leading multi-disciplinary project teams from the conceptual design stage through permitting to construction with a great attention to detail.

Patrick has a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (Magna cum laude) from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and spent a formative year abroad studying landscape architecture at the Agricultural University of Norway. Patrick’s work has received recognition through multiple awards, and he has been a featured speaker for the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Tree Stewards Conference.


Master planning
Site planning and design
Public process
Aesthetic analysis

Outside the Office

Patrick grew up in California, and some of his best memories are from visits to his family’s cabin near Lake Tahoe where he first developed a passion for outdoor recreation. An avid mountain biker, he seeks out technical single track and enjoys building trails for his two young boys on their property in the Green Mountains of central Vermont. When seeking a break from rural living, Patrick and his wife enjoy retreats to nearby Montreal to explore the city by bike, soak up the local culture, and discover new foods.

Portrait of Dayton Crites
Dayton Crites on his bike

Dayton Crites

Senior Associate, Recreation Planning

Dayton is a creative and strategic planner. He leads multidisciplinary teams to build plans that illustrate and articulate community and client visions. As a visual thinker, Dayton constantly strives to make the complex clear, and develop plans that foster collaboration and guide implementation. 


Trained as a landscape architect and practicing as a planner, Dayton brings multidisciplinary thinking to all his projects. This has resulted in physical trail networks and nationally recognized plans alike. His experience overseeing the development of community bike parks, designing trail systems at ski resorts, and building better streets for human scale transportation make him feel lucky to have the career he does.

Dayton is a certified planner by the American Planning Association. He holds a Master of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning degree from Utah State University. His official undergraduate degree is in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz, but his unofficial degree was in mountain biking. 


  • Urban Design
  • Active Transportation Planning
  • Trails Planning
  • GIS Analysis & Cartography
  • Community Master Planning 

Outside the Office

Dayton grew up between California, Texas, and Utah, and chose to relocate his family to Vermont in 2019. You can find him throughout the Green Mountains stringing together lost roads and flow trails into all day adventures on his bike or teaching his children to ski the east. A passionate believer in outdoor spaces, he’s always looking for an opportunity to be inspired and share that inspiration with others.