Our Staff

Travis Morehead

Executive Director


Travis was selected as the Executive Director position in February of 2016. Previously, he worked with the Catawba Lands Conservancy as the operations director of the Carolina Thread Trail project. Prior to that, he served in the military, including a combat deployment in Iraq, and worked as a senior and principal city planner for the town of Cary. Travis grew up in Stanly County and attended high school in Albemarle. He has a degree in political science with a concentration in town, city, and county management from Appalachian State University. Travis is dedicated to the Uwharrie region and the heartland area of North Carolina. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Crystal Cockman

Associate Director


Crystal began her time at the Land Trust as a Duke University Stanback Intern in Summer 2005.  She enjoyed the job so much that she came back to work part-time her last semester of graduate school, and joined on as a full-time staff member in July 2006.  A local girl born and raised in Moore County, Crystal has always had a heart for conservation issues in this region.  She graduated from Duke University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, and minors in Earth and Ocean Science and in English.  In May 2006, she received her Master of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, with a focus on Environmental Health and Security.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, backpacking, hiking, fly-fishing, and pretty much anything outdoors.


Senior Land Protection Specialist


Emily began working for Three Rivers Land Trust in February 2021. She attended North Carolina State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology in the spring of 2020. Emily graduated from Clemson University with a Masters degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Resource Management in December of 2023. She is also a Certified Associate Wildlife Biologist. Before coming to the Land Trust, she worked on wildlife management projects for private companies and managed the hunting program on a wildlife refuge. As a Montgomery County native, Emily is passionate about conserving the natural lands she has been able to enjoy in the region. In her spare time, Emily is an avid birder and also enjoys hiking, paddling, and baking.


Land Protection Specialist


Kyle joined TRLT in June of 2023 as a Land Protection Specialist. He graduated from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor of Science in Earth Sciences, and a minor in Geology. Kyle has worked in a variety of industries since college, including an environmental specialist, insurance underwriter, and most recently a craft brewer. With a passion for the natural world since childhood, Kyle enjoys almost anything outdoors, including backpacking, hiking, hunting, and seeing live music. Kyle’s conservation story began when he successfully completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2016. This 5-month journey over 2,189 miles had such a tremendous impact on his life and really demonstrated the importance of conserving wild spaces, like the A.T. As a native of Salisbury, there is no greater joy to him than being able to work to conserve local lands in the heart of North Carolina.


Conservation Land Manager


Katie began working with TRLT in November of 2021. She received her master’s degree in Wildlife Science from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s in Natural Resource Conservation and Management with a concentration in forestry from Western Carolina University. Katie comes to us with prior experience of working for the N.C. Forest Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority where she provided land management information and technical support to forest landowners and wildlife managers. Katie’s interest and expertise is in prescribed fire, applied habitat management, sound forest management, and blending wildlife and forestry objectives. In her free time, Katie enjoys sharing the conservation ethic with others, especially kids, and promoting the wonderful natural resources that our state has to offer.


Habitat Enhancement Lands Program Coordinator


Mark Bost joined Three Rivers Land Trust in a part time role as the Habitat Enhancement Lands Program Coordinator in June 2023.  Mark graduated from NC State University in 1995 and had a long career with the NC Forest Service working all over the state before recently retiring.  Mark’s passion is native ecosystem restoration with a focus on longleaf and shortleaf pine restoration and hardwood forest management.  Mark enjoys all outdoor activities, but especially fishing, farming, bird watching, and woodworking.  Mark is a North Carolina Registered Forester, International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, Certified Tree Farm Inspector, and NC Certified Burner.


Stewardship Associate


Matthew joined TRLT in August of 2022. His current role is the Stewardship Associate. In this role, Matthew makes annual contact with landowners that are enrolled in Three Rivers Conservation Easement Programs to make sure there are no easement violations. Matthew graduated from Gaston Early College High School in Dallas, North Carolina where he gained his associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. From there he received a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology at North Carolina State University. Matthew has extensive equipment operating experience along with an understanding of land management best practices that can give landowners insight into what they could potentially need to achieve their land management goals. In his free time, Matthew enjoys hunting, fishing, playing the guitar, and spending time with his family and dog named Gunner.


Sandhills Conservation Coordinator


Barry began working as the Sandhills Conservation Coordinator for Three Rivers Land Trust in April 2023. He is an NC native who grew up in the woods and farmlands surrounding his home in rural Iredell County. He learned much about the outdoors through trial and error and Scouting. After graduating from WCU, Barry served 11 years in the Active Army. After leaving, he worked for the Army in various capacities and remained in the National Guard until retirement. He has worked on land preservation in the area for 12 years. His wife Christine grew up on a small farm in western NC and still works for the US Army. They have three grown children, two boys both on active duty and a daughter pursuing her bachelor’s at UNCW.

Valerie Alzner

Stewardship Associate


Valerie Alzner began working as a Stewardship Associate for the Three Rivers Land Trust in July 2019 when Three Rivers merged with Sandhills Area Land Trust. Valerie began working for Sandhills Area Land Trust in 2007 as a Land Steward Associate. She served in the U.S. Army as a Blackhawk helicopter mechanic/crew chief before getting a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University in 2005. Since graduation, she has worked as an intern at the U.S. Army Environmental Center and has banded birds in West Virginia for the Institute of Bird Populations. Valerie is a native of Michigan and first came to North Carolina in 1990 with her husband who was stationed at Ft. Bragg. In her free time, she enjoys keeping chickens, hiking, camping, reading and spending time with family.


Development Associate – Membership


Michael joined TRLT in October of 2023 as a Development Associate. He graduated from UNC Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. Born and raised in the dairy state of Wisconsin, Michael has called the Piedmont region of North Carolina home since 2008. He has spent the past three years working as a real estate agent servicing the greater Lake Norman area. An avid hunter and fisherman, Michael enjoys spending his time in the outdoors and has a strong passion for conservation. Growing up working on a dairy farm, Michael understands the importance of family farms and the significance that the agricultural industry as a whole provides to the public. He is thrilled to be able to assist TRLT in their conservation efforts.

Sarah Paynter

Senior Development Associate 


Sarah joined the Three Rivers Land Trust team in January of 2024. Born and raised on a small farm in eastern North Carolina, she appreciates the importance of saving and conserving family lands. She has over fifteen years’ experience fundraising for nonprofits and higher education in our region. Sarah is a graduate of Pfeiffer University and enjoys gardening and spending time on the lake. Aside from volunteering with an animal rescue league in our community, she also serves on several planning committees in Mount Pleasant, where she resides.

Pierce Foster

Communications Associate 


Pierce joined the Three Rivers Land Trust team in February of 2024. He is a multi-disciplinary designer, writer, filmmaker, and proud custodian of visual obsessions. Pierce loves pushing ideas as far as they can go and collaborating with interesting people on interesting projects. In his free time Pierce loves cooking, physical fitness, spontaneous creative collaboration, outdoor exploration, and discussing movies at length and with way too much enthusiasm. He can’t wait to get his boots dirty and contribute his talents to a cause he truly believes in.

Alexis Rowe

Development Associate – Local Business


Alexis joined TRLT in March of 2024. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Biology. She comes to us with several years’ experience working with native wildlife as a zookeeper as well as nonprofit fundraising.  Alexis grew up in Stanly County exploring the woods and creek by her home. She has a lifelong passion for the conservation of wildlife and their natural habitats. She enjoys being involved in her community and connecting with local businesses who foster the same desire to conserve our rural landscapes. Alexis enjoys camping, hiking, kayaking, and growing her own food and flowers in her garden with her young daughter.



(704) 647-0302


204 East Innes Street, Suite 120
Salisbury, NC 28144





(704) 647-0302


204 East Innes Street, Suite 120
Salisbury, NC 28144