Board Members

We take stewardship seriously.

Carol Montgomery

Carol Montgomery – President

Carol grew up in the high desert area of Northeastern California. She comes from a hunting, fishing, horseback and motorcycle family and spent many hours of her growing up years roaming the high desert on her horse and spends family recreational time riding motorcycles, camping and rock hounding in the Smoke Creek and Black Rock Desert.

Carol graduated from Lassen Community College with Associate Degrees in Business Administration and Accounting.  She recently retired from Lassen Community College with 27 years of service where she worked as an accountant and in her last eight years was the coordinator for two federal and state categorical programs with combined annual budgets of $500,000. 

Giving back through volunteering and community service is a way of life for Carol and her family.  Carol served for six plus years on the Northern California Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council, for 18 years on the Lassen County Fair Advisory Committee and for 16 years on the Northeastern Rural Health Clinic Board of Directors. 

Carol has also served on several advisory committees including the School Site Council, ROP Advisory Committee and Vocational Olympics.  As her children grew up Carol was a parent volunteer for their sports activities and a 4-H Advisor for projects and 4-H camp. 

In 2006 Carol became aware of the increasing need for stewardship in the Black Rock Desert and began volunteering with non-profit groups serving the Black Rock Desert.  Spring 2022 brought Carol the opportunity to join the board of directors of a newly forming non-profit called Stewards of the Black Rock Desert and she jumped at the opportunity. 

Carol is excited to be part of an organization who will represent and be the voice for all who utilize the amazing public lands of the Black Rock Desert. 

Kim Murcia – Vice President

Kim brings a wide range of natural resource, recreation, and tourism management experience to the Stewards of Black Rock Desert team. Starting on the east coast as a young active skier and curious aquatic ecologist, she later headed west to continue playing outdoors whitewater kayaking, mountaineering, and hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. She built her professional career around her love of the outdoors researching and managing water quality and recreation resources, advocating for rural agriculture, and making sure that her work requires her to engage 4WD frequently. After a combined 20 years of federal service with the United States Coast Guard search and rescue, Army Corps of Engineers water quality research, and United States Forest Service recreation management, she has returned to the work she finds most rewarding – working directly with communities and volunteers by participating in strategic planning, representing community voices, building strong networks, and completing quality projects. Kim’s priority has always been to proactively support communities and how they interact with the Public Lands where they work and play.

Matthew Ebert – Secretary

Matthew “Metric” Ebert moved to the Hualapai Flat north of Gerlach, Nevada, in the year 2000 with many years of professional event production experience and became the resident property manager at Burning Man’s work ranch. He was appointed to the Gerlach Empire Citizen Advisory Board in 2003 where he served 15 years reviewing development proposals and contributing to various committees.

In 2005 he started an RV rental and outfitting business, Black Rock Rental, and continued contributing to the Burning Man event as a member of the Man Krew, the team that builds the Burning Man effigy. In 2006, Metric joined the Friends of Black Rock High Rock as an AmeriCorps volunteer, ultimately becoming their first Executive Director. At Friends of Black Rock, he was responsible for the day-to-day tasks of every facet of the organization’s management and development.

As a member of the E Clampus Vitus historical society since 2007, Metric continues to apply his knowledge and experience to produce events, develop merchandising, and provide historical interpretation at places of interest throughout Nevada. Metric earned a BA in philosophy and business administration at the University of Nevada – Reno, and a Master of Public Policy degree at the University of California, Berkeley. Metric lives in Gerlach with his wife, Erin, and their little dog, Bean.

Phillipe Steinman

Phillipe Steinmann

Phillipe “Fi” Steinmann has been a Gerlach resident since 2013, and has been a frequent visitor to the the Black Rock Desert since 2007. Originally from France, Fi was a professional sailboat racer for 7 years with a notable participation in the 1992 America’s Cup competition. Fi had a career in New York City in interactive technology with Children’s Television Workshop and Scholastic Corporation, a publishing, education, and media company that distributes books and educational materials for schools, parents, and children.

Fi is the founder of the Black Rock Desert Motorcycle Club, promoting the use of electric mountain bikes and electric trials motorcycles for zero-emission, Tread Lightly deep exploration.

Laura Blaylock

Laura Blaylock – Founder

Laura first visited the Black Rock Desert in 1974, helping a friend with his amateur radio. She returned in 1980 to relocate and rebuild a railroad tie cabin at Mandalay Springs, 8 miles east of Sulphur. She lived in the cabin for 6 years while mining with the old-timers to make a living. Laura eventually participated in moving the cabin back to its current location near Sulphur from Mandalay Springs . After marrying a Nevada mine inspector, Laura lived in Winnemucca for 25 years. She was active as a volunteer for Humboldt County Hospice, conducted quilting and environmental education classes at the Humboldt County Library, and served on the boards of the Winnemucca Food Pantry, Winnemucca Community Garden, and Nevada Outdoor School. In 2012 Laura moved to Gerlach and increased her stewardship activities. She has been with the Earth Guardians Camp at Burning Man for many years, has participated at the BLM Interpretive Camp, and was named the top BLM volunteer in the state of Nevada two years in a row. Laura was the driving force behind the formation of the Stewards of the Black Rock Desert. She can frequently be found doing playa patrol with her “litter truck,” promoting the use of potty buckets and educating visitors about fairy shrimp. She as an active hula-hooper, quilter, ukelele promoter, kite flyer, landsailer, and amateur rocketry enthusiast.