Friends of Lakes Folsom and Natoma (FOLFAN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the state park cooperating association for the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (FLSRA). Our state park includes Lake Natoma, Folsom Lake, and the American River that connects the two lakes. It includes more than 100 miles of shoreline, beautiful blue oak woodlands teeming with wildlife, and wonderful opportunities for appreciating and experiencing nature and recreation with 100+ miles of trails and 12,000 acres of surface water.

Here are some of our key programs:

  • Adopt the Parkway Program
  • Bald Eagle Interpretive Program
  • Lake Natoma Nursery and Gardens
  • Life Jackets Save Lives
  • Outdoor Activities Program
  • Outreach and Education
  • Park Cleanups, Beautification Projects, and Eco-Restoration Projects

Our annual events:

  • FOLFAN Member Appreciation Event (Feb)
  • Juneteenth (June)
  • Salmon Tales and Oak Trails (launching Nov 9, 2024)
  • Izzy’s Animal Rescue Festival (launching in May 2025)


Board Officers:

  • Jim Cassio – President
  • Karen Shaffer – Vice President and Membership Coordinator
  • Luana Gohl – Treasurer
  • Eric Webb – Secretary

Board Directors:

  • Eric Buell – Webmaster, Outdoor Activities Coordinator
  • Sally Cullen – Photography Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator
  • Jeannie Dial – Native Plant Nursery and Interpretive Gardens Coordinator
  • Don Rose – Director
  • Kathy Shurtleff – Director


  • Maryellen Blackburn – Event Coordinator
  • David Haskell – Outreach Coordinator
  • Kathy Kayner – Lead Bald Eagle Docent
  • Johanna Miller – Bookkeeper
  • Crystal Tobias – Event Coordinator, FOLFAN Co-founder


Jim Cassio, President
Jim is a semi-retired labor market analyst and workforce development professional, and has written several books on career development. He also has a long history of working with nonprofits, as well as parks and conservation corps, training individuals to do conservation, fire prevention and eco restoration related work. He lives in Folsom with his wife, Deb, a retired professor of history and heritage interpretation. They enjoy nature, history, travel and grandkids.




Karen Shaffer, Vice President, Membership Coordinator
Karen is a retired biologist who spent her 30-year career implementing the Clean Water Act while with the federal government, and as a consultant helping the public comply with various federal and state environmental regulations. Living in Folsom at the doorstep of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Karen and her husband Bruce spend their time cycling, paddling, hiking, and dog walking in and around Lake Natoma and Folsom Lake (usually picking up trash as they go!). Karen also enjoys travel, reading, movies, and board games with her family, including her two sons, a transportation engineer focusing on
bike and pedestrian corridors, and a field biologist who has tried in vain to teach her how to take a picture through a spotting scope!



Luana Gohl, Treasurer
Luana is a CPA, and owns a local accounting consulting firm. She has lived near and enjoyed lakes Folsom and Natomas  for the past 40+ years. Luana is very grateful for her family which includes two sons, a daughter, two daughters-in-law and also, seven grandchildren who are teenagers and young adults. As a child, Luana grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was actively involved in youth groups – cycling, hiking and boating. As a young adult, she enjoyed white water rafting with a group of friends. Then when her children were young, the family lived very close to Granite Bay SP, where they regularly enjoyed the water, trails and exploration of the area. Currently, Luana is a participating member of Awake in the Wild, an outdoor daily meditation group. This practice is a connection to nature and the calming qualities it brings. Nature has always been an important part of Luana’s life. Luana will be retiring from business in a few years, and she looks forward to taking on more volunteering opportunities with FOLFAN. She also plans to travel to State and National Parks, enjoying the spectacular experiences that nature provides. As a director for FOLFAN, she is currently assisting with the design and integration of a new accounting system, and updating processes. She also helps out with special projects. In Luana’s spare time she enjoys nature photography, walking / hiking particularly in the numerous state parks around lakes Folsom and Natomas, kayaking, and snowshoeing. Sharing her love of nature with family, friends and our community is her passion. 



Eric Buell, Webmaster, Outdoor Activities Coordinator
Eric is an avid park user and conservation photographer. He spends much of his time hiking on the trails of Folsom Lake SRA with his camera in hand. His work focuses on highlighting the beauty of biodiversity. Eric is a UC Certified California Naturalist with a focus on interpretation. Eric has a degree from Folsom Lake College where he studied Art and Photography. Eric loves to use his interpretive skills to educate park users about the amazing amount of biodiversity that exists in the park.





Sally Cullen, Photography Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator
Sally is a retired pediatrician and former chief of pediatrics at the Kaiser Permanente Folsom Medical Offices. She and her husband Chad have lived in El Dorado Hills since 1990 and are the proud parents/grandparents of a son and daughter and five wonderful grandchildren (ages 2-12.) Since retirement, Sally has been a passionate traveler and photographer, enjoying trips to many State and National Parks and destinations worldwide. She has won several awards for her photographs of nature and wildlife. Sally became an active volunteer for FOLFAN several years ago and has participated in the Adopt-the-Parkway Program, the guided hikes, the kayak clean-ups, the photography contests, and the eagle’s nest monitoring. She enjoys running, hiking, biking, golfing and photographing in and around the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in her spare time.





Jeannie Dial, Native Plant Nursery and Interpretive Gardens Coordinator

Jeannie is a small animal veterinarian originally from Los Alamitos in Southern California. She and her husband, who is also a small animal vet, moved to the area after graduating from UC Davis and fell in love with Lake Natoma and the American River Parkway. Jeannie enjoys cycling along the parkway and admiring how the landscape changes throughout the seasons – something they really don’t have in Southern California! In addition to volunteering with FOLFAN, Jeannie enjoys watching Jeopardy!, reading, visiting other state parks, and tending to her California native plant garden.



Don Rose, Director
Don is an avid hiker, road biker, and mountain biker, and he’s a dedicated open space and trails advocate. When he’s not enjoying recreational activities on trails at Folsom Lake SRA and other locations, he’s often doing volunteer trail maintenance and construction with organizations such as Friends of the El Dorado Trail, Friends of Folsom Parkways, FATRAC, and the American River Conservancy. He currently serves as board member and Treasurer of the Sacramento Valley Conservancy, an accredited land trust involved in preservation of open space in the Sacramento area. Don has over 35 years of experience in chief financial officer and similar positions with a variety of companies in the Sacramento area. He is currently a business financial consultant. He lives in Carmichael with his wife Beth, and they have two grown daughters.


Kathy Shurtleff, Director

Kathy retired after 38 years as a Sacramento Deputy County Counsel, representing Children’s
Protective Services, where she prosecuted child abuse and neglect cases. She and her husband,
Michael Smith, have lived in their quirky home near the bike trail for over thirty-five years
(since 1987). Kathy and Mike were among the first participants/stewards in the Adopt-a-Parkway program and were original members of FOLFAN. She became a FOLFAN Board member in January 2022. Kathy grew up in Medford Oregon and Tracy California and graduated from UC Davis (History ‘77) and UOP McGeorge School of Law (’80). Kathy has travelled the world extensively and is always looking for the next travel adventure, be
it in the U.S. or abroad; the more remote, historical, unusual, beautiful, or exotic, the better.
When not travelling, Kathy enjoys attending local events (including plays, lectures, concerts,
festivals, special events etc.), gardening, planning the next landscape or home project, and
entertaining. She is a member of the Sacramento Valley Conservancy, S.A.R.A., Sacramento
Historical Society, Folsom Historical Society, and Preservation Sacramento, and is a supporter of CASA.

Eric Webb, Historian, Bald Eagle Interpretive Program Coordinator

Descended from Norwegian and Swedish immigrants straight out of Giants in the Earth, Eric moved from the upper Midwest to California as a preteen,
subsequently graduating from Bella Vista High School. Upon arrival, he quickly became enamored with the unique and important cultural and natural history of Sacramento and its region. After finishing a B.A. and M.A. in history with an emphasis in Humanities from Sacramento State, Eric joined the Sacramento Public Library where he currently serves as a supervisor. Eric has reclaimed his interests in Sacramento history highlighted by the recent release of World War II Sacramento and is currently working on another book tentatively entitled Historic Townships of the Sacramento Region. Eric also has an abiding passion for California wildflowers and vernal pool ecology. He is a certified University of California Naturalist and currently serves as a docent at Jepson Prairie. You will find Eric hiking the myriad trails throughout Northern California.


Our co-founders, Linda McDonald and Crystal Tobias, shared a passion for picking up trash in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (FLSRA). Crystal began lobbying state parks staff to create an Adopt a Parkway program in the FLSRA, and after several years, such a program was established. Soon after that, local state parks management asked Linda and Crystal if they would consider creating a nonprofit cooperating association. The two of them met in November 2008 and set out to work on creating that nonprofit.

They came up with the name, Friends of Lakes Folsom and Natoma, aka FOLFAN, established a board of directors, and drafted bylaws and articles of incorporation. They solicited logos online from around the world, and received several great options. The board selected one from an artist in Argentina, the colorful water-tree-sun logo that FOLFAN uses today, and paid the artist $150.

Initially FOLFAN started out with the Adopt the Parkway program and a membership drive which generated about 25 members. The board of directors had five members: Linda (president), Crystal (vice president), and a secretary, treasurer, and a member at large. Today FOLFAN operates or supports a variety of programs, initiatives, and events – all without any paid staff or normal overhead costs. FOLFAN has grown to include more than 600 supporters. This includes dues-paying members, donors, financial sponsors, and volunteers.

“I think the park looks better than it did fifteen years ago,” says Linda. “But we still have a constant battle with littering. We should really focus on educating youth about the harms of littering. With the native plant nursery, we can begin to expand habitat restoration and even have a small role in addressing climate change by planting native trees that absorb carbon and release oxygen.”

Crystal, who continues to be actively involved with FOLFAN after 15 years, is proud of the FOLFAN members, the board of directors, and the state parks staff that she has worked with. “It truly has been an honor and a privilege,” she says. “FOLFAN and our park have come a long way, and I couldn’t be happier!”

2024 marks FOLFAN’s 15th anniversary!