Board of Directors

The Appalachian Habitat Association Board of Directors is comprised of residents from the Augusta, Bath, Allegheny, Craig, Botetourt, Rockbridge. The members (all volunteers) have been involved in habitat and wildlife management for many years. In addition to service to the AHA Board, members are also involved with such organizations as the Virginia Deer Hunters Association (VDHA), the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association, Ducks Unlimited, pollinator organizations, the timber industry, bear hunters, wildlife land management consultants, hunters and 4-H, as well as state and federal forestry agencies.


Nolan R. Nicely, Jr.

President and Director

Nolan is a practicing attorney in Covington, Virginia. His firm, Updike, Nicely & Crawford, PLC, specializes primarily in plaintiff’s personal injury and medical malpractice litigation. Nolan graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1991 and the University Of Virginia School Of Law in 1994. In addition to his legal practice, Nolan serves on the boards of several local community organizations and is an active member of his Church. Nolan lives on a small farm east of Clifton Forge, Virginia (which has been in his family for the last hundred years) along with his wife, Hope Elizabeth Phillips Nicely, and their two sons, Nolan III, and Asher. 

Nolan grew up hunting and fishing but developed a true passion for land management over the last 15 years. Nolan is a life time member of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association and the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). He has completed the Level 1 and 2 Deer Steward Programs through the QDMA and additional QDMA Habitat Development programs. In addition to his family farm, Nolan and Hope own a large tract of land in western Alleghany that is managed exclusively for wildlife and native species, including the threatened Appalachian Grizzled Skipper. 

Jim Mccoy

Jim McCoy

Vice-President and Director

Jim McCoy serves as Vice President to the Board of Directors for the Appalachian Habitat Association and is a founding member of the Appalachian Habitat Association.   A graduate of Virginia Tech Jim has worked in the land and wildlife management field for over 20 years and has a strong passion and love for the outdoors.  An avid hunter, he is a Director on the Board of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association and has served on several boards and committees of such organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. 


Ned Honts, IV

Treasurer and Director

Ned Honts serves as the Treasurer to the Board of Directors for the Appalachian Habitat Association and is a founding member.  Ned has worked at the Bank of Botetourt for 25 years, serving as SVP and Chief Lending Officer.  Ned has a devout passion for the outdoors and has been very active in the outreach and conservation efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation.  He has served as President for his local NWTF Chapter and currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Virginia National Wild Turkey Federation State Chapter. 

Ed McCoy

Ed McCoy

Secretary and Director

Ed McCoy, a founding member of the Appalachian Habitat Association,  recently retired from a 45-year career as a community journalist; the past 34 years as editor of a rural/suburban weekly newspaper in Botetourt County, Va.  He’s been involved in the outdoors and hunting since the early 1960s and comes from a family that has been involved in conservation work since his childhood. 

Ed is a member of several conservation organizations, including the Ruffed Grouse Society, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Virginia Deer Hunters Association and Appalachian Habitat Association.  He’s the recipient of the Virginia State Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation Volunteer of the Year Award, has chaired the state chapter’s Scholarship Committee for 8 years and served as a member of the Youth Essay Committee for 8 years. He’s the recipient of the Botetourt Longbeard’s NWTF Lifetime Achievement Award for work with conservation, youth and women’s events promoting the outdoors and hunting. 

McCoy was instrumental in establishing the Botetourt Longbeard’s NWTF Quail Habitat Initiative and has advocated for sound habitat management on public land in Western Virginia. He worked with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service to establish two currently active outdoor-related 4-H Clubs in Botetourt County. He’s carries 4-H Certifications in three shooting disciplines and in Hunting, Wildlife and Outdoor Skills. 

Wayne Anderson

Wayne Anderson


Wayne served on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Deer Hunters Association for 6 years, was a charter member of the Appalachian Deer Hunters Group. He is a founding member of The Appalachian Habitat Association.  He is an active member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Lifetime Member of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association as well as   the NRA.  He has been actively involved in deer management and conservation for over 40 years . He has a passion for hunting that began when he killed his first deer at the age of 7. 


C.W. Burns


C.W. Burns, a founding member of the Appalachian Habitat Association, is a lifelong resident of Bath County. An avid outdoorsman, C.W. has owned and operated Burns Construction Company for more than 30 years, during which time he has worked on habitat improvement programs with the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and with the USFS on the George Washington National Forest.  For the past 35 years, C.W. has worked to improve habitat on his own land, and has worked closely with several private landowners throughout the region in assisting and implementing programs for habitat improvement on their land. 


Bert Caul


Bert retired in 2005 from MeadWestvaco in Covington Va. after 42 years of service in the Power Department, retiring as Operations and Maintenance Coordinator of the Power Department. He continued to work for himself as a consultant in the Power Department for the next 8 years. 

He is a life-long hunter and fisherman and has held a hunting license since he was 5 years old. He has been a Hunter Safety Instructor since 1979, is a member of the Izaak Walton League of America, founding president of his local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation in 1989 and served as the Virginia State Chapter President of the NWTF. He is a Life Member of the NRA, and is one of the charter members of the Appalachian Habitat Association. 

He lives on his farm in Alleghany County along with his wife Betsy who is also active in supporting the outdoor sports and conservation. He is of the Presbyterian faith and serves as a Ruling Elder in his Church, McAllister Memorial Presbyterian Church in Covington, Va. 


Jon Cooper


Jon manages his family's 10,000-acre recreational property in Botetourt County and has a passion for habitat management. He's a life member of the Virginia Deer Hunters Association and the NRA. He is passionate about family, business, hunting, and helping landowners see the benefits of high-quality native habitat in a heavily forested, poor-soiled region. 

Jon Co-founded Saturday Football, Inc., which produces digital content for college football fans. He is currently the Director of Content and Audience, College Sports of XL Media, Inc., which acquired Saturday Football, Inc. in 2021.


Rick Daniels


Following a family tradition that spanned multiple generations, Rick Daniels first started hunting small and big game on the public lands in Bath County at the age of 12.  As his love of outdoor sports grew, he expanded his hunting and fishing to sites across Virginia and North America.  He lives on a  farm located in Greene County on the South River which is plentiful with both big game and trout. However, his love for the rugged topography and hunting challenges of  Western Bath County led him to purchase land in Mountain grove which is surrounded by the National Forest.  Rick established an annual Father/Son hunt camp (Secret Sauce Rod & Gun) in order to share his love of the region and to encourage, guide and support the younger generation of hunters.  Many of the young men who attended in the early years are now bringing their sons and daughters. What a legacy! As CEO and Partner of  Burruss Signs, a  national sign and display company,  Rick actively engages members of the community to join in efforts designed to conserve Virginia’s natural habitat.  He also works to preserve the camaraderie that is inherent in enjoying the beauty and bounty of our natural surroundings.  Rick is an active member of:  NRA, Hunters for the Hungry, Virginia Deer Hunters Association, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.


Nathan Deacon


Since 2000, Nathan has owned and successfully operated his own trucking business.  He is an avid outdoorsman and has been hunting and participating in outdoor activities since he was a young boy.  He is a member of the NRA and the Virginia Bear Hunter’s Association and is a founding member of the Appalachian Habitat Association. 


Keith Eliason


Keith serves as one of the founding members of the Appalachian Habitat Association.  In the past he served on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Deer Hunters Association. He has been involved in deer management and conservation for over 30years.  In the past he was a guide for the first archery only guide service on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, has worked as a waterfowl guide and fly fishing guide in both Maryland and Pennsylvania. He has hunted big game and waterfowl throughout North and South America as well as South Africa. He is an active member of the National Rifle Association, Quality Deer Management Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Trout Unlimited, Lifetime Membership in Virginia Deer Hunters Association and the Ruffed Grouse Society. 


James E. Hancock


James operates Dalewood Farm LLC in Daleville Virginia where he raises registered Angus cattle. After attending Lord Botetourt High School, James moved to West Yellowstone Montana where he worked as a fly fishing and hunting guide. During the winter months, James led snowmobile tours in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding National Forest in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. During his 14 years in Montana, James was actively involved with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trout Unlimited, the Wild Sheep Foundation and Ducks Unlimited. 

 Following the death of his father, James returned to Virginia and assumed control of the family property. Upon his return, James implemented a number of habitat improvement projects such as establishing native warm-season grasses, prescribed burning and invasive species control. 

James has also been active with the Quality Deer Management Association and served as vice president of the Roanoke Virginia Chapter. 


Josh McDaniel


Josh McDaniel is a Bath County native and has spent most of his life hunting and fishing in Bath County. Josh spends most of his time operating his business, The Home Oil Company, which is an oil and gas company that provides services to most of Bath and Highland counties. In his free time, Josh enjoys spending time on his family’s farm where he helps manage the wildlife habitat that encompasses most of the 1000 plus acre farm.


Tim Plecker


Timmy Plecker is entering his 42nd year working at Plecker Construction.  He began his career working under his father as a laborer, after graduating high school.  After gaining a few years of experience he moved his way up to truck driver, operator, job superintendent and finally project manager.  After his father’s retirement in the mid ’90s, Timmy purchased the company and is now President and Owner of Plecker Construction.  The company specializes primarily in heavy construction, utilities and preparation for large structures. 

Timmy grew up with a desire to hunt and fish that was fostered by his father.  In 1995, he purchased the first piece of his 2,823-acre farm in Bath County on which he practices wildlife management; providing wildlife with feed and cover.  He has constructed several food plots and harvested timber to produce a healthier deer herd on his farm.   

Timmy is a life member of numerous conservation organizations such as the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, and the NRA.  He is also an active member of his church in Millboro, VA. 


Mike Wolfe


Mike Wolfe is an advocate and offers knowledge for the development of habitats for pollinators in Virginia. Mike draws from 40 years of experience in semi-commercial beekeeping, farming, and land conservation. He founded the two Apiculture clubs in Botetourt County. He is a leader of three 4-H clubs to support youth development. Mike is an active officer of the Botetourt Beekeepers Association, an active member of the Blue Ridge Beekeepers Association and the Virginia State Beekeepers Association. 

Mike has developed and continues to expand pollinator and wildlife habitats on his personal property in Botetourt County (22 acres so far); with plans to expand annually. His work provides hands-on experience and insight into which plants can be successfully cultivated in the Appalachian region.   

Mike is passionate about developing and protecting appropriate habitats for many species of animals because their survival is critical to that of humans. 

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