Our Staff

Jim Nelson, Owner

Jim has two decades of natural resource experience in the midwest. From Southern Wisconsin to Central Illinois, he served as an ecological restoration and native landscape project manager for Applied Ecological Services, a restoration professional for LaGesse and Associates and a watershed planner before opening Nelson Land Management.

Jim is an IL Certified Burn Manager, holds several wildland fire certifications, and has extensive experience managing invasive species of concern in the central midwest. 

Avery Weinrich, Contracting Project Manager

Avery joined NLM in December of 2018 and is the project foreman for NLM's contracting division. He has previously lead crews for the United State Forest Service and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Avery holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Pennsylvania State University. His favorite part of the job is working with landowners, biologists, and most of all his fellow crew members to improve and restore Illinois' ecosystems.

Zach Stephenson, Ecological Restoration Foreman

Zach joined NLM in November of 2018. His previous experience as a seasonal employee at the IL Department of Natural Resources Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area gave him real-world experience with the work we do throughout the region.  No stranger to the outdoors, Zach does great work and really has a knack regarding management techniques to get ecosystems back on track. Zach holds a bachelor's of science degree in Recreation Administration from Eastern Illinois University.

Ethan Crain, Assistant Foreman

Ethan joined NLM in July of 2019 after earning his degree in Environmental Studies with concentrations in Wildlife Management and Ecohydrology from Illinois College in Jacksonville. He served as a Conservation Education Intern with the IL Department of Natural Resources and a National Fish and Wildlife Refuge intern in Meredosia, IL When he's not working you'll probably find Ethan on a boat angling, regardless of the temperature or precipitation. 

Baylee McLaughlin, Ecological Restoration Technician

Baylee joined the Nelson team in August of 2020. She has a Bachelor’s in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from Southeast Missouri University and a Master’s in Environmental Science from University of Illinois Springfield.
She is no stranger to working in the outdoors having previously conducted herpetological research and working with vulnerable wildlife species and their habitats. In her free time you can find her kayaking, playing volleyball, or hiking around Illinois.

Brad Olson, Ecological Restoration Technician

Brad joined Nelson Land Management in August of 2020. He earned a bachelor's degree in Zoology and a minor in Geography from Western Illinois University in Macomb. Brad serves in the Illinois National guard as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear specialist. He previously worked for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at Big River State Forest. Even in his off-time you can find Brad in the timber deer hunting or scouting.

Brandon Wasser, Ecological Restoration Technician

Brandon joined NLM in October of 2020. He grew up hunting and fishing and always wanted a career working in the outdoors. Before joining the NLM team, he worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources removing invasive species and improving forest ecosystems.  Brandon is entering the United State Coast Guard and hopes to pair his military experience with his ecological experience and become a game warden for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.


  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook B&W

Nelson Land Managment LLC  2017