AOA’s History

The Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) was founded in August 2001 and received IRS non-profit status in February 2002. We celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2022.

The organization was originally founded as a pilot project of the “White Cloud Council” (WCC) of Boise, Idaho. Brock Evans of WCC introduced the concept of a conservation group to be established in southeast Ohio. Brock contacted Clyde Gosnell through a common friend Guy Denny to present the “Parks to Peaks” concept of WCC and to explore the feasibility of creating a conservation group in Southeast Ohio.


An initial meeting was held in Matthias Grove, Rockbridge, Ohio with Brock Evans and Mitch Friedman of WCC and invited friends in Southeast Ohio who were thought to have an interest. Persons in attendance included Bob Burris, Guy Denny, Jan Ann Ellis, Clyde Gosnell, Nancy Green, Rose Mary Joyce, Jeff Johnson, Paul Knoop, Joel Wachtel, Louis Warner and Marlene WooLun. 


After the presentation, it was decided that the group would create a southeast Ohio organization and Clyde Gosnell would accept the initial leadership as President. A nine-member governing board was created, and the following officers were selected: President, Clyde Gosnell, Vice President, Bob Burris, Treasurer, Nancy Green, and Secretary, Paul Knoop.   The original 9-member governing board included: Robert Burris, Jane Ann Ellis, Clyde Gosnell, Nancy Green, Jeff Johnson, Rosemary Joyce, Paul Knoop, Joel Wachtel and Marline Woo-Lin.

“In the end, I decided to sell my property to AOA because I love it so much. It was hard to part with it-but I am not really parting with it-it is there forever thanks to AOA.”

Steve Fought