A friend of Pando is a friend of mine...

Mission  |  Vision |  Values  |  Leadership

Green aspen leaf

Our Mission

Friends of Pando is dedicated and working to educate the public, support research and preservation efforts and inspire stewardship of Pando, the world’s largest tree.

Our Vision

We envision a future where Pando is protected, monitored, documented and cared for so that it may be enjoyed for generations to come


Aspen leaf

Our Values

friends of pando volunteer have fun together


Just as each of the 47,000 branches of Pando are unique expressions of the larger tree, we recognize each person brings unique talents, insights, and skills. We appreciate and respect all who are inspired by the tree and declare “A friend of Pando, is a friend of mine.”


Just as Pando is one tree that spreads it roots widely, Friends of Pando works to foster collaboration working with all who demonstrate a sincere commitment to a future where Pando is understood and thrives.

Gate Building Crew

Inspired Stewardship

Just as the branches of Pando reach in all directions as it seeks the light, Friends of Pando seeks to creatively advance our vision and inspire stewardship.

Long-term Thinking

As the Pando represents thousands of years of sustained growth, Friends of Pando supports and promotes long-term thinking to advance understanding and inspire stewardship.

Pando Sign on highway 25 in Utah
citizen scientist training

A Learning Organization 

Just as the branches of Pando fall off as the tree finds better paths to light, Friends of Pando works to advance our vision through open communication relying on data, insight and feedback to advance our growth.

Creative Partnerships to Promote Prosperity

Working with our partners, sponsors and community members, Friends of Pando is dedicated to developing creative approaches to long term conservation. From work opportunities for students, to marginalized populations to

image of different colored pando leaves arranged in a triangle

Our Leadership

Dave Ogden, President

Dave Ogden, President

Former Mayor and longtime resident of Richfield, Utah, Dave Ogden has recently retired from public service.  He first met with Lance Oditt, Friends of Pando’s Executive Director  in 2020 to talk about the Pando tree and has been instrumental in helping get Friends of Pando up and running. He has graciously agreed to serve as the first Board President for Friends of Pando in addition to his work as a local historian, Kids for Pando and Richfield Visitor Center.

lance oditt, executive director

Lance Oditt
Executive Director

Friends of Pando founder and Executive Director Lance Oditt first fell in love with trees in rural Ohio where he used to climb a hickory tree and read books. He first experienced Pando in 2017, and In 2019, began to organize calls with people who shared his passion for the tree to gather ideas to ensure this natural wonder can be enjoyed for generations to come. Lance brings 5 years experience working on Pando doing everything from fence building to developing partnerships and programs that employ local students and Pando lovers. Lance brings background in public service (Americorps) as well as experience leading large scale projects in the high tech sector (Microsoft, State of Texas) to the role working to blend art and science to inspire stewardship and long term thinking.

Hope Smith, Secretary

Hope Smith
Secretary and Tresurer

Our board Secretary & Treasurer, Hope Smith, is a certified Human Resources professional with over 10 years background in executive non-profit management. Hope was first captivated by Pando in 2019 and in 2021, she provided logistics and support for the team, taking part herself in photography work, while also cooking for a team of 20 each day. Now in her second year with Friends of Pando, Hope’s extensive experience in the nonprofit leadership, HR and, as a small business owner provided rare and invaluable insights to the Friends of Pando board.

Our History

Friends of Pando was founded in 2019 by a group of researchers, artists, land managers, educators and community leaders who gathered together to share their passion for the tree and share ideas :

  • Educate the public
  • Promote awareness about Pando
  • Document the tree
  • Support research
  • Provide hands-on experiences with the tree
  • Inspire stewardship through opportunities in field work, research and tell the story of the land
Those early gatherings informed our development strategy and inspired a sense of shared responsibility that drives our work today. 

Friends of Pando is dedicated and working to educate the public, support research and preservation efforts and inspire stewardship of Pando, the world’s largest tree.


Friends of Pando is a proud partner of Pando’s public land stewards, Fishlake National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture. Learn more about our partnership.


Friends of Pando and its partners are equal opportunity employers.


Just $14 a month supports work to ensure Pando can be enjoyed for generations to come. Make a one-time or, recurring tax deductible donation today.

Friends of Pando
PO Box 12
Richfield, UT, 84701
Phone: 435-633-1893
IRS EIN: 87-3958681