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

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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 understood, monitored, documented and cared for so that it may be enjoyed for generations to come.

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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, insights and gathering feedback to improve and advance our operations as we grow.

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 creating opportunities right here, in Pando’s homeland.

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Board Leadership

Dave Ogden, President

Dave Ogden, President

Former Mayor of Richfield and longtime resident of Richfield, Utah, Founder and Board President, Dave Ogden has recently retired from public service.  He first met with Lance Oditt, Friends of Pando’s Executive Director in early 2020 to talk about the Pando tree and has been instrumental in helping get Friends of Pando up and running. In his work as President he has provided leadership, logistic support and outreach to small business and community organizations,  helping Friends of Pando realize its vision to see that our investments, leadership and the opportunities we create, can have a positive and lasting community impact. Even though he is officially “retired,” Dave continues his work as a local historian, writing and publishing history articles as well inspirational stories and poetry. Dave loves to travel and also helps run the Richfield Visitor Center.

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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 on the family property and read books. He first experienced Pando in 2017, and In 2019, began to organize community 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 7 years experience working on Pando doing everything from research support and documentary efforts to fence building to developing partnerships and programs that employ local students and fellow Pando lovers. In addition to his love and concern for Pando, Lance brings background in public service and community resource development (Americorps) as well as experience leading large scale projects in the high tech sector (Microsoft, State of Texas).

Hope Smith, Secretary

Hope Smith, Treasurer

Founder and board  Treasurer, Hope Smith, is a certified Human Resources professional  who works for an environmentally focused software engineering company. She has over 10 years’ background in executive non-profit management, 4+ years in accounting, and many years as a small business owner. Hope was first captivated by Pando in 2019, then 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 unique blend of  experience in nonprofit leadership, HR and business have provided rare and invaluable insights to the Friends of Pando board.

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Jameson Pace, Secretary

Jameson Pace grew up in Bicknell, Utah, just south of the Pando. Growing up, he herded cattle and helped run a family farm. He currently lives in Loa with the love of his life and 4 young kids. Jameson frequents Fishlake National Forest and enjoys kayaking, hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. In addition to these hobbies, Jameson has a passion for local history and is leading new efforts to collect oral histories from people who live and play near Pando. Earlier in his career, Jameson spent summers working for the United States Forest Service on projects to understand and care for Pando, arduous work that earned him a T-shirt which says “I Survived Pando”. Beyond his board work, Jameson continues ranching and, is a loan officer for local State Bank of Southern Utah bringing background, insight and experience in financial planning and local investment strategy.

Our History

Friends of Pando was founded in 2019 by a group of researchers, artists, land managers, educators and community leaders who came together to share their ideas and their passion for Pando. Through a series of informal calls facilitated by Founder and Executive Director Lance Oditt, the group brainstormed about what could be done to help protect Pando, ensuring that the tree can be enjoyed for generations to come. The result of those gatherings was a slate of ideas which form the core of our mission today including:

  • Educating the public
  • Promoting awareness about Pando
  • Documenting the Pando tree
  • Supporting research and preservation efforts
  • Providing hands-on experiences with the tree
  • Inspiring stewardship through opportunities in field work, research, art and storytelling


Those early gatherings provided structure for our development strategy and inspired a sense of shared responsibility that informs our operational ethos and 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.

Your gift of only $14 a month will help protect Pando for generations to come.

Make a one-time or, recurring tax deductible donation today.



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.

Contact - White

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