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Staff and board

our Staff:
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Emily Cain

Executive Director

Emily was born and raised in Oregon. She grew up exploring many of her state's natural wonders. With a degree in environmental and political science, she has experience in nonprofit program management, and also as a community organizer, campaign staffer, and outdoor educator. She lives with her husband on their working farm in rural Wallowa County near the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Christina de Villier

Connections Coordinator

Christina is a writer, a gardener, and a fourth-generation explorer of the Greater Hells Canyon Region. She loves connecting with other explorers, hanging out with her neighbors, and adding landmarks to her personal map of this diverse and challenging place. She lives in Lostine with her husband, a cat, and several young apple trees.

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Jamie Dawson

Conservation Director

Jamie was born in the (original) State of Jefferson, somewhere between the volcanoes of the Cascades and the salty forests of the coast. Before landing in Wallowa County, she was fortunate to live and work in some of the West’s most beautiful and remote landscapes, including northwest Montana and Alaska’s Copper River basin. She loves to spend time exploring wild places, running rivers, and chasing turkeys and elk on our public lands. 

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Brian Kelly

Senior Advisor

Brian received a B.S. from Cornell University in Plant Sciences and Forestry. He has won awards for his work from the National Arbor Day Foundation, Oregon Community Trees and Oregon Department of Forestry.

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Jared Kennedy

Organizational Consultant

Jared received a degree in Computer Science from Columbia University, and he has spent his career in the mission-driven sector. Prior to GHCC, Jared co-founded and ran Outdoor Project, a digital guidebook for human-powered outdoor adventures. He loves exploring the wild landscapes in NE Oregon with his family.

Pip Redding

Blue Mountains Trail Coordinator

Pip is an outdoorsperson, musician, and cook whose career in conservation is motivated by curiosity and an emotional connection to the land. His experience includes many seasons with the U.S. Forest Service, thru hikes of the AT and PCT, and an environmental studies degree from the University of the South. He lives in Enterprise.

Nash Wadhams

Office and Membership Administrator

Nash grew up in Portland, Oregon, escaping the city often to hike through the beautiful recreational areas in the Willamette Valley. As a teen she paid several visits to Wallowa County and the Hells Canyon Region. Feeling as though she’s found a forever home in Enterprise, she hopes to deepen her connection to the region’s wilderness, natural history and to the stories of the people who have long called it home.

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Danae Yurgel

Organizational Advisor

Danae lives on a 2.5 acre heirloom orchard “fruit forest” in La Grande.  Her life is creating partnerships between the land and the people here, especially introducing children to the wonders of nature. She brings decades of experience working with various non-profits and cooperatives.

our board of directors and advisors:
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Mike Beaty

Board of Directors

Mike lives in Halfway, Oregon with his wife Pam Conley and two border collie mixes on the southern flanks of the Wallowa Mountains in Nimiipu Country. A geographer by trade, Mike has 32 years of Federal natural resource management experience in Maine, Idaho, and the Pacific Northwest. A lifetime hiker, Mike sees Blue Mountains Trail Magic connecting people to a healthy ecosystem. 

Robin Coen

Board of Directors, Vice President

Robin grew up on a cattle ranch in the Elkhorn Mountains, and graduated from University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Forest Engineering. She now lives with her family in Boise, ID. She operates a vacation rental business at her Elkhorn Mountain ranch property, and continues to foster her deep love for the environment through conservation work, watercolor painting, and gardening.

Catherine Dickson

Advisory Board of Directors

Catherine is an archaeologist for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and a vegetable gardener with a lot of garlic.  She enjoys hiking, rafting, and improving conditions for wildlife on her Grande Ronde Valley property.  She has a B.A. from Pomona College and an M.A. in Anthropology from Oregon State University.

Brock Evans

Board of Directors

Brock played an instrumental role in convincing the Supreme Court to reject the plan to dam Hells Canyon.  A prolific writer and public speaker, he has received numerous awards for his work, including Lifetime Achievement Awards from the League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Council of America, the John Muir Award, and the Sierra Club’s highest honor. 

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Stephen Hatfield

Board of Directors

Stephen is an independent consultant working on regenerative tourism solutions for communities. In previous roles, he worked for Travel Oregon, REI Co-Op, and Forest Park Conservancy. Stephen has a MS in Environmental Education from Lesley University, and a MBA in Sustainability from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. An avid trail runner, skier, and backpacker, he lives in SW Portland with his wife and two daughters.

Mike Higgins

Advisory Board of Directors

Mike is a local landowner in Halfway, Oregon. He played a key role in the reformation of HCPC in the late 80’s.  As a former high school and junior high school science teacher, Mike has continued to marvel at the wonders of the natural world, especially those waiting to be discovered in the deserts and mountains of northeast Oregon.  

David Johns

Board of Directors, Treasurer

David Johns is Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Portland State University, Portland OR, and co-founded the Wildlands Network and Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative.  He specializes in place-based ecosystem conservation on a continental scale, and received the 2007 Denver Zoological Foundation Conservation Award for his work.

Charles Jones

Board of Directors

Charlie is a retired local high school teacher and Navy commander with a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from College of Idaho. He grew up in Ontario, OR (where his grandpa speared salmon in the Malheur River,) and has hiked, biked, or skied all over N.E. Oregon.  He lives in La Grande, OR.

Al Josephy

Advisory Board of Directors

Al was fortunate to have parents who developed a life-long love for the Inland Empire and especially Wallowa County.  His wife Melissa and he have five kids, five grandkids, two yorkies, nine chickens, and ambitions to help conserve all those things that have made their lives so full into the future.

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Jim Kennedy

Advisory Board of Directors

Jim is a retired business lawyer from Portland.  He spends much of his time on his ranch in the Blue Mountains (Ritter, Oregon) where he pursues his passion for the outdoors, wildlife, forests and land stewardship.  Jim received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan.

David Mildrexler

Advisory Board of Directors

David is a terrestrial ecosystem scientist holding a PhD from Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. He researches the ecological applications of remote sensing data, natural disturbance ecology, vegetation-climate interactions, biodiversity and landscape connectivity, and the management and conservation of eastside forested ecosystems and wildlands.

Marina Richie

Board of Directors, President

Marina Richie  is a freelance nature writer.  She holds an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Oregon, and a master’s degree in journalism at University of Montana, where she wrote an investigative thesis on environmental issues in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.  She lives in Bend.

Pete Sandrock

Advisory Board of Directors

Pete is a an experienced backpacker, former Benton County District Attorney, former Chief Operating Officer of the Metro regional government, advisor to the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, and a retired Navy Captain. He lives in Portland, OR.

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Lindsay Schuelke

Board of Directors, Secretary

Lindsay ventured west in 2015 from Wisconsin to work for environmental non-profits. She now works in sustainability for Forth. Prior to this, she worked for The Nature Conservancy and SOLVE. She has been captivated by stunning landscape and biodiversity of the region, and currently lives in Portland, OR.

Becky Strickler

Advisory Board of Directors

Becky is a landscape architect living in Portland, OR, born and raised in La Grande, OR.  She spent her growing-up years floating the Minam and Grande Ronde rivers, backpacking in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, camping in the Imnaha Canyon, and exploring the Blue Mountains in NE Oregon.  She has a BLA from the University of Oregon.

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