Newport Chapter

Central Oregon Conservation Summit: Balancing Recreation & Conservation

Join us on National Public Lands Day September 28th and September 29th, the Surfrider Foundation and representatives from COCC-Outdoor Leadership, Environmental Center and Latino Outdoors are organizing the first Central Oregon Conservation Summit. The hope of this Summit is to connect everyday citizens, conservationists, recreationalists, researchers and volunteers in Central Oregon around the biggest challenges facing our region as population and climate change amplify.

We will feature leading researchers, scientists, activists, activities and organizations working to dwarf climate change and other environmental challenges and connect with potential concerned citizens, recreationalists and volunteers to look for ways to collaborate. We hope for this to be an avenue to catalyze involvement in conservation by connecting everyday Oregonians to organizations and participate in a clean-up at Sparks Lake the headwaters of the Deschutes River. All funds generated from this event, through sponsorship, ticket sales and donations, will help fund the event and research on algae blooms throughout the region in an effort to mitigate this problem which is critical to water conservation. Hear from amazing experts across our region, participate in fun activities, meet local non-profits making a difference in our region, all attendees will receive a one year membership to Surfrider, conference t-shirt, Surfrider bag, morning and afternoon snack, lunch and great outdoor swag from local outdoor organizations, like HydroFlask, Kollective, REI, Patagonia Bend, Pine Mountain Sports, Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe, Footzone and more! (A value way beyond the $35 registration fee!) Drinks from RISE Brewing and humm (drink tickets from 10 Barrel for redemption at their pubs) and appetizers at the Closing reception! Thanks to early support from Bend Outrigger Canoe Club, HydroFlask, REI, COCC, Patagonia Bend, Pine Mountain Sports, and Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe.  If you are traveling to Central Oregon for this conference consider signing the Bend Pledge, making a donation at the Pledge for the Wild and visiting great resources for your stay with Visit Bend.  Thank you to COCC for ensuring we meet all accessibility needs and providing sign language interpreters for this event. 

Agenda: September 28th at Central Oregon Community College Willie Hall

9-10am                             Registration and morning snack

10am-10:45am               Opening and Keynote (Ken Meidell)

10:45am-11:15am          Tribal Stewardship (Tiyana Casey)

11:15-11:45am                 Accessibility in Recreation & Conservation (Ashley Schahfer)

11:45-12:15pm                Wildlife Conservation, Passages & Human Conflict (Lauri Turner)

12:15-1pm                        Lunch live music provided by Lousea Lassen

1pm-2pm                         User Conflict in the Outdoors Panel (Gena Goodman-Campbell, Kolleen Miller, Kim McCarrel, Zavi Borja, Danielle MacBain and Lara Jensen)

2pm-3pm                         Climate Change Panel (Pam Hardy, Bryce Kellogg, Alex Enna and Bob Madden )

3pm-4pm                         Responsible Tourism Panel (Damon Runberg, Kevney Dugan, Krystal Marie Collins, Lisa Machnik, Kim Kinney and Rick Boatner)

4pm-4:30pm                  Importance of Youth in Conservation Activism (Julia Alvarado and Sydney Dedrick)

4:30-4:45pm                  Closing

4:45pm-6:30pm            Summit Closing Reception- Conservation Organization Bingo


Day 2: Sparks Lake Clean-up September 29, 2019

Meet 8:30am        At Miller Park (55 NW Riverside Blvd, Bend, OR) to carpool to Sparks Lake

9am-noon               Clean-up at Sparks Lake

12:30-2pm              Closing BBQ OUTSIDE at Miller Park (food and drinks included)

Register today at EventBrite Summit costs only $35!

Sign up to volunteer at Sparks Lake here!

Speakers so far… more to come keep checking back


Our Keynote, Ken Meidell is currently a Private Equity Operating Partner at Castanea Partners as well as the CEO of Outerbike.  Outerbike is the bike industrys premier demo event where you can test ride the latest and best mountain bikes, with the best people, on the best trails; in places like Sun Valley ID, Crested Butte, CO, Moab, UT, and Bentonville, AR. Previously he was CEO of Dakine, where Ken utilized his creative executive leadership and motivating demeanor to expand Dakine’s presence as the action sports industry’s leading provider of specialized backpacks, apparel, gloves, packs & bags, and technical accessories across the snow, surf, bike, skate, windsurf and kiteboard communities. Prior to Dakine, Ken served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Outdoor Research, a premier provider of technical and lifestyle apparel and accessories for the outdoor market and held several Executive positions at Cascade Designs the makers of Therm-a-Rest and MSR outdoor gear. In 2014, the Outdoor Industry Association recognized him as a leading industry advocate for his stewardship in the outdoor community. Ken also served on the Board of Directors for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the Surfrider Foundation and Public Land Solutions. While at Dakine, Ken initiated a company-wide movement to support corporate efforts with respect to addressing climate change, effective public lands policy within the US, and clean oceans, waves and beaches.

Tiyana Casey led the youth crew for Northwest Youth Corp & ONDA’s Tribal Stewards Program this Summer.  Her happy-place is outside with loved ones, tending to the foods and medicines her family and tribes are blessed to take care of. She reflects on her place in the world and knows she is where she exactly needs to be.  She has built a career foundation in science (both formal and traditional), inter-generational/community learning, and youth programming. Her homeland is vast and she makes an effort to stay connected in these areas: Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla, and Nez Perce territories. The majority of her family lives in Warm Springs and we are mostly Wasco. Her family is large! Our last names are: Greeley, Selam, Kirk, Littleleaf, and Scott. Her Kuthla / Grandma is Joannie Selam-Greeley. Her great-great Grandparents are James Selam-Greeley and Merle Scott. She believes it is important for our young people to have reliable and stable role models, so she works hard to mentor many young people. Some of her recent professional experiences include: Nez Perce Tribe & University of Idaho – Community Development Specialist & First Foods Gatherer; Oregon Natural Desert Association & Northwest Youth Corps – Tribal Stewards Lead; Native American Youth and Family Center – Youth Advocate; provided testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives on BIE Health and Safety Risks of Native students at Chemawa Indian Boarding School; Washington State University Tribal Liaison – Program Assistant; Chemawa Indian Boarding School – Community Leadership Educator (specializing in Traditional Ecological Knowledge, experiential learning, and cultural + land restoration).

Ashley Schahfer is an Accessibility Advocate and Designer native to the Northwest. With a Masters in Architecture from Portland State University and a love of outdoor recreation she applies her experience as a wheelchair user to advocate for change in the natural and built environments. After experiencing a spinal cord injury at 16 she struggled to find where she fit into society. After numerous Women’s Studies and Architecture courses followed by an introduction to Adaptive Sports it became clear that she had a unique perspective and ability to communicate and inspire change. She currently spends her time working with state parks developing better access to park information, sits on Governor Brown’s Task Force on Outdoor Recreation and The City of Bend Accessibility Advisory Committee as a voice for her community. Through speaking, consulting, design and constant volunteer work she aims to help build a society that is inclusive for all abilities. Foremost to change perceptions so that everyone feels included and empowered to participate in whatever their hearts desire as equal members of society.

Lauri Turner has been a wildlife biologist for the Forest Service for over 29 years, with the last 20 years here in central Oregon.  She holds a B.S degree in Wildlife Biology from Kearney State College (which is now part of the University of Nebraska) in Nebraska.  Lauri works with various agencies, organizations, and academia to further information and action on various aspects of central Oregon wildlife.  Lauri has worked with spotted owls her entire career but has also worked with white-headed woodpeckers, Oregon spotted frogs, Sierra Nevada red fox, as well as many more species.  In her spare time, Lauri dabbles in photography and art and enjoys to hike and garden.


Lace Thornberg joined ONDA in 2017. She puts ONDA’s communications to work connecting people with the public lands found in Oregon’s high desert. Previous job titles include editor of Washington Trails, development director at Washington Trails Association, and project manager at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, and communications and development director at Braided River, where she focused on preserving biodiversity in western North America through visual storytelling. In 2012, a Fulbright grant carried Lace to the Philippines, where she worked with rural fishers and farmers to establish a community-run museum.

Lace holds a master’s degree in museology from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in writing from Concordia College in Minnesota.  Rock-climbing at Smith Rock drew her to Central Oregon, and she’s excited to explore new opportunities for mountaineering, hiking, skiing and biking in this stretch of the Pacific Northwest.


Kolleen Miller has taught environmental education courses throughout Alaska, Washington, and Oregon, and worked as the program manager for the Alaska Center for the Environment prior to joining the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council in 2002. Kolleen has trained and managed staff and volunteers within the context of watershed education, and has coordinated riparian restoration projects, water quality monitoring studies, and collaborative conservation education programs. She was the editor for UDWC’s Upper Deschutes Subbasin Assessment (2003) and The Place We Cross the Water: Whychus Creek (2007). Kolleen holds a B.A in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a M.A. degree in English Studies with an emphasis in Ecocritical Analysis from Western Washington University. As the Education Director for UDWC, Kolleen develops and directs the environmental education programs for the Watershed Council in addition to providing leadership for many community-based watershed education projects in Central Oregon.

Kim McCarrel is VP of Public Lands for Oregon Equestrian Trails and is active in the Deschutes Trails Coalition, the Ochoco Trails Strategy Group, and the Oregon Trails Coalition.  She is an avid trail rider and writes trail guidebooks that are “must-haves” for Pacific Northwest horseback riders. Kim has been mapping and writing about trails and horse camps since 2002. Her newest books are revised and updated editions of Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails and Riding Southwest Washington Horse Trails.Kim lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband, Steve, two Portuguese Water Dogs, and a Tennessee Walker mare named Tex.



Danielle MacBain has called Bend home for the last 22 years and has been an avid outdoors person since her childhood in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. After receiving her BS in Natural Resources from OSU-Cascades, she spent 10 year working in the field of water resources and conservation. Not only has Danielle had experience working for non-profits, she has also worked for state, federal and private businesses, representing and understanding the nuances between all of them. Currently she is the Coordinator for the Deschutes Trails Coalition, which as the sole staffer means she’s the point person for all their efforts. When she’s not working, Danielle enjoys gardening and living life to the fullest. She is a multi-sport trail user, and loves to adventure throughout Central Oregon with her kids on bike, foot, board or ski.


Lara is a PhD student in the Earth, Environment, and Society doctoral program. She does research in the Aquatic Ecology Lab with Dr. Angela Strecker. Her research is broadly centered on disturbances to lake food webs. Specifically, Lara studies the drivers and dynamics of cyanobacteria blooms in mountain lakes, examining how environmental variation at the local to global level may make some lakes more susceptible to blooms. Before studying at PSU, Lara completed her MS at Humboldt State University, and BS at UC San Diego. She has worked on field research projects on a variety of aquatic systems from subtropical swamps to coastal rivers.


A first generation American, Zavier was born and raised right here in Central Oregon. Zavi’s passion for our youth, the Latino community, travel and the outdoors is palpable.  For the past five years, Zavi has worked tirelessly for kids ranging in age from 3 – 18 years. He served as both a program creator and supervisor for Bend Parks & Recreation, and before, for a San Francisco non-profit with a focus on the Latino community and underprivileged youth.

In 2016, Zavi created his own chapter of Latino Outdoors in Central Oregon, which is geared to inspire, connect and engage Latino communities to the outdoors and to embrace their culture and family as part of the outdoor narrative, ensuring that the Latino history, heritage and leadership are valued and respected. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon as well as co-chairs their Equity Committee.  Zavi has taken part in several national and international leadership / backpacking activities, some of which include traveling through New Zealand with REI and with NOLS in Tanzania.  He currently  is working for the Bend –La Pine School District as a mentor for high school students, Zavi enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling and all things related to kids!

Bryce Kellogg is a forest ecologist with the Nature Conservancy based in Bend. In his role at the Nature Conservancy Bryce provides forest ecology and mapping expertise to forest collaboratives in central Oregon. Bryce also participates in state and region wide research focused on fire ecology and forest restoration.  Bryce holds a master’s degree in environmental science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s in natural resources from U.C. Berkeley. Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Bryce worked variously as a cowboy, tall ship sailor, primate researcher, and human test subject of a robotic exoskeleton call the HULC. A native of southwestern Oregon Bryce enjoys the access Bend provides to various recreational pursuits including: river surfing, running, rafting, and backcountry skiing.


Alex Enna was born and raised on the slopes of Mt. Hood in Zigzag, Oregon. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in biology at Willamette University in 1999, he bounced around the west working seasonal National Park Service trail crew and park ranger jobs.  In these jobs, he was able to dabble in wildland firefighting work. In 2001, he made the switch to full-time firefighting when he got a job with the Alpine Hotshot crew based out of scenic Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.   In 2005, he made the move to the even more scenic (debatable) Grand Teton National Park where he worked for the Teton Interagency Fire organization as a Fuels Crew Leader and Assistant Engine Captain.  During the winters, he chiseled away at graduate coursework and received a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Stewardship from Colorado State University.  In 2009, he made the switch to full time fuels management and worked for a couple years in McCall, Idaho on the Payette National Forest as a Fuels Specialist before moving to Bend, where he currently resides. Since 2011, he has worked on the Deschutes National Forest as an Assistant Fire Management Officer for fuels and then the Forest Fuels and Prescribed Fire Program Manager. He is currently completing a short-term detail as the USFS Regional Fuels Coordinator for Oregon and Washington. The favorite part of his job is finding ways to get more prescribed fire accomplished in the challenging Wildland-Urban Interface surrounding Bend and other Central Oregon communities.



Bob Madden is the Deputy Chief of Operations for the City of Bend Fire Department.  He has been a member of the Bend Fire Department for the past 33 years.  In this position he has had the opportunity to manage resources on several large and complex interface fire incidents.  Bob is a recognized instructor for several fire suppression skill and Incident Command System courses.  Bob has participated with Incident Management Teams since 1998.  Prior to joining the Bend Fire Department, Bob spent ten years as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service in Northern California and Oregon, including seven seasons as a smokejumper.



Dr. Vernita Ediger earned her doctorate in Environmental Anthropology from Stanford University and also has degrees in writing, biology, and neuroscience. She is a skilled facilitator with over 14 years’ experience in conflict transformation, strategic planning, and process design. Dr. Ediger served as the Executive Director for the Blue Mountains Forest Partners before moving to Bend where she currently works with the Ochoco Forest Restoration Collaborative and Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project facilitating science-based, durable, consensus-based agreement on forestry restoration activities. She serves as the Executive Director for the Central Oregon Forest Stewardship Foundation, an organization that catalyzes creative solutions to restore health and resilient forests and communities across the region. Dr. Ediger also supports other collaborative natural resource, including efforts focused and wild horse herd management and recreation.


Damon Runberg is an economist with the Oregon Employment Department. Damon specializes in rural economics and regional labor market analysis. He received his Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University where he concentrated in econometric analysis and natural resource economics and his Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University. Damon covers the 10 county region along the east slope of the Cascades from the Columbia Gorge down through the Klamath and Lake Basins. Damon’s life has been rooted in rural parts of the Pacific Northwest having grown up on a small cattle ranch in the Rogue Valley. His passion for rural communities led him to pursue a career where he can serve the people of these special places.


Born and raised in Michigan, Kevney Dugan grew up playing any sport he could make time for. In the long run, trail running, mountain biking and fly fishing were the sports that stuck. Fly fishing was the one that offered a working opportunity out of college and took him to Livingston, Montana; San Jose, California; Jackson Wyoming; and eventually to Bend. Having the opportunity to be the President/CEO at Visit Bend is a dream come true. Rarely does one have the opportunity to take their passions and provide them on such a grand stage to such a wonderful community.



Professionally, Krystal Marie Collins has fifteen years experience in the outdoor industry including resource management, visual arts, marketing, instructing, guiding and retail. She is the Marketing Director at Tumalo Creek and sits on the Enjoy Protect Respect Committee- a stewardship organization aiming to educate the public on best practices for floating the urban Deschutes River corridor. On behalf of the EPR committee, she has published many stewardship articles for Central Oregon media outlets. She is also a freelance writer for The Source Weekly publishing on local water issues and recreation. Personally, she enjoys water-based outdoor adventures of all kinds, in- particular, single day, solo paddleboard double marathons.


Lisa Machnik is the Recreation, Heritage, Lands and Partnerships staff officer for the Deschutes National Forest.  An avid backpacker, boater, trail runner and skier, Lisa worked as a backcountry guide in Canada and New Zealand before completing her PhD at Clemson University, where she also worked with the National Park Service in their Interpretive Development Program.  She joined the Forest Service as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2007, working in Utah and Idaho on forest recreation programs.  Lisa then spent 5 years as the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Congressionally Designated Areas Program Manager. Lisa has worked on ecotourism development projects around the world, including Dominica, Brazil, across West Africa, and in Madagascar. She considers herself incredibly lucky to work and live in Central Oregon with people who share a passion for trails, wilderness, rivers, and outdoor adventures

Kimbery Kinney is CEO and Founder of Rugged Thread. Learning to sew at the age of thirteen combined with the love of being outdoors became a gateway of opportunity that has served her ever since. At 18 she dropped out of college to follow the snow, eventually landing at Utah’s Snowbird Ski Resort where she found work at the mountain tailor shop. Besides skiing every day, she learned the classical art of tailoring and applied it to the ski industry. By 20 she owned the shop, Wasatch Design, where they not only repaired skiwear but also designed and manufactured their own line of fleece and specialized in custom outerwear for individual skiers all over the U.S. Kim finished her higher education at OSU in the fall of 2016 just as Rugged Thread, which she started in 2011, began to demand her full attention. Over the years, she’s seen the Outdoor Industry change its focus from production and sales to addressing sustainability, environmental issues, over-consumption and waste. Now Kim is transforming broken gear into a new repair economy.

Rick Boatner the Invasive Species, Wildlife Integrity Supervisor for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  I have worked for ODFW for 28 years: I have been in my current position since 2008.  In this position, I oversee the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Watercraft Inspection Program and represent the agency on local, regional and national invasive species issues. I also work with the holding and importation of non-native wildlife, assist in the development and writing rules for various programs, such as the Wildlife Integrity program and the AIS program.  I also coordinate the feral swine removal program, the Wildlife Control Operator program and the Wildlife Rehabilitation program.  I served five years as an Assistant Wildlife Biologist with both the North and South Willamette Watershed District: working with wildlife population monitoring, disease and damage problems.   Five years as a Fishery Biologist on the Willamette Recreational Fishing project; working with steelhead and spring Chinook.  Seven years as a seasonal, working on such project as the Columbia and Willamette Sport Fishing program, Salmon Trout Enhancement Program (STEP), Marine Mammals at Willamette Falls and salmon spawning ground surveys .

I’m Julia Alvarado. I love the Earth, the ocean and anything to do with it. I helped start green team in both of my elementary schools, Miller and High Lakes. I am now heading into middle school.  My hobbies are theater, basketball, volleyball, swimming, dancing and lots more. I come from a family that loves the environment and loves making films. So I guess that I have it in my blood. So this is my story of how I try to make the world a better place. Sharing my passion for the environment through showing my videos as often as possible is important to me.  This summer, I have been named a “Blue Life Hero” at Blue Life Connections. They are sending me to Canada to do a weekend camp that will guide me to creating a sustainability campaign to encourage more people to reduce plastic in our oceans and rivers. In the future, I hope to inspire more people to save the earth.

My name is Sydney Dedrick. I am a 16 year old youth activist from Bend Oregon. As part of being an activist, I’ve testified for HB 2020, spoken at the Youth Climate Strike and Bend High Youth Climate Walkout, and I am Co- President of Bend High Environmental Club. I believe it’s important to love our planet and treat her with respect so that future generations can enjoy the same wonders of nature that we can today. Long live Central Oregon!



Lousea Lassen is a nomadic multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, music therapist, philanthropist and Ayurvedic practitioner. Her purpose through music and healing arts is to “nourish the world with compassion.” as she travels from town to town, immersing herself in the local culture, performing music and working on philanthropic projects. Her personal proverb: The road, her best friend, music her lover and every being, her friend. “Her whimsical lyrics and gypsy-folk tunes will entrance, while her angelic voice lifts you off of the ground.”


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