Within Our Reach

2018 Conference Program

Click here for a PDF version of the conference program.

Thursday, December 13

7:30-8:30am
8:30-8:40am
Willamette Ballroom
8:40-9:10am
Willamette Ballroom
Esther Stutzman | Elder, Kalapuya Tribe
Shannin Stutzman | Indigenous Song Keeper, Kalapuya Tribe
9:10-9:40am
Willamette Ballroom
Michelle J. DePass | Chief Executive Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust
9:40-10:15am
Willamette Ballroom
Allison Hensey | Willamette River Initiative Director, Meyer Memorial Trust
10:15-10:30am
10:30am-12:00pm
Croisan Creek A&B Croisan Creek C Santiam 4 Santiam 5
Aquatic habitat improvements in the Willamette and its tributaries would benefit a host of river species, but ecological efforts must be considered alongside other societal needs and interests. Balancing these priorities is challenging. Yet, ample opportunity remains to better align the Willamette's flow and restoration strategies for ESA-listed fish and other species while preserving societal values. Join with stakeholders and scientists to unravel the complexities of our managed system, preview research that could inform future river management and discuss opportunities and constraints at the local, reach and basin scale.
Moderator: Liz Redon | Willamette Basin Region Program Representative, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
Rose Wallick | Geomorphology Team Lead, U.S. Geological Survey
Rich Piaskowski | Fisheries Biologist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Stewart Rounds | Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
David Noakes | Professor & Director, Oregon Hatchery Research Center, Oregon State University
Brent Stevenson | District Manager, Santiam Water Control District
Kenneth Bierly | Former Deputy Director, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
Dustin Bengtson | Deputy Operations Project Manager, U.S.Army Corps of Engineers
Native peoples have lived in the Willamette Valley since time immemorial. Using natural methods like controlled fire, Indigenous people have encouraged the production of First Foods such as elk, deer and camas for millennia. Consequently, through coevolution within their shared ecosystems, Indigenous people and First Foods adapted over time in close relationship. Considering this deep connection, what does "vetted habitat restoration" mean? In this session, Indigenous speakers share stories of habitat restoration projects that bring traditional ecological knowledge to the center, and they offer perspective and protocols for mainstream conservation groups hoping to partner with Native communities.
Valerie Goodness, ABD Ph.D. | Watershed Conservation & Indigenous Studies National Science Foundation Fellow, University at Buffalo, and President, TEK Initiative
Gail Woodside | TK PhD Candidate ABD, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University
The connection between health, equity, and time in greenspace is established, but it can still be difficult to convince stakeholders to engage in this cross-sector space. In this session, we'll dive into the science behind the health-nature connection; explore strategies for making the case for equity-focused, cross-sector collaboration to your board and staff, policymakers, funders, communities, and potential new partners; highlight some success stories; and share practical casemaking tools and strategies.
Moderator: Emily Henke, MPH | Co-Leader, Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative, Oregon Public Health Institute
Moderator: Barton Robison, MPA | Co-Leader, Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative, Willamette Partnership
Chad Brown | Founder & President, Soul River Inc.
Bobby Cochran, Ph.D. | Senior Fellow, National Policy Consensus Center
Tatiana Dierwechter, MSW | Health Policy and Prevention Manager, Healthy Communities Program, Benton County Health Department
Zeenia Junkeer , ND | Director, Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA)
Nonprofit conservation leaders are familiar with the struggle: Your organization's mission is connected to ecosystem-scale challenges, but limited resources and geographic reach make it difficult to match efforts to the scale of the need. In this session, learn how six conversation groups in the Upper Willamette created a network to boost their impact on their shared geography. Members of the Upper Willamette Stewardship Network will share how and why they formed the network, why they chose to collaborate on diversity, equity and inclusion, and the transferable lessons they've learned in the early stages of this partnership.
Sarah Dyrdahl | Executive Director, Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council
Jared Weybright | Executive Director, McKenzie Watershed Council
Clinton Begley | Executive Director, Long Tom Watershed Council
Amanda Gilbert | Executive Director, Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council
12:00-1:00pm
1:00-2:15pm
Willamette Ballroom
Many mainstream conservation leaders have begun to view the pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion as a moral imperative within their work. But the question of "how" can pose a challenge. What does it look like to work effectively toward a more diverse, just environmental movement, and how can we measure progress? During this moderated discussion, conservation leaders will share insights from their experience translating equity values into practice. They'll offer tangible examples of how to work with diverse communities to achieve conservation goals, present case studies of watershed restoration conducted with an equity lens, and lay out a roadmap for how practitioners can replicate these examples to better serve the Willamette community.
Moderator: Marcelo Bonta | Principal, The Raben Group and President, Marcelo Bonta Consulting LLC
David Lamfrom | Director of the California Desert and National Wildlife programs, National Parks Conservation Association
Chanté Coleman | Director of the Choose Clean Water Initiative, National Wildlife Federation
Belinda Brown | Tribal Partnerships Manager, Lomakatsi Restoration Project
2:15-2:30pm
Willamette Ballroom
This year, the Parks and Nature Department of Metro developed a Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan designed to make Metro's parks and natural areas more safe and welcoming for diverse communities. The plan identifies dozens of actions the department can take over the next five years to achieve this goal, from working with communities of color to design more welcoming parks and collaborating with the Native American community to increase access to cultural resources in Metro parks, to diversifying the department's workforce. Learn about the process and vision behind the new action plan.
Jonathan Blasher | Director of Parks and Nature, Metro
2:30-3:30pm "Stage 0" Alluvial Valley Restoration in the McKenzie River Sub-basin
Kate Meyer | Fisheries Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Willamette National Forest, McKenzie River Ranger District

Increasing the Pace and Scale: A Glimpse of the Next 10 Years of OPRD's Willamette Basin Program
Andrea Berkley | Natural Resource Specialist, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Building Trust through Community Engagement: How Early Efforts Create Long-Term Gains
Gale Orcutt Darling | Community Engagement Coordinator, Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council

Water is the Connection - Pesticides and Salmon Recovery in the Willamette Basin
Sharon Selvaggio | Program Director, Healthy Wildlife and Water, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides

Willamette Falls Riverwalk: Restoring Habitat and Public Access Lost to Generations of Industrialization at Willamette Falls in Oregon City
Brian Moore | Project Manager, Willamette Falls Legacy Project, Oregon Metro
Brian Vaughn | Senior Natural Resources Scientist, Metro

Freshwater Mussel Research and Conservation in the Willamette and Beyond
Emilie Blevins | Conservation Biologist, Endangered Species Program, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Assessing Benefits from Willamette Valley Wetlands and Streams
Jimmy Kagan | Director, Institute for Natural Resources - Portland, Portland State University

Stage 0 Restoration in the Willamette Headwaters: Staley Creek Case Study
Audrey Squires | Restoration Projects Manager, Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council
Lisa Kurian | Hydrologist, U.S. Forest Service Middle Fork Ranger District
Matt Helstab | Fish Biologist, U.S. Forest Service Middle Fork Ranger District

From Seed to Sapling: A Life Cycle Analysis of a Willamette Restoration Plant
Jean-Paul Zagarola | Senior Project Manager, Watershed Program, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Tori Yoder | Program Technician, Watershed Program, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Kathleen Guillozet | Director, Willamette Model Watershed Program, Bonneville Environmental Foundation

Community advocacy for a Stronger Portland Harbor Superfund Solution
Cassie Cohen | Coordinator, Portland Harbor Community Coalition
Ibrahim Mubarak | Member, Portland Harbor Community Coalition and Executive Director, Right to Survive
Jessica Rojas | Member, Portland Harbor Community Coalition and Community & Environmental Engagement Manager, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods

Environmental Leadership for Youth: Empowering Underserved Youth as Conservation Leaders
Bessie Joyce | Coordinator, Environmental Leadership for Youth
Katherine Sincuir-Alvarez | 2018 Environmental Leadership for Youth Participant

The Current Status of Willamette River Freshwater Mussels
Travis Williams | Executive Director, Willamette Riverkeeper

Oregon's World Water Day Campaign
Stacey Dalgaard | Water Communications & Outreach Director, Oregon Environmental Council

Soul River Inc.: Using the Healing Power of Rivers to Cultivate Youth and Veteran Leadership for Environmental Justice
Chad Brown | Founder & President, Soul River Inc.

Green Workforce Academy: Partnering to Diversify Today's Green Movement
Derron Coles, PhD | Executive Director, The Blueprint Foundation
Rose High Bear | Senior Consultant, Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.

UPRIVER in the Classroom - Adapting a Film on Willamette River Restoration for Middle and High School Teachers
Jeremy Monroe | Director, Freshwaters Illustrated
Kathy Chambliss | Professional Development, Coordinator, NorthBay Education, Inc.
Keith Williams | Executive Director, NorthBay Education, Inc.

Work Underway in Support of Watersheds and People Experiencing Houselessness
Kathleen Guillozet | Director, Willamette Model Watershed Program, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Michelle Emmons | South Valley Advocate, Willamette Riverkeeper

Preserving Farmland - Supporting Conservation, Business and Communities
Nellie McAdams | Farm Preservation Program Director, Rogue Farm Corps
Peter Kenagy | Board member, Oregon Farm Bureau

The Willamette-Laja Twinning Project, Opportunities for Cross-Cultural Exchange
Tara Davis | Willamette-Laja Twinning Coordinator
3:30-3:45pm
3:45-5:15pm
Croisan Creek A&B Croisan Creek C Santiam 4 Santiam 5
As major Willamette Valley land managers and water users, farmers play a critical role in water quality and habitat protection. This is certainly true of hop growers, whose product caters to a beer making industry that needs clean, abundant water to operate. Learn how the Valley's hop farmers and brewers are teaming up with Salmon-Safe, a nonprofit watershed protection organization, in a market-based partnership to reduce agricultural runoff, restore habitat and adopt other watershed-friendly practices. Farmers and beermakers will share how they've transitioned to Salmon-Safe certification, the challenges they've encountered, and how market-based conservation incentives can apply to other agricultural sectors.
Moderator: Dan Kent | Co-Founder & Executive Director, Salmon-Safe
Gayle Goschie | Owner, Goschie Farms
John Coleman | Perennial Crops Manager, Coleman Agriculture
Christian Ettinger | Founder & Brewmaster, Hopworks Urban Brewing
Julia Person | Sustainability Manager, Widmer Brothers
As Oregon's population becomes more diverse, understanding how different communities interact with the Willamette River system is crucial to developing successful restoration strategies. Gladys Ruiz, a culturally-relevant environmental education and youth workforce development consultant, recently completed an assessment of the needs and gaps around culturally-relevant education connected to the Willamette. Across the board, Ruiz found a gap in baseline understanding of what is needed to provide culturally-relevant education, with a further difference in understanding between Community Based Organizations working primarily with communities of color and historically white-led environmental organizations. Ruiz will share findings and strategies that have emerged from her analysis, including an effort to build relationships between Community Based Organizations and historically white-led environmental organizations.
Moderator: Gladys Ruiz | Culturally Relevant Education Consultant, Gladys Ruiz Consulting
The Lower Willamette River is more than just a corridor for salmonids to move through on their way to upstream spawning grounds or out to the Pacific Ocean. A new project to restore habitat connectivity in Oaks Bottom, the Lower Willamette's largest undeveloped floodplain, challenges the notion that habitat restoration isn't possible in an urban river. Learn about the Oaks Bottom project and other existing and proposed projects in the Lower Willamette. Then, take part in an interactive visioning session to imagine future strategies to improve habitat in the Lower Willamette with climate change in mind.
Kaitlin Lovell | Science Integration Division Manager, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
Paul Ketcham | Sr. Environmental Manager, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
Sean Bistoff | Capital Project Manager, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
Jeff Caudill | Environmental Planner, Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability
The Willamette River's alcoves, sloughs and backwaters are critical for supporting native plants and animals, including endangered fish. Their calm waters also invite invasive aquatic plants that can degrade habitats, outcompete native species and impair water quality. Landowners and conservation groups are working together to combat aquatic invasives, particularly water primrose (Ludwigia spp.) and yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata). In this session, participants will learn about distribution and impacts of aquatic invasive plants along the Willamette River. Hear how practitioners are coming together to create a regional action plan for addressing this problem, and come ready to provide feedback.
Moderator: Brian Bangs | Native Fish Investigations, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Laura Brown | River Restoration and Invasive Species Program Coordinator, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District
Andrea Berkley | Natural Resource Specialist, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Rich Miller | Research Assistant, Center for Lakes and Reservoirs, Portland State University
Kurt Carpenter | Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
Marci Krass | Restoration Program Manager, Willamette Riverkeeper
5:15-6:45pm
Willamette Ballroom
7:00-9:00pm


Friday, December 14

7:30-9:00am
9:00-9:10am
Willamette Ballroom
Debbie Craig | Board Member, Meyer Memorial Trust
9:10-9:30am
Willamette Ballroom
Meta Loftsgaarden | Executive Director, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
9:30-10:15am
Willamette Ballroom
The last 10 years have been quite a ride. Together, we've set the stage for unprecedented restoration gains and a deeper understanding of the river system that sustains us. And yet, a reflection on the past decade of Willamette Basin restoration isn't complete without considering the long and complex path that got us here. Professor Stan Gregory, who has spent his career working for a healthier Willamette, will use science and storytelling to reflect on this history and honor the Willamette as an ecologically special system worth striving for. Through these stories, Gregory will lead us in a celebration of our river, lend perspective to how far we've come, and offer keen advice on how to shepherd and build upon these learnings in the next era of Willamette River restoration.
Stan Gregory | Distinguished Professor of Fisheries-Emeritus, Oregon State University
10:15-10:30am
Willamette Ballroom
Due to heat pollution, many Willamette Basin water bodies do not meet Clean Water Act standards for stream temperature. Overheated streams are a barrier to recovering native coldwater fish populations, and they also can contribute to toxic algal blooms like the one that forced a weeks-long drinking water advisory in the Salem area last summer. Planting streamside vegetation to shade the water from solar radiation is one effective way to prevent excess warming on these waterways. Learn about how the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sets Clean Water Act targets for streamside vegetation - and current progress toward achieving targets in the Willamette.
Ryan Michie | Senior Analyst, Watershed Management Section, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
10:30-11:00am
11:00-11:45am
Willamette Ballroom
Funding has long been a critical driver in scaling up restoration in the Willamette Basin. Despite being Oregon's most populous and economically valuable watershed, the Willamette has suffered from a dearth of reliable funding sources committed to its long-term health. As the Willamette River Initiative prepares to transition outside of Meyer Memorial Trust in 2019, there is a need for resilient new funding streams. Guillozet and Reeve will showcase examples of successful alternative funding approaches in the Willamette and other areas of the U.S., digging into the key characteristics these approaches share. Using these examples, they'll calibrate expectations around new and different funding sources that could help sustain restoration progress in the Willamette.
Todd Reeve | Chief Executive Officer, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Kathleen Guillozet | Willamette Model Watershed Director, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
11:45am-12:00pm
Willamette Ballroom
12:00-1:00pm
1:00-2:30pm
Croisan Creek A Croisan Creek B Croisan Creek C
In Portland, a new Indigenous-focused Cultural Ecology program from Friends of Tryon Creek demonstrates how environmental educators can collaborate with culturally-specific organizations to increase their programs' cultural relevancy and cultivate diverse youth leadership in the conservation field. This program uses immersive experiences in Portland's Tryon Creek State Natural Area to strengthen Indigenous students' cultural connection, which encompasses an ethic of land stewardship and leadership. In this session, Friends of Tryon Creek Education Director Gabe Sheoships will share lessons learned from a 2017 pilot run and detail plans to expand and improve the program.
Gabe Sheoships | Education Director, Friends of Tryon Creek
Gerardo Rodriguez | Board Member, Friends of Tryon Creek

Drinking water providers, wastewater managers, cities and other municipalities have a vested interest and, often, legal responsibility for maintaining clean, abundant water in the Willamette and its tributaries. How can restoration groups partner with these entities to the benefit of all? Three case studies will explore the role cities and utilities can play in watershed restoration - including, potentially, as funders - and offer perspectives on how efforts like these can be scaled up or replicated elsewhere in the Willamette. Learn about the opportunities and challenges these partnerships present and hear directly from stakeholders who will be in the audience to share their reflections.
Moderator: John Audley | Regional Outreach Director, Oregon Business Plan
Rebecca McCoun | Council Coordinator, North Santiam Watershed Council
Karl Morgenstern | Water Quality & Source Protection Supervisor, Eugene Water & Electric Board
Susie Smith | Executive Director, Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies
When summertime temperatures in the Willamette River become perilously warm for salmon, steelhead and other native fish, naturally-occuring pockets of cooler water offer a safe haven. As climate change warms our rivers and streams, how can we protect and enhance these cold water refuges to help native fish survive? A host of agencies have come together to discuss the Willamette's coldwater refuges, including how they're formed, how river geomorphology, flow and other factors influence them and what humans can do to protect them. In this session, presenters will share how their findings could inform a restoration strategy designed to preserve and enhance these vital habitats.
Moderator: Stewart Rounds | Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
Krista Jones | Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
Rose Wallick | Geomorphology Team Lead, U.S. Geological Survey
Stan Gregory | Distinguished Professor of Fisheries-Emeritus , Oregon State University
Luke Whitman | Assistant Project Leader, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Corvallis Research Lab
2:30-2:40pm
2:40-3:15pm
Willamette Ballroom
Rukaiyah is from river people. She grew up in Albina, an African-American community in Portland that is deeply connected - through flood events, world history and social justice - to the Willamette river. Her family fished the river. She played in the river. To this day, she runs along the river for comfort. Rukaiyah will share some of her Oregon story, and images from her work on the Alb!na Vision, an effort to rebuild lower Albina, particularly sections along the east bank of the Willamette river in the Portland central city. Through the Alb!na Vision, she has learned that people come to the work of river stewardship, conservation and protection from different experiences and values; and, we express the privilege of protecting the Willamette river in as many ways. She will challenge us to expand our thinking about environmental stewardship.
Rukaiyah Adams | Chair, Albina Vision Trust, and Chief Investment Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust
3:15-3:30pm


Schedule subject to change.

View last year's conference program and speakers here.