Nils Christoffersen - Executive Director

nils christoffersenNils and his family moved to Wallowa County in 1999 to start Wallowa Resources field programs. He was promoted to Deputy Director in 2002 and Executive Director in 2007. Nils has diverse experience in place-based natural resource management from working around the world, including ranching in Australia, farming in Israel, fishing and forestry in Norway, and forestry and wildlife in southern Africa. He is passionate about working landscapes and the role of rural communities in their stewardship.

He is a graduate of both Williams College (B.A. Economics) and Oxford University (M.S. Forestry), and has served on many local and national boards - including the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry. He currently serves on the Oregon Board of Forestry, World Forest Center's Board of Directors, and Enterprise School District Board.

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Peg Vanderzanden – Grant Administrator

peg vanderzandenPeg comes to us with a wealth of experience and passion for working lands. Fifteen years ago, she and her husband Mark moved their family of three boys from Sauvie Island to Wallowa County. Mark started spraying weeds for the county road department. Peg became the Wallowa County Director of the Commission on Children and Families and later the Eastern Region Coordinator of the State Commission on Children and Families, where she learned how to manage grants. Peg accompanied Mark and their sons on some spray trips, so she knows what it's like to walk in "blue boots". Eventually, Mark wanted to return to their agricultural roots, so he left his spraying job to pursue farming, an operation that continues to grow with the help of their oldest son. They grow and perform custom harvest work for grain and hay. Peg loves being part of an organization that helps people get jobs that improve our land and loves doing work that allows people who perform the ground work not to worry about paperwork.

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Joni Maasdam - Finance Administrator

joni maasdamJoni is an eastern Oregon girl at heart but loves warm sunny places. Joni was raised in Heppner, OR and attended Blue Mountain Community College. After college she married Mark, a lifetime Wallowa County resident, and has been here with him ever since. Joni joined the staff in October 2010 with 15 years of office administration experience. She loves working with a dynamic group of people and cheers everyone up with her infectious smile. When Joni isn’t at work, look for her riding her Harley or scooter during the warmer months.

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Rick Bombaci - GIS Specialist and Development Coordinator

rick bombaciA resident of Wallowa County since 1980, Rick worked with Wallowa Resources in the early 2000s as its Business Development Officer. He returned to the organization in 2013 to focus on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), database development, and IT management. In other work experience, he has taught high school, worked as a wilderness ranger, owned a computer business serving businesses and non-profits throughout the Pacific Northwest, and served as the Development Director and Interim Executive Director at a literary non-profit. Rick's other interests include the arts, hiking, travel, his family, and volunteer service.

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Amy Busch - Youth Education Coordinator

amybusch Amy is passionate about getting kids outside. Amy and her husband, Ryan, heard stories about Wallowa County from Ryan's stepdad, Jim Redman, who grew up in this area. Jim cannot believe Amy works in the building where he was born. After years of living in several other rural western towns, Ryan and Amy appreciate the blend of working landscapes, wild places, and diverse community that Wallowa County offers. They are amazed by how this community works together to tackle natural resource issues and excited to be a part of the process. 

Amy got her bachelor's degree at University of California, Santa Barbara and thought she would pursue marine and coastal ecology. But once she discovered her love of teaching at a residential camp, she realized she wanted to share the outdoors with others, no matter the topic. This love took her all over the West until she went back to school for her Master of Science in Environmental Education and certificate in Nonprofit Management at Southern Oregon University. She currently serves on Wallowa County's youth soccer board and is the board chair for Environmental Education Association of Oregon. Amy's love for the outdoors and rural places has never stopped and neither has she. Look for her flying by in running shoes, in hiking boots on the way to a peak, on her bike, on her skis up Salt Creek Summit, or on the soccer field.

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Lindsay Miller - Education Specialist

lindsaymiller Lindsay grew up in upstate New York, a far cry from the western mountains. For as long as she can remember, she has spent her time outside exploring local forests and wild spaces, which eventually led her to pursue a B.S. in Environmental and Forest Biology. Living in the Northwest for almost a decade now, she worked all over Oregon as an environmental educator and naturalist before she returned to school four years ago to obtain her graduate degree and teaching certificate in secondary science education. She has worked in many classroom settings teaching grades K-12 about various subjects including astronomy, ecology, life science/biology, marine biology and environmental science. One of her goals is finding meaningful ways to engage students so that they can share her fascination with the natural landscape. She loves getting kids to ask questions, wonder about the unknown, and be curious about their environment to encourage them to become stewards of the same lands they explored as kids.

When Lindsay's not working, she can usually be found hiking, backpacking, and exploring. She is open to new experiences and loves outdoor sports. When not out in the woods, she likes to work in the garden, cook good food with friends, crochet endless scarves and learn to play new instruments. She is excited about joining the Enterprise community and looking forward to fostering public involvement in the beautiful landscape that surrounds Wallowa County.

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Lindsey Wood Jones - Wallowa Canyonlands Interim Coordinator

lindsey wood jonesLindsey hails from rural West Virginia, where she learned to love farms, forests, and streams. After working on natural resource management issues on three continents, Lindsey and her husband finally decided to move to Wallowa County in 2011. Wallowa County's varied and abundant natural resources, and the good folks who live here, have enticed Lindsey and her growing family to stay. Lindsey joined Wallowa Resources in 2014, and has been working as a weed warrior with the Wallowa Canyonlands Partnership (WCP) ever since. WCP is a good fit for Lindsey because she believes that integrated weed management is a key component in supporting resilient natural resources. Prior to working for Wallowa Resources, she worked for The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, Department of Defense, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Oregon State Parks. When she's not at work, Lindsey is busy with her husband (Justin) raising a daughter (Annie), two dogs, several chickens, a surly cat, and an ever-growing garden. She's also an all-season runner, hearts-player, reader, and knitter. Lindsey volunteers for the local Nature Conservancy office and serves on the Lands Committee of the Wallowa Land Trust.

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Andy Marcum - Watershed Stewardship Field Officer

andy marcumAndy was born and raised in Wallowa County. Growing up hunting and fishing in such a beautiful place is where Andy grew passionate about the outdoors, conservation and the rural lifestyle.

Andy graduated from Enterprise High School in 2005 and has acquired a diverse background since. After completing 5 years in the Marine Corps as a Military Police K9 Handler, Andy and his wife, Lindsey, moved to Minnesota where Andy worked as a Agricultural Land and Outreach Specialist. Through this work Andy gained extensive knowledge and experience with invasive species treatment, developing grazing and cropping systems, community organizing and a holistic approach to restoring prairie and grassland ecosystems while improving wildlife habitat. Andy also served on his county's Waterplan Taskforce, Regional Prairie Implementation Team, Cooperative Weed Management Team and Board Member of the Regional Cattlemen's Association.

Now, Andy, his wife and their 3 boys have returned to Wallowa County to raise their family and where Andy's passion for land stewardship and rural communities can be focused to the one place he's always called "Home."

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Kyle Petrocine - Renewable Energy Manager

kylepetrocineKyle was drawn to northeast Oregon since first setting foot in these parts. He is passionate about rural places, their resilience and independence, and is inspired by the blend of working landscape, natural beauty and creative energy that exists in Wallowa County. He was raised in southern Oregon and has spent most of his days living, working and exploring in the Pacific Northwest. Kyle joined WR Community Solutions Inc in 2015, with a focus on renewable energy development in the region. Kyle earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Oregon State University and brings a diverse engineering background to Wallowa Resources, including process, facilities and environmental engineering for a Portland area semi-conductor company and engineering consulting for a northeast Oregon firm.

While in Portland, Kyle met his wife Esther, who shares the same draw to rural, creative and working places. In 2014, Kyle and his family left the big city in search of mountains, four seasons and resource based community, landing in northeast Oregon. In his spare time, Kyle can be found soaking up the goodness with his family and experiencing the wonders of the region by fat ski, fat tire, foot or raft.

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Matt King - Renewable Energy Program Advisor

mattkingMatt is an Eastern Oregon transplant, having found his way here after a long journey from the Pacific Coast of Northern California. He first stumbled upon Oregon at a student at Reed College, in Portland, and then worked as a fish biologist for a large Renewable Energy Developer before leaving the big city and making his way to greener, and thankfully drier, pastures. In Eastern Oregon, he worked for the Department of Fish and Wildlife for a time, but finally found a truer calling with Wallowa Resources. As a Renewable Energy Program Advisor for WR Community Solutions, Inc., Matt is always looking for ways to bring new energy projects into fruition, for the benefit of the community and the environment. Matt splits time between the Pacific Northwest and East Africa, where he manages community development and agriculture projects. In his spare time, he can usually be found messing about in boats on some far-flung river, or at least out and about enjoying the woods and smelling the flowers.

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Jennifer Hobbs - My Blue Mountain Woodlands & Communications Coordinator

jennifer hobbsBorn in Portland, Oregon and raised on a small farm near Mt. Rainier, Jennifer spent most family vacations in Wallowa County where her parents grew up. She studied English and Biology at University of Puget Sound and later found a great blend of some of her favorite things working at Microsoft on the science section of a multimedia encyclopedia. After several years in content management and search technology, she put her career on hold to travel around the world and volunteer with her husband Richard. They moved to Wallowa County in 1999 and found a gently deteriorating place along the Lostine River where she now enjoys a happy mix of renovation projects, trout farming, writing, small business management, theater, and raising three boys. Learn more about the My Blue Mountain Woodlands project.

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Jeff Costello - Forest Collaborative Facilitator

jeff costelloHaving grown up in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, Jeff developed a deep-seated love for the mountains at an early age. To this day, if it involves scaling a mountain, or skiing down one, you can count him in!

With a formal academic background in Environmental Science/Biology, Jeff’s original aim of teaching high school science diverged down a separate, yet somewhat parallel, path, when he began working in the field of Experiential Education, focusing on Team and Leadership Development. He considers himself one lucky guy, having spent the better part of the past two decades working in some pretty memorable settings - from the corporate board rooms of Silicon Valley, to the halls of local governments, to high school and university campuses, to remote villages in the Andes and southern Africa.

When not on his proverbial “soapbox”, espousing the merits of great leadership and the power of human collaboration, Jeff serves as a board member for the Wallowa Valley Arts Council and is the current Director of the annual Wallowa Valley Festival of Arts. He’s also constantly scanning the horizon for his next alpine adventure - his dog, Denali, often at his side.

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Karen Hardigg - Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition Coordinator

karenhardiggHaving grown up in Portland, Karen is thrilled to be back working in her home state. Her passion for the outdoors led her to work as a field biologist on public lands across the west studying, and occasionally chasing, wildlife. Eventually realizing that she was better suited to work on natural resource policy, she went back to school for a graduate degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. A fortuitous opportunity studying bears and wolves in Denali National Park introduced her to her husband, with whom she has two young children in Portland. After graduate school, Karen transitioned her science background to policy by working in the non-profit community to find solutions to challenging natural resource management problems. She comes to Wallowa Resources after spending nearly eight years working in Southeast Alaska on community forestry, forest stewardship, restoration and policy both at The Wilderness Society and The Nature Conservancy. Her responsibilities include coordination of the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition - which provides a voice to rural leaders on national policy issues impacting public lands. Outside of spending time with her family, Karen enjoys biking, hiking, and soccer and is eager to explore more of Wallowa County.

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Ashley Rood - Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition Program Associate

ashley roodA fifth-generation Arizonan, Ashley’s roots in the west run deep. She comes to Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition and Oregon after over a decade of working at the intersection of rural landscapes and environmental policy across the west. In over eight years at the California headquarters of Environmental Defense Fund, she created strong partnerships with ranchers and landowners, state agency staff and academics to tackle projects that touched on the critical issues of water, climate change and agriculture—from meadow restoration in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to building carbon rich soils on western ranches and developing environmental market opportunities for producers. A storyteller at heart, she’s worked on several books celebrating collaborative conservationists, including: Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman. You’ll most often find her outside, exploring the mountains, rivers, and bike lanes of her new northwestern home and digging in the dirt of her veggie garden. She has a degree in Environmental Humanities from Northern Arizona University.

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Carla Young - Campground Manager and Building Maintenance

carla youngCarla and her family have deep roots in Wallowa County. She was born and raised in Wallowa County and graduated from Enterprise High School in 1973. She is fourth generation Wallowa County resident. Her family homesteaded the Zumwalt area and rode the trail with the Nez Perce to the lower Imnaha for the winter months.

Carla is the Campground Manager for Wallowa Resources’ Community Solutions, Inc. (WRCSI) and has been in this position for 8 years for us and for 5 years with the United States Forest Services (USFS). Carla continuing in this role when WRCSI in partnership with Wallowa County and Oregon State Parks took over the campground management from the USFS was a huge asset and made the process seamless. Prior to giving all her attention to the Campground Manager position, she was also an equipment inspector for ground support for the Interagency on numerous fire incidents.

Carla’s love for the great outdoors and Wallowa County’s history makes the campgrounds her perfect office. Carla delights in meeting and greeting campground visitors to share her love of the great outdoors and Wallowa County’s history.

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