RBP STAFF: Executive Director
Sara grew up in San Diego, but knew she belonged among jade rivers and evergreen trees when she first visited Humboldt County, CA. After earning a B.S. in Biology from Humboldt State University, she continued north into the lush Pacific Northwest. In Bellingham, Sara worked for the Washington Conservation Corps restoring riparian zones for salmon habitat enhancement, collected spawner survey data, and assisted in water quality sampling and analysis on many of Whatcom County’s waterways. Seeing how a well-planned built environment could support and preserve the natural environment, she then journeyed to Madison, Wisconsin for a M.S. degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Sara and her family relocated to southern Oregon in 2016 to work in regional agriculture connecting producers to buyers, but soon found herself back in watershed management as the Outreach and Communications coordinator for Rogue Riverkeeper. Sara has always been a person that builds robust networks, both professionally and personally. She looks forward to creating strong relationships in the Rogue Basin Partnership and supporting projects that enhance the region’s unique natural environment.
Rich has a BS in Range/Wildlife Management and a 32-year government career in natural resource management. Experience as a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) executive included confronting and resolving complex public policy issues in natural resources and energy while balancing diverse public, private sector and tribal interests. Rich has spent 16 of those years in the Rogue Valley working on forest health issues both with government and the nonprofit sector. Rich is the co-founder of three nonprofits and served on six nonprofit boards. Rich was president of his own company that focused on Organizational Development and Leadership including strategic planning for nonprofits. Rich is also a certified mediator/facilitator.
BS Fisheries Biology, Zoology, Colorado State University. JD Law, University of Denver College of Law.
Terry worked in environmental consulting over 35 years. Her primary work involved evaluating compliance with environmental, transportation, hazardous waste, and energy laws and regulations. She spent the last 4 years of her career as a planner for the City and County of Denver Department of Public Works. She, her husband and their cats retired to southwestern Oregon 5 Years ago to enjoy a longer growing season, milder winter and different insects. The Rogue River was a draw to the area and the health of the watershed is an utmost concern of hers. She has been part of the Rogue River Watershed Council Board of Directors since its inception in 2015 and sees the need for all partners in the basin to be connected. All of the members of the partnership should understand what each is focused on in order to maximize the effectiveness of their individual programs.
Charles Lane has over 35 years’ experience as a geologist, practicing primarily in Oregon, California, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, although his work has been international in scope. He has background in industry, small business, and continuing consulting experience in environmental geology and hydrogeology, as well as 30 years’ experience in academia. He currently serves as Professor of Geology in the Environmental Studies Department at Southern Oregon University.
Terry became Executive Director of Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative in March 2019 after briefly serving as board president. As a forester and silviculturist for 33 years, she worked for the USFS on the Mt. Hood, Willamette, and Umpqua national forests in a variety of positions before transferring to the Bureau of Land Management in 2003.
During her career, with BLM, she worked on instituting stewardship contracting and agreements at the district and state levels. She helped form Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network (KSON) and was an early contributor to the development of the Rogue Basin Cohesive Strategy.
She received her BS in Forest Management from University of Idaho in 1987, and studied English at University of Oregon.
Steve Wise is a leader with more than 25 years of experience in ecosystem scale watershed and forest restoration, stormwater green infrastructure, climate resiliency, fundraising, conservation policy and sustainability in the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, and beyond. Steve has previously been the executive director for the Sandy River Watershed Council, the natural resource director at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the development director and interim ED at the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. He is now the Executive Director of the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.
A native of New Zealand, who grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains around Tahoe, Eugene choose the Rogue to be his home nearly 20 years ago after falling in love with fly-fishing the Rogue and exploring in the Siskiyou mountains. Each day since that decision he has sought to apply himself to actions that protect and build resilience in the natural systems of the State of Jefferson with the goal of leaving the next seven generations of people and wildlife with an ecological base that can sustain them. Eugene has worked for the US BLM, Forest Service, USGS, UC Davis, Rogue Valley Council of Governments, and as a private contractor performing biological studies and managing fish and wildlife resources. Eugene is currently a Restoration Project Manager for The Freshwater Trust’s work here in Southern Oregon. On his free time, Eugene can be found on the river or up in the mountains with his wife and two sons enjoying all the natural beauty Southern Oregon has to offer.
Vincent M. Smith is the Director of the Division of Business, Communication, and the Environment at Southern Oregon University. He previously served as Chair of the Environmental Science & Policy and held a joint teaching appointment specializing in environmental and agricultural sociology. He earned his BA in plant ecology from Truman State University, his MS in environmental science from Oregon State University, and his PhD in interdisciplinary environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently serving on the SOU Sustainability Council and is the Director of The Farm at SOU. Dr. Smith also represents Southern Oregon University as a member of the Rogue Valley Food System Council and serves on the environmental affairs committee of Mt. Ashland Ski Area. His current research explores how changes in the tourism industry are impacting Ashland, Oregon. He lives in Ashland with his wife and three children where he enjoys exploring the beauty of Southern Oregon.
BOARD MEMBER, Secretary
Tracey Reed has been developing conservation projects and engaging the community of the Illinois Valley as staff at the Illinois Valley SWCD since 2016. In her capacity with IVSWCD, Tracey has served on the riparian, fish passage, and weed management work groups. Tracey is passionate about conserving natural resources for future generations, and is excited about the potential to serve with a regional partnership organization that achieves coordinated landscape-scale conservation goals. Tracey wants to bring her knowledge of and connections in the Illinois Valley to the forefront as RBP seeks to implement projects in this high priority, high potential watershed. Tracey is also the President of SO Derby, southern Oregon’s nonprofit roller derby league, and she has recently taken up a board position with the Rogue Valley Networking Toastmasters Club. She is the mother of a precocious, outgoing seven-year old daughter who loves camping.
BOARD MEMBER, Vice Chair
As the Rogue Riverkeeper Conservation Director, Emily Bowes has been advocating for clean water in the Rogue River Basin to secure healthy fish, safe drinking water, and abundant recreation opportunities since June 2021. Prior to working at Rogue Riverkeeper, Emily was an Environmental Planner ensuring environmental compliance for major projects in Southern Oregon and Northern California such as the Klamath River Renewal Project. Emily spent her early career serving as a Forest Service employee on the Shasta-Trinity, Six Rivers, and Klamath National Forest as well as private industrial timber land in the areas of wildlife, timber, silviculture, and wildfire.
Emily uses her experience in the private, federal, and nonprofit sectors to promote water quality and water quantity conservation in the Rogue Basin. Aside from advocating for policy change to increase water quality protections, Emily is active in grant writing, fundraising, and communications development for Rogue Riverkeeper. She is also very passionate about integrating justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the organization. As a Rogue Basin Partnership board member, Emily is looking forward to bringing all her knowledge of current issues facing the natural resources in the Rogue River Basin to support the RPF regional partnership organizations.
Emily is from the Rogue Valley and spends a lot of her time swimming and rafting in the glorious rivers of southern Oregon during the summer and skiing in the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains during the winter with her dog, Cider.
As the Agriculture Resource Conservationist for Jackson County Soil & Water Conservation District, Meghan supports agricultural producers in Jackson County with information, technical, financial, and planning assistance for projects that support natural resource stewardship. Meghan focuses on projects to manage crop and livestock production for soil and water conservation in a way that also benefits producers’ management practices and economic viability. Specific project concerns include improving water quality, pasture productivity, managing pests and disease, and invasive plant species. She strives to put producers’ livelihoods and management challenges at the forefront when designing project assistance.
Meghan is most recently from western Montana, where she earned a Master’s in Natural Resource Conservation at the University of Montana. She has extensive experience working with small-scale agricultural producers interested in specialty product certifications, and providing technical, science-based assistance to improve land management practices. Meghan comes to Jackson County with a wide breadth of field experience across the intermountain west, including wildfire risk mitigation, botany surveys, rangeland and pasture assessments, trail design and construction, invasive species management, and riparian restoration.
Kristian was born in Sweden and spent most of his youth and adolescence there. Growing up in Sweden with its abundant access to nature, he came to love the outdoors, a love that has only grown throughout his life. In the early 90’s after meeting his American future wife in Sweden, he moved to California and studied Computer Science at UC Berkeley. He has worked in Silicon Valley for several companies and nonprofits large and small. Later, he and his wife moved to Burlington, VT where they lived for 8 years. While there, he helped start a science education nonprofit and continued his love for fly fishing, backpacking and backcountry skiing.
In 2005, Kristian moved to the Rogue Valley as his family was looking for a place similar to Burlington with easy access to mountains, rivers and with a vibrant cultural scene. He definitely found the right place! Kristian loves this area and hikes, backpacks and explores whenever he can. His two kids have grown up enjoying and learning the value of our public lands.
BOARD MEMBER. Treasurer
Kevin Preister has worked for 40 years to foster citizen empowerment in areas ranging from urban redevelopment to water and recreation development. In the last several years, he has focused on natural resource management and has worked extensively with key federal agencies, notably the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and others, to institutionalize management practices that reflect and build upon cultural practices and local routines. In both project work and through management training programs, both at home and abroad, Preister has assisted agencies in enhancing “productive harmony” between the human and physical environments by “working through the culture.” He received his doctorate in economic anthropology in 1994 from the University of California at Davis and resides in Ashland, Oregon. He currently directs the non-profit Center for Social Ecology and Public Policy and is adjunct faculty with Southern Oregon University.
With the Rogue River across the street from her home, Paige happily talks about the smell of the river air, the wildlife who live here, her favorite swimming hole and nearby walks with her human and canine companions. She moved to the Rogue Valley in 1998 to enjoy abundant access to public lands and to participate in a community that cares about its natural resources. Paige’s passion for sustainability extends beyond her daily lifestyle to a 25-year career with government agencies and nonprofits groups, primarily as a consultant focusing on renewable energy, waste prevention and civic engagement. She completed a Master of Public Administration in 2017 and began work with the Oregon Legislature in 2018 where she currently serves as Chief of Staff for House District 5. Paige served two terms on the RBP board, completing her service in 2021.
Kelly Coates is the Water and Environmental Resources Program Manager for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. Kelly works on natural resources issues including stream and riparian restoration, monitoring, project management, implementation and tracking, grant writing and consultation within the Tribe’s Ancestral Territory. Kelly has a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Wildlife Biology and a Master of Science in Organismal Biology and Ecology from the University of Montana, Missoula. Kelly has worked for the Cow Creek Tribe since November of 2011. Previously, she worked for the non-profit river conservation organization, The Pacific Rivers Council for 2 years as the Umpqua Legacy River Coordinator. Kelly has been working in the field of natural resources for 10+ years and has experience working in river and fisheries ecology, air quality/chemistry, and with superfund sites. Kelly has been working with the RBP for three years, and was actively involved in the RBCC to RBP transition, and the Rogue Basin Restoration Plan.
MS in Watershed Science from Colorado State University and a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Connecticut. Greg has worked for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, as an Environmental Consultant in Denver Colorado prior to moving to Oregon in 2000. After a short stint working for a local watershed council, Greg started working at RVCOG and has been there for 16 years working his way up to be the current program manager.
Greg has lived in the Rogue Valley for 17 years and has enjoyed working to protect and restore resources in the Rogue basin. He has also enjoyed the collaborative nature of the region and working with local communities (Cities and Counties), agencies, watershed groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), education groups, schools, and the public. Greg has served on the board as secretary since near RBP’s inception. He aspires to be the type of person his dog thinks he is.