At their annual gathering on December 5, 2019, RBP members elected Rich Whitley, and re-elected Eugene Wier, to three-year terms on the RBP Board of Directors. Those terms will begin January 1, 2020, and end December 31, 2022.
It would be difficult to find anyone in the Rogue Basin natural resources stewardship and restoration community who does not know Eugene. For newcomers, Eugene is a native of New Zealand who grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains around Lake Tahoe. Eugene chose 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.
Eugene has a longstanding connection with RBP. He participated actively in the development of the Rogue Restoration Action Plan. He is currently serving as the Chair of the RBP Board of Directors.
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.
Incoming director Rich Whitley’s connections with the Rogue are even longer than Eugene’s, although Rich’s work for the BLM and others took him out of the Basin for parts of his career. 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. With the RBP Board reviewing and revising the RBP Strategic Plan in 2020, Rich’s experience will be especially welcome.