Staff

Tyson Bertone-Riggs - Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition Program Manager

Tyson Bertone Riggs

Tyson grew up in Western Oregon and earned a duel B.A. in geography and political science from the University of Oregon in 2004. After graduation, he moved to Washington DC to work as an intern, and later press assistant, for a US Senator. Although a rewarding experience, the landscapes of the West called him back, resulting in almost a decade of work in natural resources in Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Oregon, and Alaska. Desiring a return home to Oregon and reengagement with policy, Tyson earned a Master’s degree from Oregon State University in 2016 with a focus on federal land management policy and social science. He has since worked for the Oregon Department of Forestry in the new Federal Forest Restoration Program, utilizing new authorities and working with forest collaboratives in Central and Eastern Oregon.

Tyson is excited to be working for the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition and for the opportunity to continue to connect rural communities to tools and practices that help foster landscape restoration, community economic well-being, and collaboration.

 

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Jessica Tomasini - Communications Coordinator

Jessica TomasiniAfter spending most of their lives living in Southwest Washington, Jessica and her husband were in search of a rural area in which to raise their family.  It didn’t take much for them to fall in love with Wallowa County and all it had to offer.  They pulled up stakes and moved here just over a year ago with their three young children. Jessica has a background in photography, grant writing, and a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology.  She loves being able to share ideas creatively with visual elements.  She is excited for the opportunity to dive into all that Wallowa Resources does and communicate that with Wallowa County and beyond. 

Jessica also has a personal interest in the county’s natural resources, specifically timber management.  Her husband, Dustin, has his own business specializing in fuel reduction, logging and other forestry needs.  With their children, they love to spend time hiking, hunting, fishing or enjoying the beautiful Wallowa Lake and they look forward to putting down roots here.

 

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Larz Stewart - Development Director

larz

After growing up in the neighboring Grande Ronde Valley, Larz left to play intercollegiate basketball and start a career in the big city, but he always dreamed of returning to NE Oregon and giving back to the place and people that helped craft his values and a strong sense of place.  Joining the Wallowa Resources team has given him that opportunity.  After spending most of his career working in the metropolitan areas of Honolulu, Beijing and Portland, he’s excited to be back in the mountains and living in a vibrant rural community. Larz has extensive experience in program development, marketing and project management.  Most recently, Larz was the Assistant Executive Director of Adventures Without Limits, a non-profit that served at-risk youth and people with disabilities in the greater Portland Metro area.  He holds a M.B.A from Hawaii Pacific University, and has completed post-graduate coursework in sustainable forestry at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.  

His passion for connecting people to the natural resources that support them, outdoor education, and bridging the urban/rural divide has brought him to Wallowa Resources. He is excited to be an advocate for the land stewards across the west that are doing great things for the land, water and communities.  His other interests include hiking, any watersport, jam sessions, languages, and spending time with family. Larz and his wife have two young boys.

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Jean Jancaitis - Director of Programs/Watershed Stewardship Program Director

jean jancaitis

Jean grew up moving all around the Southeast, living in Alabama, Florida, and Virginia. After earning a B.A. in Biology from The College of William and Mary in Virginia, she escaped to the West Coast for an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon.

Jean has spent the majority of her career working for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon and California. Over more than 15 years as a botanist, ecologist, and stewardship manager, she participated in restoring and managing thousands of acres of working landscapes. Through this work, she developed strong collaborative relationships with private land owners on working farms, ranches, and forest land. Most recently, Jean was the Natural Resource Specialist for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department based in Bend, Oregon where she covered central and eastern Oregon.

While at OPRD, she fell in love with Northeastern Oregon and was inspired by Wallowa Resources. Having worked with many different conservation models, Jean said she's "excited to be working with an organization that cares for both the land and the community."

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Alyssa Cudmore - Forest Family Coordinator

alyssa cudmore

Alyssa was born and raised on a small family woodland in the Willamette Valley in Oregon with her three sisters, grandma, parents, and many animals. She has lived several places since, but her most recent adventure was receiving her Master's Degree in Natural Resources Management and Regional Planning with a focus on rural development and conflict resolution from the University of Michigan. After falling in love with the Wallowas during a fellowship at Wallowa Resources in 2015, she is thrilled to return to Enterprise with her partner, Kevin, who is a physician assistant at Winding Waters Clinic.

She has a professional background in land use planning, housing & civil rights work, nonprofit management, trail construction & youth development, community-based forestry, sustainable agriculture, private landowner engagement, several years working with tribal communities throughout the US, and a big interest in building connections between our urban and rural communities​' landowners. This works pretty well, because as the Family Forest Coordinator she manages the My Blue Mountains Woodland Partnership - a collaborative group of private landowners, nonprofits, and public organizations empowering and connecting landowners to knowledge and resources available in our community to manage their lands. Managing your land is hard, and you shouldn't have to do it alone.

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