Articles

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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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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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.

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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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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