Kelley Beamer Executive Director
Kelley Beamer serves as the Executive Director at the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, and has more than 15 years experience developing strategic advocacy campaigns to advance land conservation. Prior to joining the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, Kelley served as the Advocacy and Outreach Manager for the Cascadia Green Building Council, where she implemented stated wide public awareness and advocacy campaigns, and managed a branch network in Portland, Bend, Klamath Falls, and Eugene. Kelley began her conservation work in Oregon in 2006 as the Conservation Organizer for Friends of Columbia Gorge, where she organized public support for protecting the unique values of the Gorge and advocated for Land and Water Conservation funds to support the US Forest Service land acquisition program in the Gorge.
Kelley’s extensive experience forging partnerships with diverse communities earned her recognition as one of Oregon’s “35 Innovators Under 35” by 1,000 Friends of Oregon. Prior to coming to Oregon, Kelley worked as a Policy Assistant for the Wildlife Refuge Program of the Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. where she helped secure more funding for the national wildlife refuge system. Kelley has an effective history of working on local and national conservation campaigns and a lifelong passion for place-based advocacy. In her free time, you will find Kelley fly fishing or hiking with her husband Paul and their dog Lucy.
Kelley holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Arts in Environmental Policy from American University, School for International Service.
NANCY Duhnkrack Pro Bono Program Manager/Volunteer
Nancy Duhnkrack is a long-term volunteer at COLT, managing our pro bono program. She's a 1985 graduate of Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College.
She retired in 2014 as Staff Attorney/Law Clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after 20 years at the Court. She was an Adjunct Professor at the law school from 1990-2010 and is a frequent speaker on conservation easement design and enforcement. Nancy coordinates our pro bono program and provides pro bono
legal advice to COLT and our members.
TOREY MILL Program Manager
Torey Mill is the Program Manager for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts working across programs to support operations, the Pro Bono program, communications, grant management, events and more. She came to Portland from Bozeman, Montana where she worked as a liaison between the Montana Association of Land Trusts (MALT) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), specifically focused on increasing Montana land trusts’ participation in NRCS’ Agricultural Land Easement and Regional Conservation Partnership programs. Prior to working with MALT, Torey served as the Communications and Program Associate for People and Carnivores, a Bozeman-based nonprofit that works with private landowners and community groups to prevent human-carnivore conflicts.
Before entering the world of conservation, Torey worked in the education field, serving as a wilderness therapy guide at a program for youth on the Big Island of Hawaii and as an instructor and Program Coordinator for a high school tutoring company based in Boulder, Colorado. Torey graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Science, Technology and Society—a multidisciplinary study focused on the intersection of political theory, scientific innovation, environmental science, and the cultural values that shape the direction of technological advancements. In her free time, you will most likely find Torey trail-running with Supai, a wild dingo-dog that followed her out of the Grand Canyon.
JEN NEWLIN Communications Director
Jen Newlin serves as COLT’s Communications Director. Before joining our team in 2018, she was a director of creative strategy for Metropolitan Group—a strategic consulting firm. Her clients included NASA’s Earth Science Division, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Save the Redwoods League and Audubon Society of Portland. Previously, she worked as a senior storyteller for a content strategy firm and, before that, worked as a creative manager with The Nature Conservancy.
Jen found her career in conservation when working for The Cheetah Conservation Fund (yes, ask her about the cats) in Africa. Now she’s a board member of CLAWS, a nonprofit working to integrate the needs of predators and local livelihoods worldwide. She's also a science illustrator, an amateur trapeze artist and an Oregon native, growing up in the traditional homelands of the Kalapuya people.
MICHELLE SMITH Water Project Manager
KATIE YOUNG Indigenous Peoples Collaboration Project Manager
Katie was born and raised on Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi. She graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama and holds an AS in Biology and BA in Japanese from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Katie has traveled extensively throughout Japan in the homelands of her grandparents by studying abroad to Kobe and Hiroshima as a college student, and upon graduation teaching English for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program in Kumamoto. Through immersing in and learning traditional Japanese way of life, she rekindled a desire to reconnect with nature and preserve cultural traditions and lifestyles. Since returning home, Katie worked on environmental protection and advocacy in public and nonprofit sectors in Hawaiʻi and Oregon. Currently, Katie works on the intersection of the environment and landscape in Indigenous wisdom, cultural practices and traditional lifeways. She is the Indigenous Peoples Collaboration Project Manager at the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, managing efforts to align land trust work that empowers Indigenous communities and their sovereignty, and bringing Indigenous representation to conservation planning. In her spare time, Katie does Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddling and hula, and serves on the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission as a public member. Her hobbies include ocean sports, making things for family and friends, and spending time in nature.
Board of Directors
Dan Bell Board Vice President
Dan Bell lives and works out of Hood River, OR as the Land Trust Director for Friends of the Columbia Gorge—the only conservation organization entirely dedicated to protecting, preserving, and stewarding the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. In this capacity he oversees the acquisition and management of lands held by the Land Trust, and also works to advance public land stewardship and recreational enhancement projects.
Dan’s experience includes more than a decade with the Nature Conservancy in both Oregon and North Carolina. He has extensive experience in partnership development, and a deep background with land trusts. Dan grew up outside Denver, has an affinity for southern hound dogs, and holds a B.S. in Forest Sciences from Colorado State University and a J.D. from North Carolina Central University.
Joe Buttafuoco Board Member
Joe Buttafuoco works with The Nature Conservancy in Oregon as their Western Oregon Stewardship Manager. Joe has worked and partnered with land trusts throughout his career and is passionate about the work of COLT and land trusts in Oregon. He began his career in Oregon serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Columbia Land Trust in 2001. That experience inspired and motivated him to keep working in land conservation. Over the years, he has held numerous jobs in upstate NY and Oregon related to land stewardship, restoration and monitoring. At TNC, he spent his first 7 years managing preserves and riparian, oak and prairie restoration projects. Presently, Joe leads a team of amazing land stewards who manage TNC’s conservation properties throughout the western half of the state. Joe has also helped lead TNC Oregon’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team and is committed to changing both himself and the land trust movement to be more inclusive and find ways to center equity in conservation work. Joe received his B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University in 1999. In his free time, Joe likes to garden and explore the Pacific Northwest by foot, bike, and surfboard.
Claire Fiegener Board Treasurer
Originally from Washington DC, Claire Fiegener has lived in western Oregon for the past 19 years and currently resides in Corvallis, Oregon. She has supported COLT since its origins and has served on COLT’s Board of Directors since 2018. Claire has worked in the conservation and farming community for the last 25 years, and currently is delighted in her position as Conservation Director at Greenbelt Land Trust. Among many passions, she is focused on advancing inclusive access to nature that improves the health outcomes of our communities, increasing funding for conservation in Oregon, and landscape-scale conservation measures protecting habitats, recreation lands, waters, and working lands. Travel adventures have shaped who she is including working on farms in California, Virginia, New Zealand, and Italy. But more than anything, she loves getting muddy with her twin boys and husband out on our Oregon trails.
Wendy Gerlach Board Secretary
Wendy Gerlach is a lawyer practicing in the area of estates, trusts, nonprofits, and conservation. She is also a volunteer for the COLT pro-bono program. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Washington School of Law, with professional experience ranging from mergers and acquisitions law (with Boston firm Ropes & Gray), international taxation (with Allgemeine Treuhand AG, Switzerland), international law and licensing (with Novartis Pharma, Switzerland), and estate planning (with Thede, Culpepper, Oregon), to carbon offset project development and other conservation transactions. She is on the boards of Columbia Land Trust and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the forests and open spaces of Oregon with her friends, family, and ever-enthusiastic dogs.
Eric Greenwell Board Member
Eric Greenwell is the Conservation Program Manager for Wallowa Land Trust in Wallowa County, a land of streams, lakes, canyons, prairie and mountains located in the northeast corner of Oregon. This land is the traditional homeland of the Nez Perce (Nimi’ippu). Farming, ranching and forestry are cornerstones of the local economy and lifestyle, and Wallowa County’s beauty and abundance of resources draw visitors and residents from across the United States. Eric works collaboratively with private landowners, tribes, partner organizations and government entities to carry out Wallowa Land Trust’s mission to conserve land and to meet conservation needs across a rich and complex social, political and geographical landscape.
Before arriving at Wallowa Land Trust, Eric managed late successional mixed conifer and oak woodlands in Southern Oregon. He lived on a 100-acre inholding and homestead located on the traditional homelands of the Tututni in the Wild and Scenic Corridor of the Lower Rogue River, where he and his partner, Belinda, were caretakers and Eric was also a writer-in-residence. While in Southern Oregon, Eric taught and advised students at Brighton Academy and Umpqua Community College after teaching for three years at the University of Idaho.
Kevin Talbert Board Member
Kevin Talbert’s love of the outdoors fuels his passionate about conservation. He enjoys hiking, rafting, and exploring beautiful Oregon. He is currently board President of the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy and an active volunteer with The Nature Conservancy and the Crater Lake Natural History Association. Kevin served briefly as an Oregon state senator and has been involved in community college governance as President of the Oregon Community College Association and as a long-time board member and board chair for Rogue Community College.
During his 26 year career at Southern Oregon University, he managed summer session, continuing education and other nontraditional programs and was instrumental in developing distance learning programs, university youth programs, and programs for learning in retirement. Later he was the Chief Information Office. He taught graduate management courses for many years for SOU and the University of Oregon and is currently an advisor to Oregon State University for their statewide programs. Earlier, he served in the US army in Ethiopia and the Peace Corps in Nigeria.
If our name wasn’t evidence enough, we’re big believers in the power of partnership.
The work of conservation in Oregon could not be done without a greater community of passionate individuals and organizations who care deeply about our natural world, our culture, our history and our future.
Sincere thank you to these core partner organizations for all you do to help people and nature thrive.
- Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon
- Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs
- Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Oregon Department of Agriculture
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Oregon Department of Forestry
- Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
- USDA US Forest Service