Big Transitions at the DRA

In the coming months, you’ll be seeing some big changes at the Deschutes River Alliance. We are reorganizing with an eye towards managing for the continued success and growth of our science, legal, and advocacy programs. Ultimately, these changes will allow us to more effectively achieve our mission of protecting the Deschutes River.

These changes come on the heels of an announcement from our Executive Director, Jonah Sandford, that he will be leaving the DRA to join the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, one of the leading legal advocates for environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest.  Although we hate to see him go, we are probably as excited about this new opportunity for Jonah as the Northwest Environmental Defense Center is.  Jonah has done a tremendous job for the DRA and we know he will be successful in his new position at NEDC.

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Jonah and Jasper Sandford. We’ll particularly miss seeing Jasper’s face in the DRA’s newsletters!

As we move forward in the next chapter of the DRA, our new Executive Director will focus on increasing our capacity in areas such as public relations, communications, and organizational management, all while leading DRA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of this remarkable river.  A search for a new Executive Director has already begun.  We anticipate having the position filled by mid-May to early June.

Krista Isaksen has been an outstanding Development Director for the DRA, as exemplified by the success of our annual auctions these past two years. She will be continuing in that role, as well as taking on more operational responsibilities.  Her new title will be Director of Operations and Development.

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Krista Isaksen, DRA’s Director of Operations and Development

In addition, we have hired Wesley Noone as a full-time Science Team member.  He will be coordinating our field work and helping us publish our scientific work.  Despite the many papers and reports we’ve published, we have a backlog of data to report and Wesley will play a major role in getting those data published.

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Wesley Noone, DRA’s new Water Quality Technician

We will continue with the legal support of Dan Galpern and Doug Quirke, who have been our external legal counsel and representation for the past three years.  They will continue to represent us in our lawsuit against the owners/operators of the Pelton-Round Butte Hydroelectric Complex.

We are saddened to see Jonah leave the organization, but we are thrilled for his new opportunity, and we’re looking forward to implementing the next chapter of the DRA. It is an outstanding opportunity to re-structure the organization so as to maximize our effectiveness in the coming years. We will be sure to keep you updated as we progress through these exciting transitions.


Deschutes River Alliance: Cooler, cleaner H2O for the lower Deschutes River. 

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