FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oregon Wild Announces New Executive Director
Familiar face, Sean Stevens, takes the helm of pioneering conservation group
New Executive Director will take on mantle of conservation leadership at 38-year-old organization known for effective and forward-thinking advocacy.
New Oregon Wild Executive Director Sean Stevens enjoying a hike along the Salmon River with a group of Oregon Wild supporters. (Photo by Sandy Wallsmith)
The Oregon Wild Board of Directors today introduced Sean Stevens as the next Executive Director of Oregon Wild. Sean is a familiar voice to Oregon Wild members and supporters, having served as the primary public spokesperson for the organization since 2007. For five years, Sean has been an integral part of Oregon Wild conservation campaigns, including the historic 2009 expansion of Mount Hood Wilderness, the return of endangered gray wolves to Oregon after a 70 year absence, and Senator Wyden’s ground-breaking legislation on Eastern Oregon forest restoration and old growth protection.
“It is tremendously exciting to have Sean take the reins of Oregon Wild,” said Megan Gibb, the organization’s Board President. “With his passion for conservation, his intelligence, and his dedication, I can think of no person better suited to lead this outstanding organization.”
Born and raised in Oregon, Sean’s passion for the state’s outdoors began at an early age. From rafting and fishing trips with his grandparents along the Rogue River to camping excursions with his family in the Cascades, Sean holds a deep and abiding love for the wildlands, wildlife, and waters that make Oregon such a special place.
“The places that I love – that have given so much joy and meaning to my life – are protected only because of the dedicated work of Oregon Wild, our partners, and the thousands of Oregonians who have fought to keep this state special,” commented Stevens. “It is a great honor and a huge responsibility to lead this organization into the future.”
Oregon Wild has been at the forefront of efforts to protect and restore Oregon’s outdoor legacy for nearly 40 years. Building off their history of success, the organization is currently: campaigning for Wilderness protections for the Wild Rogue, Devil’s Staircase, and other special places across the state; protecting and restoring old-growth forests through collaborative stewardship and federal agency watch-dogging; speaking up for the wetlands and wildlife of the Klamath Basin – the heart of the Pacific flyway; and ensuring the recovery of endangered species like gray wolves and wild salmon.
“Sean has a tremendous talent for connecting with Oregonians from all walks of life, and for translating their love of our state’s natural treasures into support for conserving them,” observed Steve Pedery, Conservation Director at Oregon Wild. “Sean’s ability to build on our shared values as Oregonians and to forge a consensus for protecting this place we love will serve Oregon well in the years to come.”
Oregon Wild was founded around a campfire in 1974 when a group of outdoor enthusiasts realized some of their favorite places were quickly disappearing only to be replaced by clear-cuts. Across five decades, the organization has helped to protect 1.7 million acres of Wilderness and nearly 1,900 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers. From fighting to rebuild northwest salmon populations to protecting the northern spotted owl from extinction, Oregon Wild has safeguarded unique wildlife and the habitat they need to survive.
“When I started working with Oregon Wild back in 1976, we were a few guys with no money and in need of letterhead to fulfill our desire to protect the state we all loved,” said Andy Kerr, who started as a field organizer, rose to conservation director and then served as executive director from 1994-1996. “Today, the organization has grown to have over 10,000 members and supporters, offices across the state, and a national reputation for effective conservation advocacy. I am proud to see Sean Stevens, with his passion to keep the wild in Oregon, stepping up to successfully lead this organization for the next generation.”
Read Sean Stevens’ bio on the Oregon Wild website.