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home : education : schools December 11, 2018

7/14/2015 1:49:00 PM
Oregon Wild official to speak in Sisters
Pam Hardy, Central Oregon field representative for Oregon Wild, will speak as part of a free lecture series sponsored by the Sisters Trails Alliance. photo provided
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Pam Hardy, Central Oregon field representative for Oregon Wild, will speak as part of a free lecture series sponsored by the Sisters Trails Alliance. photo provided

By Craig Eisenbeis

As part of its continuing quarterly speaker series, the Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) will be hosting a presentation by Oregon Wild's Central Oregon Field Representative Pam Hardy.

She plans to talk about the organization's efforts to protect National Forests, wildlife and clean water. Some of Oregon Wild's most recent efforts, such as fighting for designation of new wilderness areas near places like Crater Lake, will also be on the agenda.

Founded in 1974, Oregon Wild works to inform and involve the public in the important conservation issues in Oregon. The organization believes that Oregon's wildlands, wildlife, and waters belong to all of us, and that's the best way to protect those resources is to keep the public involved and informed.

As the organization's representative for Central Oregon, Hardy's work often involves collaboration and negotiation with various interest groups that have a stake in how public lands are managed. Among her priorities are management practices in the Deschutes, Ochoco and Malheur National Forests. Oregon Wild strives to engage cooperation and discussion among diverse groups, such as the timber industry, private landowners, conservationists, forest users, and others to achieve the best possible outlook for wildlands in Oregon.

STA board member Bjarne Holm is the volunteer coordinator for STA's speaker series and is the one who arranged for Hardy to appear. He sees her place in the STA forum as a logical fit.

"The Sisters Trails Alliance works with various organizations to help preserve wilderness and to help restore healthy ecosystems," he said. "It is because of such efforts as provided by Oregon Wild that we in the wider Sisters area have such a wonderful environment that draws us here and keeps us here."

Hardy has a law degree from the University of Oregon and logged eight years of private practice in environmental law. Her background includes an undergraduate degree in wildlife biology and 10 years of collaborative and negotiating experience prior to joining Oregon Wild in 2014. Hardy also spent 10 years as a guide on the upper basin of the Colorado River and throughout the North American backcountry.

Her unusual background was tailor-made for her work at Oregon Wild. The organization says that Hardy has "a deep commitment to protecting the wild places." Although well-trained in the art of litigation, she says, "I went to law school to learn how to solve environmental problems, not just to fight about them." She is also trained in mediation and negotiation and spent almost four years as a mediator at the Lane County Court and 10 years with the Steens Mountain Advisory Council.

While focusing on collaborative issues, her ultimate goal is to restore east-side forests to ecological health and long-term resiliency. She also enjoys the opportunity to take people into the mountains and forests to personally experience the qualities of the wild Oregon that she is working to protect.

"Wilderness matters to the spirit," she says. "Being there, listening to the water, feeling the wind, and letting the quiet of the land sink into our bones, it just makes us better people."

When not "on the job," Hardy enjoys hiking, paddle-boarding, whitewater rafting, cross-country skiing, and yoga.

For his part, Holm is very pleased to have Oregon Wild on the agenda. "Pam Hardy of Oregon Wild ... will inform us, educate us, and show us how we can all contribute to make the Sisters area and wider Oregon the best places to live and visit."

Next week's program is the sixth in STA's quarterly series of free public presentations designed to promote outdoor public recreation and education in Sisters Country. The presentation will be held on Thursday, July 23, in the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Station Community Hall in downtown Sisters at 355 S. Elm St. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the formal program will begin at 7 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.

Holm also reported that the next speaker in the STA series, on October 22, will be Michael Riehle, Forest Service District Fisheries Biologist in Sisters. He will deliver a presentation on his work as the team leader on the Whychus Floodplain Restoration and Dam Removal Project.

For further information about next week's program or the STA, contact Ann Marland, STA's Community Outreach Director, at 541-549-7006. Additional information about STA can also be found on their website at

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