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karen hardigg, Executive DIRECTOR

Karen has served as Director of the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition since 2015. Before joining RVCC, she spent nearly eight years working in Southeast Alaska on community forestry, forest stewardship, restoration and policy both at The Wilderness Society and The Nature Conservancy. She holds a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. A Portland native, Karen is passionate about the outdoors and finding solutions to challenging natural resource management problems.

Contact Karen Hardigg phone: (541) 426-8053 x 24


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TYSON BERTONe-RIGGS, Policy Analyst

Tyson grew up in Western Oregon and earned a dual B.A. in geography and political science from the University of Oregon in 2004. After graduation he moved to Washington DC to work as an intern, and later press assistant, for a US Senator. Although a rewarding experience, the landscapes of the West called him back, resulting in almost a decade of work in natural resources across the West. Desiring a return home to Oregon and re-engagement with policy, Tyson earned a Master's degree from Oregon State University in 2016 with a focus on federal land management policy and social science. He has since worked for the Oregon Department of Forestry in the new Federal Forest Restoration Program, utilizing new authorities and working with forest collaboratives in Central and Eastern Oregon.

Contact Tyson Bertone-Riggs, (541) 426-8053 x 49


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Jessica Sabine Brothers, COMMUNICATIONS Coordinator

After receiving her B.S. in Media, Journalism, and Film at Missouri State University, Jessica Sabine moved to Oregon and began her career as a multi-media communicator and designer. For six years, she worked building stronger regional food systems helping farmers, small business owners, and regional suppliers share their stories and market their goods in the Willamette Valley. More recently, she worked with a range of state and federal partners throughout six western states, including the Department of Corrections, coordinating the production of native plant seedlings and vocational training opportunities with incarcerated adults for priority habitat management areas. In her communications role with RVCC, Jessica Sabine engages with a diverse range of community practitioners supporting place-based storytelling, humanizing shared experiences across landscapes, and promoting a collective policy platform that supports our vibrant, rural communities.

Contact Jessica Sabine Brothers


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Sally Bernstein, Program Associate

Sally has called Oregon home for over a decade after moving from Boston, MA to attend Lewis & Clark College. After graduating with a Bachelor's in Environmental Studies she spent three years as a baker, spending her weekends and time off traversing the state hiking and bouldering. Her passion for the landscape and community development led her to Sustainable Northwest where she worked as Operations Associate. She completed her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University in 2019, and graduate certificates in Collaborative Governance and Energy Policy and Management. Sally is passionate about building partnerships and supporting collaborative efforts across the West that help improve the well-being of rural communities and the health of the landscapes that support them. In her free time, Sally can be found working in the garden with her partner, Alex, or out exploring with her dog, Ziggy.

Contact Sally Bernstein