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Former Landwatch Director to Lead Watersheds Council 

Former Landwatch Director to lead Oregon Watersheds Council

Former Central Oregon Land Watch Executive Director Erik Kancler is the new director of the Eugene-based Oregon Watershed Councils.

Kancler who helped orchestrate the campaign to stop a pair of proposed resorts near the Metolius River and helped broker the proposed preservation deal for Skyline Forest will oversee policy issues, fundraising and other work to support the watershed network’s around the state.

The non-partisan networks are on the frontlines of many conservation issues including protection of native species.


Read the complete press release here:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Network of Oregon Watershed Councils
Hires New Executive Director
Eugene, Oregon – December 13, 2011
The Network of Oregon Watershed Councils has hired Erik Kancler as its Executive Director, Board
Chair Denise Lofman announced Tuesday afternoon.
Most recently, Erik served as policy advisor to Oregon’s Senate Majority Office, advising the Senate
Democratic caucus on issues ranging from natural resources and the environment to education and
criminal justice. Prior to that, Erik was the executive director of Central Oregon LandWatch, a Bend-based
nonprofit land use advocacy group.
"During his time in the Senate Majority Office, Erik developed a rich understanding of social,
economic, and environmental issues," said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum. "He worked
with elected officials, staff, and key stakeholders every day to understand the challenges that
Oregonians face, to navigate complex issues, and to seek policy solutions."
As LandWatch’s director, Erik led the 2009 campaign to protect the Metolius River and its surrounding
watershed as Oregon’s first Area of Critical Statewide Concern. He also drafted and worked with
landowners, business interests, and others to help pass bipartisan legislation creating an opportunity
to protect Central Oregon’s 33,000-acre Skyline Forest as Oregon’s first Community Forest.
In addition to his work with the legislature and in the nonprofit sector, Erik has been a journalist, a
private land use consultant, and a climate scientist. Erik holds a BS in Physical Geography and an MA
in Geography from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Erik and begin this next chapter in our organization’s history,” said
Lofman. “With his background in nonprofit management, expertise in natural resources policy, and
government relations experience, Erik has the tools to take us to the next level as an organization.”
“The board has been particularly impressed with Erik’s legislative experience,” she continued, “which
will be crucial as the Network works to ensure Oregon’s continued leadership in watershed
“I am looking forward to doing everything I can to help advance the cause of watershed conservation
in Oregon,” Kancler said. “Oregon is amazing state, both in regards to the beauty of its natural
environment and the commitment of its people to protecting it for future generations.”
“The collaborative work that watershed councils do alongside farmers, ranchers, forest landowners,
and other stakeholders benefits not only the natural environment, but also local communities and
economies,” he continued. ”The Network Office’s job is to support those efforts in whatever ways we
“My initial focus is on ensuring our continued financial success and spending time with the individual
councils to understand how we can best help them,” said Kancler. “And I’m focused on establishing a
strong legislative presence this February and working with state agencies to represent our interests
in ongoing administrative processes.”
Erik began work last Tuesday.
The Network of Oregon Watershed Councils supports the work of Oregon’s watershed councils to
enhance watershed health and benefit their local communities.
We envision strong, resilient watershed councils throughout Oregon sustaining healthy land, water
and economies. Oregon watershed councils are the pride of our local communities and a model for
our country and the world. For more information, please visit
Contact: Denise Lofman, Board Chair
Network of Oregon Watershed Councils
99 East Broadway, Suite 400 | Eugene, OR 97401 | 503.322.0002

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