Crag Staff

Kelly Chang

Kelly Chang

Legal Fellow

Tel: 503-234-0788

Email: kelly(at)crag.org

Kelly earned her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School with a certificate in environmental and natural resources. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Scripps College. Prior to law school, Kelly worked as a research analyst with the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program, which inspired her to gain the skills and knowledge to become a better advocate for both communities and wild places. Her experiences in law school including clerkships with Defenders of Wildlife, Shute, Mihaly, & Weinberger, and Earthjustice helped solidify her desire to pursue public interest environmental law and in particular environmental justice work. 

Outside of work, Kelly loves very long walks—she thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018 and the Colorado Trail in 2022. In addition, she enjoys skiing, rock climbing, tending to her numerous houseplants or snuggling her elderly pup, Penny. She is excited to join Crag and support community-driven grassroots efforts as well as advocate for places in the PNW that continue to bring her joy and peace of mind.

Meriel Darzen

Meriel Darzen

Staff Attorney

Tel: (503) 525-2725

Email: meriel(at)crag.org

Meriel is originally from the Boston area but has spent the last fifteen years living and working in the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from the University of Washington with a law degree and an MS in forest resource. After law school, Meriel spent six years living in Bend where she practiced civil litigation and land use law. Prior to joining Crag, Meriel was a staff attorney with 1000 Friends of Oregon, litigating cases on farmland, forest and wildlife protection across Oregon. Today Meriel’s docket primarily consists of litigating public lands and forest issues in Federal court, and supporting local community groups on rural land use issues at the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). She is admitted to practice in Oregon and Washington. 

Before becoming an attorney, Meriel graduated from Wesleyan University and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, where she helped construct a fruit tree nursery and learned how to graft mango trees. She speaks Spanish and lives in Portland with her family.  She serves on the board of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and in her free time she enjoys trail running, backcountry snowboarding and vegetable gardening. 

 

Rebeka Dawit

Rebeka Dawit

Associate Attorney

Tel: (503) 525-2727

Email: rebeka(at)crag.org

Rebeka earned her JD and LLM from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she completed a legal fellowship at the Global Law Alliance (formerly known as the International Environmental Legal Project). She received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Natural Policy from the University of California, Santa Cruz. There, she was able to learn about the science behind the various legal issues that she would work on in the future. Going to school in the redwoods overlooking the Pacific Ocean solidified her determination to protect our planet, and everyone’s equitable access to a habitable one. Thus, she decided to go to law school in the Fall of 2017.  She first became involved with Crag as a Summer Associate in 2018, her first summer after starting law school. This experience only further cemented her desire to work in public interest environmental law. She would later intern at Center for Food Safety as well. She is passionate about environmental justice, and the need for representation in the environmental legal community. When not at work, she enjoys hiking, embroidering, baking, painting, and cultivating her apartment jungle from various local plant nurseries.

 

Weina Dinata

Weina Dinata

Development & Outreach Assistant

Tel: (503) 525-2724

Email: weina(at)crag.org

Growing up as a child in Jakarta, Indonesia, Weina was always charmed by plants, animals, and design/crafts. Then, she moved to San Francisco, California, to pursue and earn her Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design with focus on branding and packaging design. She volunteered with different non-profit organizations around sustainability/environmental awareness doing outreach/initiative programs while working in different graphic design studios for 18 years.

After she moved to Portland, the study and outreach works inspired her to start her own business, Poppy & Finch, combining her passion of native plants and design skill/experience to create awareness and advocate native plants through her botanical living arts, gift products, and hands-on workshops. She also shares her passion to help people become the steward for our habitat in urban landscape as an Outreach Technician for Backyard Habitat Certification Program.

During her leisure time, she enjoys gardening, visiting all native nurseries, hiking, bird-watching, playing pickleball, tennis, soccer, singing with her all female acapella group, DameNation, and enjoying Portland food scene.

 

Maura Fahey

Maura Fahey

Managing Attorney

Tel: (503) 525-2722

Email: maura(at)crag.org

Maura earned her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland with a certificate in environmental and natural resources law. She holds a B.A. in sociology, with a minor in political science, from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Upon graduating Lewis & Clark, she was awarded the Environmental Leadership Award, as well as membership in the school’s Cornelius Honor Society.

Maura joined the Crag Law Center staff in October 2013 as a legal fellow. Her docket consists of a variety of work including land use challenges focused primarily on fossil fuel infrastructure development, Clean Water Act enforcement, water law, and federal public lands law. Maura is a member of the Oregon and Washington State Bars and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the District of Oregon. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Environmental & Natural Resources Section of the Oregon State Bar and as the 2021 Chair of the Section.

In her free time, Maura enjoys backcountry skiing, hiking, biking, running, and exploring all the wonder the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Megan Gleason

Megan Gleason

Communications Associate

Tel: (503) 525-2724

Email: megan(at)crag.org

Megan grew up in Portland and graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. Before joining Crag Law Center in June 2022 as a Communications Associate, Megan worked as legislative staff in Salem and City Hall, and at Winning Mark, an ad agency that consults on ballot measure, candidate, and public education campaigns.

Megan also serves on the Board of Directors for Our Children’s Trust, a Eugene-based nonprofit environmental law firm working to secure constitutionally enforceable rights to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere. When not working, Megan enjoys coaching the Grant High School Constitution Team, going on walks, practicing yoga, and spending time with her family.

Erin Hogan-Freemole

Erin Hogan-Freemole

Legal Fellow

Tel. (503) 234-0788

Email: erin(at)crag.org

Erin grew up in the Willamette Valley and graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences. She first became interested in fire ecology and forest management as a result of the Biscuit post-fire timber sale in southern Oregon. Erin subsequently spent eight years as a wildland firefighter, a job that took her to remote and wild areas across the western United States.

In 2020 Erin received her J.D. from the University of Colorado, where she had the opportunity to work with Earthjustice, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, and the Wilderness Society. She joined Crag Law Center in September 2021 after a clerkship with the Alaska State Supreme Court. Erin is delighted to be back in Oregon, where she enjoys hiking, camping, paddling, running, and drinking coffee.

 

Courtney Johnson

Courtney Johnson

Executive Director & Staff Attorney

Tel:  (503) 525-2728

Email: courtney(at)crag.org

Courtney received her JD with a certificate in environmental and natural resources law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland. While in her first year of study, she interned with the Crag Law Center. As a law student, Courtney interned in the Office of Compliance and Enforcement at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and San Francisco Baykeeper. Before joining Crag, Courtney clerked for a district court judge in Ketchikan, Alaska. While there, Courtney enjoyed the wilds of Alaska and its incredible wildlife by sea kayaking, hiking and snowshoeing.

Courtney joined the Crag Law Center in 2008 as a Staff Attorney. Much of her work at Crag has focused on protecting the health of coastal rivers, from gravel mining in the rivers of the south coast, including the Chetco and the Rogue, to addressing proposals for fossil fuel exports along the Columbia at Astoria. Courtney represents the Nez Perce Tribe on the cleanup and restoration of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. She also works with Oregon’s youth challenging the state to take action on climate change in the children’s climate case. Courtney is a published author on topics of climate change adaptation and marine spatial planning.

After five years in the role of Director of Operations, Courtney was promoted to Executive Director in November 2018. She has served on the Board of Directors of Bark – the watchdog for Mt. Hood, and currently chairs the Executive Committee of the Oregon State Bar Sustainable Future Section. When she is not working, Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband and dog on the beaches and rivers and in the mountains of Oregon, hiking, skiing, and biking. She also keeps busy with her home garden, cooking, playing soccer, and traveling.

Karen Russell

Karen Russell

Financial and HR Support Contractor

Karen has been with Crag for many years. She provides accounting/financial and non-profit management services. In addition to her work as a consultant for a variety of Oregon nonprofit organizations, Karen teaches as an adjunct professor. She is currently teaching Water Law at Lewis & Clark Law School, and Environmental Law and Policy at Lewis & Clark College. Karen received her JD – with a Certificate in Environmental & Natural Resources law – from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1990. She then spent the first 15 years of her career as a staff attorney with WaterWatch of Oregon, successfully litigating to protect Oregon rivers & lakes. She subsequently embarked on a nonprofit consulting, accounting and teaching path. She is still trying to decide what her next fun challenge will be.
Suzanne Savell

Suzanne Savell

Development Director

Tel. (503) 525-2724

Email: suzanne(at)crag.org

Suzanne hails from the mountains of East Tennessee, where as a kid she hiked nearly every trail of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with her family. She received a BA from Warren Wilson College and holds a Masters Degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University.  Her research emphasis was asset-based community development in rural, mountain communities, and she conducted research in the mining valleys of Southern Wales and in Ashe County, NC.

Suzanne has spent much of her life working on social and environmental justice issues. She worked at Appalshop, a non-profit media, arts and education center based in Whitesburg, KY.  She directed Appalshop’s Traditional Music Program, and organized cultural arts education programs across Appalachia’s coal mining communities.  During her time in Eastern Kentucky she became involved in the movement to challenge mountaintop removal coal mining practices and lobbied for better oversight and enforcement of the coal mining industry, including mine safety.

Suzanne came to Portland through her involvement with old time music. Since moving to Portland she has served on the Board of Directors of Bubbaville, a non-profit that supports traditional music and dance in the Portland area and organizes the annual Portland Old Time Music Gathering.  Musically, culturally and geographically, she feels a deep connection between the Pacific Northwest and her Appalachian homeland, and enjoys exploring the region with her dog. Before joining Crag full-time, Suzanne worked as an Arts Integration Facilitator for The Right Brain Initiative. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, gardening, cooking and playing banjo.

Anuradha Sawkar

Anuradha Sawkar

Associate Attorney

Tel: (503) 233-8044

Email: anu(at)crag.org

Anu was born in Poughkeepsie, New York and grew up in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Whitman College with a B.A. in Politics with a minor in Economics, and earned her J.D. with a concentration in Advocacy from Cornell Law School.

Anu had the opportunity to volunteer at Crag Law Center both before and after attending law school, taking on tasks in both legal and development. She joined Crag Law Center’s staff as the Coastal Law Project Legal Fellow in January 2019. Through this partnership with the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, Anu works to preserve public access to Oregon’s beaches and conserve Oregon’s priceless coastal ecosystems—from the crest of the Coast Range to the edge of the continental shelf.

Outside of work, Anu enjoys running, hiking, yoga, reading, and writing longhand.  

 

 

Oliver Stiefel

Oliver Stiefel

Staff Attorney

Tel:  (503) 227-2212

Email: oliver(at)crag.org

 

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Oliver joined Crag 2013. His work focuses on public lands management and fish and wildlife conservation in Oregon, Washington, and Southeast Alaska. His docket primarily consists of forests and fisheries issues under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Forest Management Act. Oliver is admitted to practice in Oregon and Washington.

Oliver holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and received his J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law. During law school, Oliver served as an editor on the Washington Law Review, and worked for the Washington House of Representatives, Judge Joel Penoyar of the Washington Court of Appeals, and the Washington Forest Law Center.

Outside of work, Oliver enjoys spending time with his wife; together they like to backpack, cook, fly fish, kayak, travel, trail run, snowboard, and spend time with family.

Ralph Bloemers: The Reflective Dutch Father

Ralph Bloemers is both co-founder and co-executive director of Crag Law Center. He is originally from Holland and grew up in Virginia. He is a graduate of University of Colorado at Boulder, where he studied political science. He obtained his law degree at Willamette Law School.

Patricia Donohue – Ready for Anything

Patricia Donohue is a development and administrative assistant at Crag Law Center. She spent her childhood moving around Southeastern US, but she calls Kentucky home. She studied anthropology and gerontology in undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Kentucky, and came to Crag after an extensive career in the equine industry.

Erin Hogan-Freemole: Sparking Change

Erin Hogan-Freemole: Sparking Change by Lizzy Gazeley | Oct 20, 2021Not all career paths are linear. For Erin Hogan-Freemole, her path has had twists and turns. Erin, however, describes the beginning of this new chapter as somewhat of a fitting culmination of her life...

Courtney Johnson: Not Just Any Job

Courtney Johnson was born and raised in Northern California, and is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Lewis & Clark Law School. She has been an attorney with Crag Law Center since 2008; other than Ralph and Chris, Courtney has been with Crag the longest of the...

Suzanne Savell: Appalachian Raised

Suzanne Savell is the Development Director at Crag Law Center. She is from Eastern Tennessee and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College, from which she holds a Bachelor’s Degree. She also has a Master’s Degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University....

Maura Fahey: The Avid Adventurer

Maura Fahey has been an attorney with Crag Law Center for nearly three years. She is a native of Minnesota and has studied political science, sociology, and international and environmental law. She is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Rebeka Dawit: Trailblazing for Environmental Justice

Get to know Rebeka Dawit – Crag’s new Associate Attorney! 2021 summer intern Bella Klosterman interviewed Rebeka during her first weeks at Crag. Read more to learn about Rebeka’s journey into the field of environmental justice.

Anu Sawkar: It’s More than just Advocating for the Environment

 Anu Sawkar joined Crag as a Legal Fellow in 2019 but has been a Crag volunteer and supporter for over a decade. She was born in Poughkeepsie, New York but considers Portland to be the place that shaped her. She has a B.A. in Politics with a minor in economics from...

Teryn Yazdani: Advocating for Clients and Communities

Teryn Yazdani: Advocating for Clients and Communities by Lizzy Gazeley | Oct 20, 2021Growing up in the South, Teryn Yazdani witnessed and experienced some of the most destructive impacts of climate change. She was in the fifth grade in Jackson, Mississippi, when...

Oliver Stiefel: The Oregonian Returning Home

Oliver joined Crag as a legal fellow in 2013 and is now a staff attorney.  Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Oliver graduated from Whitman College with a degree in anthropology and acquired his law degree from the University of Washington.  Before Crag, Oliver...

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