Co-Founder & Strategic Advisor
Ralph grew up on a cheese farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. After high school, he left for Colorado’s Rocky Mountains to study political science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He then worked abroad in Munich, Germany, and after that moved to Salem, Oregon, to attend law school at Willamette University. He completed an externship at 1000 Friends of Oregon and a fellowship at The Nature Conservancy where he learned about environmental, land use and natural resources work. He studied international environmental law in Holland and then returned to Willamette to graduate Cum Laude in 1998. After law school, he practiced intellectual property, securities and finance law at an established Portland law firm for almost three years. Through representation of new technology, entrepreneurs and inventors, the insane demand created by the Internet “boom” and a healthy measure of initiative, Ralph gained extensive experience with the nuts and bolts of practicing law. Ralph left the firm to commit his energy to build upon his pro bono endeavors and progressive causes and in 2001 he co-founded Crag Law Center with Chris Winter.
Ralph is a member of the Oregon and Washington State Bars. He is admitted to practice in the Federal District of Oregon, the Western District of Washington and the Eastern District of Washington. Ralph has developed a specialty in public lands and natural resources law and has worked with dozens of clients throughout the Pacific Northwest since Crag’s founding.
Tel: (503) 525-2727
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.
Tel: (503) 525-2725
Meriel is originally from the Boston area but has spent more than a decade living and working in the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from the University of Washington with a law degree and Masters in forestry. 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.
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 a three-generation household in Portland, with her wife Kirsten, son Dominic, father-in-law Steve and two dogs. She loves trail running, snowboarding, vegetable gardening and the Red Sox. She serves on the board of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters.
Development & Admistrative Assistant
Tel. (503) 525-2724
Patricia is a recent transplant from Lexington, KY, moving with an equine related job to Portland in 2014. Graduating from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Anthropology, she pursued a masters in Medical Anthropology with an emphasis on Gerontology (unrequited). As an undergraduate and graduate student, she spent many weekends in the Red River Gorge, camping, hiking rock climbing and back packing in the Smokies. Along the way, her passion for all things equine sent her off onto another path for many years. After arriving in Portland, life took another fork. Picking up her fiddle, Patricia is active in the contra music and dance community. A member of the Portland Megaband, she plays and dances contra and Old English dances contra and Old English. She also plays Old Time Music and some Irish thrown in. She is also an active community organized within Portland’s traditional music and dance community, serving on the Portland Old Time Music Gathering planning committee, the Portland English Ball Committee, and the Cascade Crossing Roadhouse Committee. She shares a house with her sister and her partner, enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking, dance camps and handwork. She is thrilled to be a part of Crag and to be making a small but positive difference for the environment.
Tel: (503) 525-2722
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.
Tel. (503) 234-0788
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.
Executive Director & Staff Attorney
Tel: (503) 525-2728
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.
Financial and HR Support Contractor
Tel. (503) 525-2724
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.
Tel: (503) 233-8044
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.
Tel: (503) 227-2212
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.