Reconnecting with our community, and inviting new people in

by Courtney Johnson | March 23, 2023

This year has already been a year of reconnection. In February, all of us at Crag spent a couple of days together at our staff retreat. We played games, cooked together, and laughed a lot. We also spent some time working through big issues like how to better implement environmental justice into our public lands work. It was a great opportunity to get to know each other better, and reminded me of how lucky I am to work with this amazing group of people.

Crag staff smiling at camera minus Oliver in front of green trees - Feb 2023 Crag Staff Retreat

During our staff retreat, we enjoyed the beautiful Oregon coast, learning how to make kokedama from Weina, and snapping some group photos.

In March, our crew went to Eugene for the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference – in person for the first time in four years. Our attorneys presented on topics ranging from environmental justice, to local land use planning, to forest protection on public lands. We reconnected with clients, partner organizations, and supporters, and made new connections with groups as far away as Australia! Spending time immersed in our broader environmental law community reminded us that we are part of a larger fight for our collective future.

It is an honor to be fighting for our environment as part of our Crag community.

Rebeka, Kelly, and Mike in front of the PIELC banner

Nine of us went down to Eugene for the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, include Crag Board President Ka’sha Bernard! When we weren’t tabling, presenting, or attending other panels, we made time to get ice cream at Prince Pucklers.

Meriel and Maura presenting at PIELC on Land Use as a tool for Environmental Protection
Crag staff at PIELC getting ice cream at Prince Pucklers

And when we talk about our Crag community, we mean you!

Everyone who has taken a step, big or small, to engage with our team is part of our community. From the first board members who helped get this crazy idea going 22 years ago, to the interns and volunteers who have enriched our team, to the folks who are opening our newsletter for the first time. 

We rely on you all more than you may know. So much of our work happens behind the scenes. That is partly by design. We aim to keep the spotlight on our clients. Our job is to support them in achieving their goals for their communities and our environment. We are here to demystify the law and help chart a path through government processes so that those most impacted by a decision have a voice in the outcome. We are here to fight to ensure our environmental laws work for the people. 

In this year’s Spring newsletter, you’ll read from Rebeka Dawit about how we are expanding our vision of what it means to be a lawyer in order to provide services to a broader range of community groups fighting for environmental justice. Erin Hogan writes about how our work to protect forests is crucial to addressing the climate crisis. And you’ll hear from our newest attorney, Mike Sargetakis, about the importance of protecting public access to Oregon’s iconic beaches. 

Every person who knows about Crag, who takes the time to come to an event, read an article, love a story, or share a post about our work is helping increase our impact.

Crag staff smiling at camera minus Oliver in front of green trees - Feb 2023 Crag Staff Retreat

We hope you will help us continue to grow our community by telling someone you know about Crag. If one of the stories in this newsletter inspires you, please share it! Friends telling friends is how we build authentic connections and keep our movement strong.

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