Oregon Parks and Recreation’s Stewardship Division works to ensure that the “conservation of natural resources” part of OPRD’s overall mission happens! We provide land stewardship for all parks, state natural areas, recreation areas, and the Ocean Shore. That’s a big job! Here on this blog, three of our natural resource specialists share some their work.
Andrea Berkley is the Natural Resource Specialist for state parks in the Willamette Valley, Portland Metro area, and Columbia River Gorge. She has been with OPRD since 2010. Originally from San Diego, she has worked on invasive species and habitat restoration projects throughout the Western U.S. for 12 years. Her work for OPRD includes habitat restoration project planning and fundraising, working with park staff and partner organizations to protect and enhance natural resources in state parks, and preventing and managing invasive species. Her favorite park is Champoeg State Heritage Area due to the prominence of Oregon white oak, and the variety of habitat types.
Vanessa Blackstone is the Wildlife Biologist for Oregon State Parks, so she gets to travel around the entire state! A native Ohioan, Vanessa joined the state and the team April 11, 2011, previously working in northern and southern California, Tennessee, and Ohio. She looks for critters in the depths of the forest, among waving grasses, across the high desert, and the Ocean Shore. Her work includes implementing the Habitat Conservation Plan for western snowy plover, recovery of threatened and endangered species within state parks, and wildlife management across the entire state. She also supports parks in their efforts to blend wildlife conservation and human recreation in an increasingly populated world.
Katie Duzik is the Natural Resource Specialist for state parks on the North Coast, from Fort Stevens all the way down to Yachats.