The mission of the Gorge Refuge Stewards is to connect the regional community to the Gorge Refuges through partnership, public education, advocacy, and habitat restoration. We envision an engaged community that actively values natural areas.


We believe in the power of nature to teach, inspire, transform, enrich our lives, and feed our souls.  And that we carry a great responsibility to protect, preserve, enhance, and restore natural areas to keep them healthy and safe for future generations to experience. We believe in exploring while restoring and sharing our passion to protect nature with our family, friends, and community. 


We were founded in 2006 by Gay Leslie who had a vision and a desire to support the US Fish and Wildlife Service's efforts to conserve wildlife on the 3 wildlife refuges on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. Working closely with then Refuge Manager, Jim Clapp, Ms. Leslie convened a group of like-minded community members to volunteer their time as advocates for the Refuges, and thus the Refuge Stewards were born.  Now 12+ years later, the Refuge Stewards have grown and changed from a handful of dedicated Board members to an organization which hosts yearly events like the Youth Photo Contest, and EcoBlitz, supports hundreds of volunteers who have provided over 3000 hours of their time a year, and even hired our first employee, our Volunteer Coordinator, in 2015. 


Current Board Members

Dave Pinkernell, President

Heather Devine, Past Co-President

Sherene Huntzinger, Past Co-President

Randy Fortish, Incoming Co-President

Brette Greenwood-Wing, Incoming Co-President

Rick Jones, Treasurer

Karen Wood, Secretary

Jana Grote

Dave Miller

Larry Stryker


Refuge Stewards Staff

Jared Strawderman, Volunteer Coordinator


Committee Chairs

Dave Pinkernell, Business Committee

Jana Grote, Community Connections Committee

Randy Fortish, Observation Blind

Sherene Huntzinger, Strategic Planning 

Larry Stryker, Nursery and Beer Collaboration 


Partnerships

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Friends of Ridgefield NWR

Friends of Tualatin NWR

Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership

The Intertwine


The mission of the Gorge Refuge Stewards is to preserve and enhance the native species of Steigerwald Lake, Franz Lake and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges through public education, advocacy and habitat restoration.


We believe in the power of nature to teach, inspire, transform, enrich our lives, and feed our souls.  And that we carry a great responsibility to protect, preserve, enhance, and restore natural areas to keep them healthy and safe for future generations to experience. We believe in exploring while restoring and sharing our passion to protect nature with our family, friends, and community. 


We were founded in 2006 by Gay Leslie who had a vision and a desire to support the US Fish and Wildlife Service's efforts to conserve wildlife on the 3 wildlife refuges on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. Working closely with then Refuge Manager, Jim Clapp, Ms. Leslie convened a group of like-minded community members to volunteer their time as advocates for the Refuges, and thus the Refuge Stewards were born.  Now 12+ years later, the Refuge Stewards have grown and changed from a handful of dedicated Board members to an organization which hosts yearly events like the Youth Photo Contest, and EcoBlitz, supports hundreds of volunteers who have provided over 3000 hours of their time a year, and even hired our first employee, our Volunteer Coordinator, in 2015. 


Current Board Members

Dave Pinkernell, President

Heather Devine, Past Co-President

Sherene Huntzinger, Past Co-President

Randy Fortish, Incoming Co-President

Brette Greenwood-Wing, Incoming Co-President

Rick Jones, Treasurer

Karen Wood, Secretary

Jana Grote

Dave Miller

Larry Stryker


Refuge Stewards Staff

Jared Strawderman, Volunteer Coordinator


Committee Chairs

Dave Pinkernell, Business Committee

Jana Grote, Community Connections Committee

Randy Fortish, Observation Blind

Sherene Huntzinger, Strategic Planning 

Larry Stryker, Nursery and Beer Collaboration


Partnerships

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Friends of Ridgefield NWR

Friends of Tualatin NWR

Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership

The Intertwine