Yuki Reiss, Alex Conley, Darcy Batura, & Heather Hadsel
Alex has been the Executive Director of the Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board since 2006. He grew up poking around the woods and coast of New England and has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Williams College in Massachusetts. He spent four years in Senegal, West Africa as a Peace Corp volunteer and trainer working on agroforestry projects in small villages in the Sahel, before meeting a fellow volunteer (now his wife) who somehow convinced him to move west and away from salt water. During his five years in Tucson, he worked with and conducted research on collaborative groups addressing rangeland and forest management issues, and received a Master’s of Science in Renewable Natural Resource Studies from the University of Arizona. He then spent five years running the North Fork John Day Watershed Council in eastern Oregon, where he worked with ranchers and other landowners to design, fund and implement fish habitat and watershed improvement projects.
Alex enjoys learning about complex landscapes and the human livelihoods they support, and strives to bring together technical experts, stakeholders and policy makers to forge sound approaches to managing and restoring the river systems of the Yakima Basin. In his time off, Alex can be found tending to a project house and a few bee hives, reading too many books, or wandering the Cascades and the Blues with his family.
Lead Entity Coordinator
Darcy joined the Board in May of 2011. She has over 10 years of public and non-profit experience focused on protecting natural resources, accessible public education and promoting sustainability issues in our local communities. Her education includes a B.A. in Community, Environment and Planning from the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, and a M.S. in Resource Management from Central Washington University.
Her diverse work history involved 2 years with the Pomegranate Center, a non-profit organization that designs and builds artful community gathering spaces in high-density and low income communities, and 8 years with WSU King County Extension as environmental education faculty, eventually taking on the role of King County Extension Programs Director.
Darcy is a native Washingtonian and lives in Roslyn with her husband, two dogs and chickens. When shes not busy running the Board's Lead Entity process, she is usually off hiking in the woods or playing in the garden.
Recovery Program Coordinator
Yuki is currently working as a contractor for the YBFWRB from Kalaheo, Hawaii.
Yuki has been with the Board since March 2009. Prior to this job, Yuki worked for the US Forest Service on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest for 10 years. She worked on the Naches and Cle Elum ranger districts doing biological (spotted owls, amphibians, mollusks, fish) and habitat surveys, and planning efforts, including the latest forest plan revision. One of the main focuses of Yuki’s career has been working with bull trout. She has always been passionate about this species, and completed a master thesis in 2003 on the genetic relationships between bull trout populations in the Yakima basin.
Yuki has worked as a kayak guide, archeological technician, environmental educator, and recycling collector. All have confirmed her commitment to protecting natural resources and better understanding the world around us. She lives in Yakima with her husband and two daughters.
Heather joined the Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board in March 2012. She has seven years experience coordinating boards and committees with memberships across government agencies and jurisdictions. She lived in the Tri-Cities for eight years where she worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the Energy and Environment Directorate as the Project Administrator for a national power grid architecture council. She had also worked for the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau which represented 12 government jurisdictions where she helped coordinate community events. As a volunteer, she served on the board of the Tapteal Greenway and was the publicity chair for the Tumbleweed Music Festival.
She completed her Associate of Arts degree at Yakima Valley Community College in 2000 and will return to college soon to complete her B.A. in Business Administration. Heather grew up in the Yakima Valley and enjoys camping and hiking with her two children.
Photo Credit: Y. Reiss