Casey Kulla

Casey Kulla - Oregon Wild - State Forest Policy Coordinator

Casey joined Oregon Wild in 2022, after serving a term as Yamhill County Commissioner. Born and raised on the Oregon Coast, Casey spent many hours among the towering Sitka spruce of the Coast Range public lands and in the cold saltwater, surfing among the seals.

These early years in the magnificent wild taught Casey the power of our wild places and the need for human connection to the bigger world. Casey lived in Bellingham, Washington with his wife Katie for seven years while in undergraduate and graduate school, earning a BS in Biochemistry and a Masters in Forest Ecology. While in school and between schools, Katie and Casey lived at Holden Village in the snowy remote North Cascades of Washington, a former mining town turned retreat center. Casey ran saws, drove trucks, and served as plumber. His graduate research asked the question “what is happening in the glacier-fed watershed for Holden, and will climate change alter the timing of hydroelectric power and drinking water?”

Immediately after graduate school, Katie and Casey started Oakhill Organics in the Willamette Valley, a year-round, certified organic, diverse farm operation. Farming on Grand Island, a river island in the Willamette, is amazing but comes with major floods, and underlying all that topsoil is sand and gravel. Katie and Casey organized the community to oppose a major gravel quarry that sought to eliminate hundreds of acres of farmland and disrupt both surface and groundwater cycles.

In 2018, Casey ran for Yamhill County Commissioner on a platform of local climate action, fixing bridges, and supporting marginalized community members like trans youth. Casey worked with state agencies, Congressional staff, tribal council, local elected officials, and groups from Oregon Wild to the Street Trust on forestry, conservation, transportation, and economic justice issues. Casey joined Oregon Wild as the State Forest Policy Coordinator because he knows that healthy conifer forests are key to water, wild animals, and our healthy existence in this place.

Casey and his family spend a lot of time riding bikes, foraging for mushrooms, and swimming and surfing in the wild places of Oregon.

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