The Deschutes Trails Coalition is made up of 33 partner groups. Learn more about our steering committee members and the organizations they represent below.
Jana has been the Executive Director of the Deschutes Trails Coalition (DTC) since 2021. She brings with her a 25-year history working in Trails and Land Management. Twenty of those years have been with the Forest Service in various places across the country – from Oregon to New Hampshire. Most recently she served on the Deschutes National Forest (DNF) as a Recreation Team Leader, managing multiple program areas that support Recreation and has also worked with dozens of non-profit trails and conservation organizations across the country as an employee, volunteer, and in partnership with the Forest Service. Her background in Trails Management spans from her early years as a trail crew member, managing the Trails and Wilderness Programs on the White Mountain National Forest, and leading the Bend-Fort Rock District Recreation Team of which the DNF’s Trails Program is a part. Jana lives in Bend with her husband, Chris, where they enjoy all Central Oregon has to offer.
Katie is the Senior Marketing Manager for Visit Central Oregon and as a born and raised Oregonian, she enjoys exploring new places in the region, live music, and all that Central Oregon has to offer.
Kit, along with Paul Engstrom, founded SWATS (Sawyers With Attitude To Spare) in 2010 to unite and coordinate the random DNF wilderness trail stewards working under the now-defunct Adopt a Trail program. Initially the group cleared only the trails for which they were already responsible, but soon they were asked to take on orphan trails, and now they are responsible for clearing about 125 miles of trail in the Mt Jefferson and Three Sisters Wildernesses. The group joined DTC to represent hikers and wilderness trails needs.
Steve is the president of Meissner Nordic Ski Club, a non-profit organization that grooms 47 km of cross-country ski trails at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park west of Bend. He enjoys working with other groups in the Deschutes Trails Coalition to provide much-needed outdoor recreational opportunities in Central Oregon.
Bruce has been a trail advocate in Bend since 2010. DTC gives him a chance to interact with experts in a variety of disciplines interested in the preservation of a unique and valuable resource. He’s excited to be a part of this team and encouraged by the number of successes we’ve been able to bring about.
Stacey grew up on her father’s working cattle ranch, east of Bend, developing a deep appreciation and connection to public lands. Her career and academic pursuits – from trails engineer to wilderness ranger to recreation planner to forest supervisor – kept her outdoors and focused on improving and collaboratively managing recreation resources throughout Oregon. She’s retired from a rich and fulfilling thirty-eight-years with the Forest Service and continues to hike, bike paddle, fish, camp, and learn the natural world to her heart’s content.
Rika Ayotte is the Executive Director of Deschutes Land Trust and co-led the effort to establish the Deschutes Trails Coalition. She serves on the Leadership Committee and believes that collaboration is the key to balancing recreation, natural resources and our local economy.
Geoff Babb is a two-time stroke survivor with a passion to make wild places accessible to those with mobility challenges. He retired from a 45-year career in fire management (primarily with The Nature Conservancy, Bureau of Land Management, and most recently, The Association for Fire Ecology), and now leads The Onward Project, creators of AdvenChair.
Kim McCarrel is Oregon Equestrian Trails’ representative on the Deschutes Trails Coalition. She serves on the Steering Committee and the Leadership and Newberry Monument sub-committees. She is also the VP of Public Lands for Oregon Equestrian Trails and a member of Back Country Horsemen of Oregon and Washington. Kim has been an avid trail rider for more years than she will admit. She is the author of five equestrian trail guidebooks and produces a weekly blog about horse camps and trails in Oregon and SW Washington. Her website is www.nwhorsetrails.com. Kim lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband Steve, two fluffy dogs, and two amazing horses.
Richard Nix has been married to his wife Claudia for 35 years and is President of the Friends of the Central Cascades Wilderness, currently. He is a former Engineering Manager AP USA and AP France and holds 30 plus patents. He has been a Formula 1 Scrutineer since 1982
Garth works for The Nature Conservancy and supervises projects and partnerships across eastern Oregon – most recently focusing on central and southeast Oregon’s sagebrush-steppe habitats. Before working for the Nature Conservancy, Garth worked in the field of population biology and genetics. He has a Masters in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Animal Behavior and Evolution from the University of Illinois. Garth lives in Bend and enjoys using the trails and wild places in Central Oregon (sustainably) for biking, trail running, hiking, paddling and skiing.
Sue Sullivan is a retired process engineer who worked in the paper industry in Oregon for most of her career. Her enthusiasm for backcountry skiing brought Sue and her husband to Central Oregon after retirement. She is the vice president of the Central Oregon Nordic Club, and in her role with CONC she coordinates the maintenance of about 100 miles of ungroomed cross country ski and snowshoe trails on the Deschutes National Forest.
Karen Walsh, Executive Director of Discover Your Forest, a dba of Discover Your Northwest. Discover Your Forest is dedicated to promoting the discovery of the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland by enriching visitors’ experience, building community support, and creating the next generation of environmental stewards. Discover Your Northwest serves as the fiscal sponsor for Deschutes Trail Coalition. Karen serves on the Leadership and Steering Committee of DTC.
Kevin Hopper, representing the OHV community and Public Land Stewards. Focused on keeping Public Lands open for all users, you will find Kevin recreating, cleaning, and caring for the surrounding lands and trails throughout the year.
Joanne Richter is an active outdoors woman who enjoys hiking up mountains, walking along rivers, paddling in streams, and cross-country skiing. She is an active member of the Deschutes Trails Coalition, and serves on the boards of the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and the local chapter of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness. Joanne also loves to walk her cat Charli and her dog Boots every day.
Marv Lang simply loves being outdoors doing numerous different things that he enjoys. He always wanted to work in the woods and so received a bachelor’s degree in Forest Management. It got him a job with the US Forest Service and a 42 year career which he loved. During that career, he worked in fire and then recreation, mostly in trails. Since retiring in 2019, he has stayed in touch with the trails world in Central Oregon through staying active in DTC. It allows him to give back where he can and keep in touch with trail folks. He sees it as a very worthwhile cause which is important to me personally.
Emmy Andrews is the Executive Director of the Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA). COTA’s mission is to develop, protect, and enhance the Central Oregon mountain bike experience through trail stewardship, advocacy, collaboration, and education. Emmy is a member of DTC’s Steering and Outreach committees.
Teague Hatfield is the owner of Birkenstock/Bend Shoe Co in downtown Bend and on the Eastside. Teague is a longtime conservation-minded Bend shoe retailer and trail enthusiast.
John retired from the US Forest Service in 2019 with his last 12 years as Forest Supervisor of the Deschutes NF. He enjoys being outdoors; hiking, skiing, fishing and exploring new places. His wife Julie and him have a son, Conor who lives here in Bend. Reading a good book, cooking and travel are things he seems to have more time for after my working years.
Scott, executive director of the Sisters Trails Alliance (STA), sits on the DTC steering committee to further –alongside other DTC stakeholders –more responsible forms of recreation. STA believes strongly in the protection and preservation of the outdoor experience, not only for humans but for wildlife, with the goal of creating accountable trail stewardship and collaboration.
Tom Lomax is retired from Mt Bachelor where he began his work with the DTC. Now as an at-large DTC member he can use his experience working with the Forest Service and a variety of trail interests in working towards the goals of the DTC. Being an active crew leader with COTA and a nearly daily user of recreation on the Deschutes National Forest shows the importance of all trail users working together and being involved in the DTC gives this opportunity.
Phil Chang was elected to the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners in November 2020. He has made Bend his home for 20 years and raised his son there. He has worked for almost 30 years to help rural communities build sustainable economies, where workers can combine making a living with being good stewards of the environment. This has included work to maintain and enhance recreational assets in destination communities such as Yosemite and Lake Tahoe as well as Bend. Phil spent many of his summers in the 1990s leading trail crews and teaching trail work skills for conservation corps programs and still enjoys volunteering for trail projects when he can. Phil holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from UC Berkley.
Lisa Machnik is the Recreation, Heritage, Lands and Partnerships staff officer for the Deschutes National Forest. When she’s not in the office, she tries to get out on a trail every day! Prior to joining the Forest Service, Lisa worked as a backcountry guide in Canada and New Zealand before completing her PhD at Clemson University. Over the past 15 years with the Forest Service, she has served as the Pacific Northwest Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Congressionally Designated Areas Program Manager as well as on projects supporting ecotourism and trail development projects around the world, including the Caribbean, West Africa, and Madagascar.