Staff & Board

Sarah B pic

Sarah Birkeland

Land Project Manager

I moved here from Corvallis in July 2022 after first getting to know the Methow in the 1980's. I enjoy tackling multi-faceted projects, and land conservation presents those in spades. There’s the technical, legal, and scientific side to this work, which is endlessly fascinating, but it’s the people part that’s the most rewarding. That’s just one of the reasons I’m excited and honored to be joining the Methow Conservancy, which does such incredible work in service of this special community and place.

My Best Day in the Methow: There are so many, but I’ll say a hike in the fall when warm days turn cool quickly, the scent of decaying leaves is in the air, and it feels like snow is around the corner, followed by a big wedge of homemade apple pie.


Sarah Brooks

Executive Director

I love connecting people to the causes they care about -- and there's nothing better than being a part of that in the Methow Valley! Every day I invite people to show their love for this special Valley by supporting our conservation efforts. I ensure donations are spent carefully and efficiently and I get to help craft the stories of impact our work produces. Amazing!

My Best Day in the Methow: A long hike in the hills followed by cross-country running practice with the awesome athletes on the high school team, family dinner, and a few moments of awe looking up at the dark skies.

Liana cabiles

Liana Cabiles

Conservation Easement Manager


Initially, fish brought me to the Methow Valley in 2019. Ever since, I’ve been relishing in its treasure trove of extraordinary people, places, activities, and scenic views. The majority of my career has been in natural resources with a focus on plant and wildlife research (and a short stint with water quality and geology). At the Conservancy, I’m privileged to spend a good amount of my workday out in the field, visiting conservation easements, and partnering with landowners to achieve their conservation goals. I’m excited to learn from and contribute to the exceptional stewardship of the Methow Valley community and the Conservancy’s mission!

My Best Day in the Methow: Too many to choose from…and I’m easy to please, so any combination of outdoor activity, good company, and tasty food, have made me a happy camper!!

Julie Grialou

Julie Grialou

Senior Ecologist


I've been living in the Methow Valley for 19 years. My background is in wildlife ecology, but I do a little bit of everything at the Methow Conservancy: mapping, grant writing, etc. I love spending time outdoors mountain biking, hiking, cross-country skiing. I’m awed by the beauty of this place every day.

My Best Day in the Methow: A good cup of coffee in the morning, followed by a ski or mountain bike ride with family and/or friends, seeing some really cool wildlife or tracks, and who knows what after that.


Bridger Layton

Education Programs Coordinator


I fell in love with the Methow working seasonally for Willow Brook Farm while on summer break from my primary job as an environmental educator in Salt Lake City. Nowhere else have I met so many people who care deeply about maintaining the character of their community, stewarding their land, and supporting one another. One summer a few years ago, I was lamenting leaving the valley and a friend told me, "Remember, happiness is just a U-turn away." I finally made that U-turn, and I'm so excited to see where it takes me. I'm looking forward to cultivating educational experiences for the residents of the Methow as well as learning from each of you and your unique perspective on this beautiful place.

My Best Day in the Methow: The day begins with a trip to the farmer's market, followed by a long bike ride in the hills, then a dip in the river at the confluence in Twisp. The day ends on a patio with local produce now transformed into a home-cooked meal, drinking a beer, laughing with friends.


Ashley Lodato

Associate Director


I've been visiting the Methow Valley since I was a child and the valley became my permanent home in 2005, when my husband and I uprooted ourselves from Northern Maine to raise our children in this special place. After being a conservator and board member for the Methow Conservancy for many years, I joined the staff to focus on communication, outreach, operations, and other aspects of the Conservancy's efforts to connect people with places.

My Best Day in the Methow: A long hike in the mountains, a potluck by the water with friends, eating warm raspberries straight off the canes, and a dark sky filled with stars.

Mary Morgan Photo

Mary Morgan

Membership Assistant


I manage the database that tracks the generous donations from our supporters. I help with many of the details associated with our fundraising efforts, including the mailing of the Annual Appeal, thank you letters, and many of the other small details that keep our operation running smoothly. After busy full-time careers in Seattle, my husband Phil and I retired to the Methow Valley to ski, hike and basically enjoy all the wonderful activities we love. But I realized I missed working with people, so I wandered into the Methow Conservancy, met this crazy group of people, and began volunteering. In 2009, I came on board as a part-time employee and they haven’t been able to get rid of me yet!

My Best Day in the Methow: A latte at Rocking Horse Bakery, a great hike with my friends to Cutthroat Pass, and coming home to a dinner made by Phil from Methow Valley Farmer’s Market produce!

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Joy Schwab



My non-profit accounting career started after moving to the Methow Valley from Idaho in 1992. My first job in the Valley was with the Methow Institute Foundation doing administrative work & accounting for IAC grants for developing the Methow Valley Community Trail. It is always very interesting doing bookkeeping at the Methow Conservancy-- a variety of grants & many forms of donations. I am grateful for the awesome community support.

My Best Day in the Methow: hiking in the North Cascades in summer or fall (with no mosquitoes or biting flies!)

Daniel senner

Daniel Senner

Conservation Project Manager


Engaging people with the land of the Methow Valley can take many forms: from attending lectures by important figures, to owling on sub zero winter nights, to learning about the weeds around your house. It’s my job to create these experiences with the land of the Methow Valley that would never happen on their own. In doing so, I'm excited to foster a strong stewardship ethic and a lively conservation community.

My Best Day in the Methow: cross country skiing through Pipestone Canyon on a sunny afternoon and then defrosting next to a roaring wood stove.

Jeanne White

Jeanne White

Conservation Director


We moved to the Methow from Colorado in 2001 with our young family. The beauty of the Valley and the amazing community that thrives here captivated us. I have an Environmental Law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. At the Conservancy, it is my privilege to work with landowners who want to protect their land through conservation easements. I love to garden, hike with my dogs, swim across Patterson Lake and ski any trail, hill or mountain provided there's enough snow!

My Best Day in the Methow: So many perfect days! A hike in the mountains with friends, followed by a dip in the river or Patterson Lake.

Board of Directors

  • Benj Drummond, President
  • Kristen Kirkby, Vice President
  • David Clement, Secretary
  • Joanne Uehara, Treasurer
  • Ashley Ahearn
  • Carrie Fink
  • Mary Johnston
  • Jessi Kelley
  • Sam Naney
  • Peggy Porter
  • Tiffany Surface
  • Kevin van Bueren

Advisory Council

  • Martha Kongsgaard & Peter Goldman (co-chairs)
  • Roxie Miller (co-chair) & Carl Miller (1939-2020, co-chair always)
  • Caryl Campbell & John Adams
  • Jon Albright
  • Char & Ed Alkire
  • David Bonn
  • Carolyn & Duncan Bronson
  • Carolyn Griffin-Bugert & Bob Bugert
  • Sonya & Tom Campion
  • Laurel Canan
  • Heidi de Laubenfels & Harris Clarke
  • Maud & Marc Daudon
  • Cathy & Phil Davis
  • Kristin Devin
  • Steve Dixon
  • Tom Doran
  • Jane Gilbertsen
  • Richard Hart
  • Jennifer Lewis & Bryan Jaffe
  • Ray Johnston
  • Ron Judd
  • Mary Drobka & Tom Lenchek
  • Sue & Mike Megaard
  • Theresa Miller
  • Raleigh Bowden & Peter Morgan
  • Marilyn & Denny O'Callaghan
  • Jason Paulsen
  • Dina & Paul Pigott
  • Gaye & Jim Pigott
  • Bill Pope
  • Heather & Ric Redman
  • Dave & Marilyn Sabold
  • Jeff Clapsaddle & John Schoettler
  • Kristen Webb & David Schooler
  • Tina & Eliot Scull
  • Frauke Rynd & Mac Shelton
  • Patty and Stu Spencer
  • Keith & Deb Stennes
  • Stephanie & Jamie Stewart
  • Fred Wert
  • Maggie Coon & Mark Wolf-Armstrong

Help the Methow Conservancy purchase 1200 acres of the Sunny M Ranch for the community (human and wild) by June 15th!

Learn more and donate to the Campaign for Sunny M Ranch Now