Dana Pricher hired to coordinate conservation, education efforts for council

COURTESY PHOTO - Dana Pricher The Scappoose Bay Watershed Council has hired a new coordinator. Dana Pricher was hired last month after being selected by members of the council board.

"We knew Dana through her volunteering at the nursery, but I didn't know her background," said Greg Pettit, president of the SBWC board.

Pricher has volunteered at the council's Native Plant Nursery since 2014, but her expertise in ecology goes far beyond that role.

Pricher has worked in conservation roles with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service and other groups in Oregon and California. She earned her master's degree in rangeland ecology and management from Oregon State University.

"It's an opportunity to work in a local area with stream restoration projects, fish passage, and especially the native plant nursery, which is where I've been volunteering," Pricher said of her new position.

"I'm really excited about growing some of our partnerships with some of the other agencies," like the Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District, she added.

Pricher is a member of the city of Scappoose's parks and recreation committee and coordinates Friends of Scappoose Parks.

"It's all linked together," Pricher said of her volunteer work and new position.

But, she added, this new position offers a paid opportunity to dedicate more of her time to these issues.

Pricher said she's excited to continue the work of the council.

"The last few years they've done a lot of watershed assessments to see the state of things, so now putting those into use," she said.

"One of the things we liked was she wanted to communicate a vision for where we want to go," Pettit said, emphasizing the council's interest in getting the word out about their work.

The SBWC does restoration, preservation and education projects that support fish, wildlife and plants in the watershed.

The council now has three part-time staff members: Pricher; Amber Kester, watershed technician; and Chris Vanderzanden, who runs communications for the council.

Pricher is filling a role previously held by Pat Welle, who retired from the position to pursue other interests.

"Pat (Welle) did a great job while she was here. She really built up the council," Pettit said. "We were concerned when Pat told us she was leaving, but I think we found a good replacement."

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