About the Friends

The Friends are a group of volunteers who are passionate about the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuges, and who love and appreciate the refuge lands, flora, and fauna as natural resources which deserve to be cherished and protected. The Friends come from all walks of life, but all their different backgrounds have in common this love for nature. While the Friends promote and represent the refuges at various events around the valley, their goals, first and foremost, are to directly support the refuge complex achieve its conservation and restoration goals and to foster awareness and appreciation for the refuges through recreational and educational opportunities. Read on to meet our Board of Directors and learn more about the Friends community!

Board Members

Dave Landkamer, President

Dave is a non-formal resources educator with project experiences in aquaculture, fisheries, natural history, ecology, agriculture, archaeology, outreach program development and evaluation. He has studied at Utah State, Maine, Oregon State, Colorado State, and Northern Arizona Universities, and served as a university faculty member, Extension Service specialist, academic advisor, National Park Service ranger, and international trainer/consultant. His hobbies include wildlife watching, hiking, travel, gardening, woodcarving, canoeing, music, pottery, carpentry, and ice hockey.

Logan Bennett, Vice President

Sandy Kuhns, Secretary

Sandy served in the Peace Corps in Thailand in the late 70’s.  In the early 80’s she lived in Alaska working as an animal caretaker for polar bear, wolves, and foxes at the NARL Naval Arctic Research Facility. She also worked with reindeer at the University of Alaska, assisting a veterinarian working on the development of a brucellosis vaccine. Currently, Sandy has worked for the past 32 years as a CMA in a medical office, where she still works full-time, while spending her free hours at Finley NWR birding and hiking. She is active in the outdoors birding, hiking, and cross country skiing and enjoys reading during down time.

Contact: secretary.friends@gmail.com

Carroll DeKock, Treasurer

Carroll is retired from the Oregon State University Chemistry Department.   He volunteers at Finley mounting and maintaining bluebird and wood duck boxes.  He has also spent time mowing and destroying blackberries with heavy equipment—great fun!

Brian Wachelka, Web Manager + Membership Coordinator

Brian has been actively hiking the trails at Finley for years. After being inspired and joining the Friends Group, he jumped at the opportunity to join the board in early 2013.  He currently writes our Hiker’s Trail column in each newsletter. Brian works for Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis where he lives with his wife and two boys.

Doug G. Spencer

Friends President Doug Spencer promotes the Refuge Complex at the 2013 Oregon Gardens Earth Day Celebration, Photo courtesy of the Oregon Gardens

Doug Spencer promotes the Refuge Complex at the 2013 Oregon Gardens Earth Day Celebration, Photo courtesy of the Oregon Gardens

Doug is retired from a 34 year career with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He managed National Wildlife Refuges from New England, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Northwest states and the last position held was the Project Leader for the Willamette Valley NWRC, Oregon. Doug has a B.S. degree from Southern Connecticut State University, with major study in ornithology and ecology, and two years of graduate studies in ornithology. He is a veteran from the US Air Force in Security Police as a sergeant (1967 – 1971). Married with four children and five grandchildren, Doug’s hobbies are camping, hiking, wildlife watching, gardening, fishing and hunting.

Tom Nelson

Bird-watcher for 60 years and still learning!

Diane Young

Elizabeth French

Azizah Mohd

Debbie Maynard

Vacant Positions

There are several vacancies on our Board… and there’s no better time to get more involved!

No prior experience is required. If you are interested in volunteering or serving on our Board, please contact our Secretary at secretary.friends@gmail.com.

Join Our Email Newsletter