Board of Directors

Chris JohnsonChris Johnson — Board President, Treasurer, Executive Director
One of the original co-founders of MSRF in 2001, Chris was instrumental in its startup phase and has served as MSRF’s President since 2003. He earned a B.S. from the Environmental Institute at the University of Washington (1992) with a specialty in policy and law, and apprenticed at the Puget Sound Alliance, working with Seattle’s boating community to reduce water pollution. In 1994, he made his home in Okanogan County, and lived in his grandparents’ historic Okanogan homestead. In 2013, Chris and his family moved to the Big Valley area of the Upper Methow, greatly reducing his daily commute.

Chris’s broad experience as a local land use planner and environmental project coordinator combined with his knowledge of endangered species issues, wetland delineation, and water rights have directly contributed to MSRF’s successes. An active fly fisher since childhood, Chris’s greatest strength is his ability build partnerships between recreationalists, landowners, businesses, government, communities, and conservationists to accomplish habitat restoration and endangered species enhancement. Chris currently serves on several boards, including the Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, the Methow Restoration Council, and the City of Okanogan Planning Commission.

"I have helped grow MSRF by always looking for on-the-ground ways to address regulatory requirements without sacrificing local culture or economics. Over the years, I worked hard to build partnerships with state and federal agencies, local governments, and landowners, so I have a solid footing to promote and complete cooperative restoration projects through MSRF.  I believe the best projects are those where each of the player’s goals can be met without sacrificing the needs of the community or the environment."              Chris Johnson   


Peg NielsenPeg Nielsen — Board Member, Director - Media Specialist
A Seattle native, Peg has always loved the natural environment. Her varied career has ranged from working as a contract actress with the noted animal film producer Ivan Tors to radio and television broadcasting in Los Angeles and Seattle. Her current position with the City of Seattle includes serving on the Environmental Management Systems team. She also actively promotes the Drive Less Campaigns and environmental programs of the City’s Department of Transportation. Peg is also an advisor to a City team developing an environmental education program for the Seattle School District. Peg earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in Environmental Law and Policy at the Vermont Law School. She has served on the regional and national boards of the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (AFTRA) and on the Board of Directors of the Seattle-based Marine Animal Resource Center. As a “west-sider,” Peg brings to MSRF a broad perspective on natural habitat restoration and special abilities in community outreach, media relations, and environmental education.

"I’m excited to be a part of MSRF, because it actively approaches environmental enhancement from an inclusive and creative--not a rigid--perspective. In this way, everyone can be involved in finding real, lasting solutions to salmon recovery. What matters most is that we all do the right thing for our natural environment, for our towns, and for our children and generations to come. These goals are interdependent."              Peg Neilsen


Greg Forge
Greg Forge — Board Vice President, Secretary - Legal Specialist
Greg, a founding Board member of MSRF, combines his love for the beauty of the Northwest with his expertise developed over years in the practice of law. He has previously served as Vice President, General Counsel for HighSpeed.com, a wireless broadband communication company, and as a partner of Davis Wright Tremaine, a national law firm. Greg’s extensive public policy background includes service as Special Counsel to the Washington State Stadium Authority, Special Assistant to the Governor of Idaho, counsel for the City of SeaTac, and serving on the Walla Walla Planning Commission.

 


Kathy Goldberg
Kathy Goldberg — Board Member, Director - Real Estate Specialist
A long-time resident of the Methow Valley, Kathy brings a strong local presence to the MSRF board. She and her husband moved to the valley in 1978 and raised three children on a farm near Libby Creek. Like many who live in the Methow, Kathy has worn many hats throughout the years, including as a rancher, a farmer, and a business owner and employer. For the last 15 years, Kathy has been a real estate agent and is a managing broker for Blue Sky Realty in Winthrop. When she joined the MSRF board in 2009, Kathy saw it as a unique opportunity to be part of an organization that is working with the community to address ecological challenges through a combination of active restoration, land protection and stewardship, environmental education, and public art. With her love of the natural beauty of the Methow and an understanding of the diverse perspectives within the community, Kathy enjoys helping MSRF find locally-driven innovative solutions that protect and restore the watershed.