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Board of Directors

President, Connie Gallant (Quilcene) is a 30+year resident of Quilcene. She works with RV Consumer Group, a nonprofit consumer advocate organization dedicated to researching the safety of recreational vehicles. Based on the Olympic Peninsula, Connie’s professional experience includes administration and management, writing, editing, web design, and photography. She has been active in local politics since moving to Quilcene in 1982, where she volunteered to teach martial arts to adults and children, and self-defense classes for women. Prior to moving to Washington state, she lived in San Diego, California, working in the Research/Development Department of a large corporation, and ultimately forming her own business as a fashion and nature photographer. With her husband, JD Gallant, Connie managed a lodging resort in the Sierra Nevada where she learned the importance of balancing nature with human habitat. She is an active member of a number of wildlife organizations. Additionally, JD and Connie continue to monitor, as volunteers, the conditions of Quilcene and Dabob Bays from the effects of oyster spat hatcheries and dissolved oxygen levels.

As a member of the OFCO board, she serves as an activist on the Forest team, and is responsible for the administration of the organization. Connie is the recipient of:

  • the Washington Wild’s co-founder Karen M. Fant Environmentalist Award;
  • the Olympic Audubon Society Conservation Award;
  • the Hood Canal Coordinating Council Environmental Award,
  • the Northwest Watershed Institute’s Salmon Creek Restoration Award.

She is also the Chair of the Wild Olympics Campaign – a campaign proposing wilderness and wild and scenic river designations on the Olympic Peninsula for the protection of our watersheds.


Secretary, Jill Silver (Port Townsend) is a Washington state native who lives and works on the Olympic Peninsula, where she’s watched the landscape change over her lifetime. An environmental scientist with experience in riparian and aquatic habitat restoration, watershed assessment, and development of watershed-scale conservation programs, she holds a B.A.S. in Environmental Studies and Sciences from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. As executive director of the nonprofit 10,000 Years Institute, her focus is on the protection of rivers, wetlands, forests and nearshore environments. She serves as a board member of the Olympic Coast Alliance, the Forests and Fish Wetland Scientific Advisory Group, and the Jefferson County Noxious Weed Board.


Peggy Bruton Edwards (Olympia) spent the first 50 years of her life in Washington, D.C., where she worked as an editorial consultant and was a long-time environmental activist. She moved to Olympia, Wash. in 1991 with her husband, David Edwards, after living for several years in southern Italy. She has also lived in Asia (Thailand) as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She is currently Forest Issues portfolio chair for the Washington State League of Women Voters. Peggy is OFCOs newsletter editor. She is also one of the most connected persons in Olympia and we go to her for guidance in building a stronger program in Olympia.


Coleman Byrnes (Port Angeles) is a semi-retired fish and wildlife biologist who is still working part time for Clallam County. He has a fisheries degree from the UW (1967) and has worked for county, state, federal and tribal entities as well as for private consultants and educational institutions. He has worked with all species of Northwest salmonids in both fresh and saltwater environments. He has also worked with many other species of marine fish, marine mammals, marine birds, amphibians and terrestrial birds. Presently, he is involved in several government-sponsored committees dealing with salmon recovery and in numerous volunteer projects dealing with fish and wildlife. He and his wife were presented with a community service award for their environmental volunteer work in April 2010.


Catharine Copass (Port Angeles) is an ecologist who has worked for the National Park Service on projects monitoring landscape changes and mapping plant communities in and around national parks in Washington state.

She brings a wide range of technical and field skills and is excited to have this opportunity to help OFCO develop an independent assessment of the status of state forests.




Marcy Golde (Seattle) moved to Washington state in 1960 and started volunteering with the Washington Environmental Council (WEC) in 1979. She has focused on forestry, wildlife and water issues, especially as they relate to state and private forest lands, including several intensive forestry negotiations. She also directed a three-year program to implement the Timber, Fish and Wildlife agreement, which she helped negotiate. The WEC program had part-time staff in each of the seven DNR regions from 1988-1991, who monitored state and private timber sales and joined interdisciplinary field visits.

Marcy has continued to volunteer for WEC, trying to prevent the Board of Natural Resources from reducing fish and riparian protection and increasing the harvest level. That effort failed, but a successful lawsuit overturned that decision. WEC and the other plaintiffs, including OFCO, then worked on a negotiated settlement. She also has worked with the Washington Forest Law Center consulting with the Conservation Caucus on the Forest and Fish Agreement. Marcy also has served on the boards of Earth Ministry and the Northwest Fund for the Environment. In 1999 she joined the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee and completed her second and last term. In 2004 Marcy joined OFCO’s board and our state forest issues committee.


Fayette Krause (Port Townsend) worked as Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Washington state for 30 years, beginning in 1979. He focused his TNC work on the Upper Skagit Basin, southwest Washington, DNR’s Trust Land Transfer Program and, most recently, the expansion of DNR’s Dabob Bay Natural Area Preserve. Fayette currently serves on the board of the North Cascades Conservation Council (N3C); he’s N3C’s representative on Seattle City Light’s Land Acquisition and Management groups for Skagit Basin mitigation lands. He was also recently appointed the Conservation Chair Alternate of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. In 2010 he served as a member of the Puget Sound Rockfish Recovery Advisory Group to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Fayette has recently prepared an annotated list of bird species for a portion of Fort Worden State Park and is active in environmental issues there.


Rae Deane Leatham (Port Ludlow) has an educational background and experience which contribute great expertise to OFCO’s marine waters advocacy. She earned a BA in Zoology from the University of California, and a Masters of Marine Science from the Long Island University, New York. Rae Deane worked for the Dept. of Fish and Game, Oregon State University (1985–87), to develop a grant project summarizing research papers on migratory game birds, their populations and management histories. She also developed an instructional game to accompany a comic book relating effects of hunting on goose populations. Rae Deane’s research experience includes working as a research assistant for the Oceanography Dept., Oregon State University (1974–1985). Her work included identifying zooplankton, taking water samples and water column profiles, and literature review summary. Rae Deane also worked for several years in the lab and field measuring the impact of zooplankton on phytoplankton. She raised several species of both phyto- and zooplankton to test for differences in feeding technique and preferences for plant shape and chlorophyll content. Rae Deane wrote programs to analyze research statistically and to maintain research data. She contributed to grant-funded research papers.

Rae Deane was also active in land conservation, working in Snohomish County as an officer of the Lake Stickney Conservancy to have Snohomish County Parks successfully purchase an undeveloped area (14 acres) of the lake. The parcel became a regional park which preserved the area’s wetlands.

Rae Deane has technical skills as well. As a certified network engineer for Everett Community College (1989–2007), she managed the upgrading of the network, servers, databases, email and accounts for all students, staff and administrators. As a volunteer for The Nature Conservancy at their Seattle office, Rae Deane helped set up and maintain the volunteer database.


Karen Sullivan (Port Townsend) retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where she worked as a wildlife biologist (marine and estuary issues in the mid-Atlantic states), endangered species biologist in charge of the Service’s national Endangered Species Outreach Program (headquarters office, Washington, D.C.), and a legislative liaison, then Assistant Regional Director for External Affairs (Alaska Region). She worked extensively on the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, NEPA and international affairs issues throughout her career, and in Alaska was responsible for all media and congressional communications, as well as all print and online publications, and legislative and public outreach strategies. Aboard the Service’s 137-foot research vessel, M/V Tiglax, she did baseline seabird population research in the Aleutians. She worked with three states and more than 30 organizations to obtain a designation for 130,000 acres of important habitat as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Treaty. She also worked with State Department and Canadian Embassy officials to draft an endangered species Framework for Cooperation between Canada and the United States, which was signed by both countries and led to endangered species legislation in Canada. She was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in 2005. Since retiring to Port Townsend, she and her partner, Jim, sailed their 24-foot boat from Port Townsend to New Zealand. Upon returning to discover the extent of rapidly encroaching military activity on public lands and waters, Karen co-founded the West Coast Action Alliance, which examines and analyzes the Navy’s compliance with NEPA, ESA and other laws. She works alongside several national organizations on ecological conservation issues.


Toby Thaler (Seattle) received his law degree (J.D.) in 1978 at the University of Washington Law School. Since that time he has been a successful advocate for natural resource conservation. He has a wide range of experience in natural resources law, including work with three Native American Tribes on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula, Seattle City Light, Washington Environmental Council and Washington Forest Law Center. In addition to his membership in the Washington State Bar Association, he is also admitted to practice in U.S. District Courts and U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Toby has also offered his pro bono legal services to various environmental organizations, including the Washington Environmental Council. OFCO receives the benefits of his experience with his work on our state forest team.



Olympic Forest Coalition – PO Box 461 – Quilcene, WA 98376-0461