Washington Water Trust

Working to restore our state's rivers and streams.

Board of Directors and Advisors


Rick Kirkby, President is an attorney who has worked on environmental and water resource issues with city, county and state governments.  Mr. Kirkby has been involved in water rights adjudications, water supply policy development and related natural resources issues and currently works as a consultant with a focus on water resources policy.  Mr. Kirkby is a graduate of the University of Michigan Business School and received his JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1973.  He is also a board member of the Washington Foundation for the Environment.  Mr. Kirkby has lived in the Northwest since 1973 and currently resides on Bainbridge Island.  In his free time he enjoys hiking and kayaking. 

Dale Bambrick, Vice President  is the Eastern Washington Habitat Branch Chief for the National Marine Fisheries Service. A professional fisheries biologist with 24 years of experience working on salmon habitat issues, he also has an extensive background in water policy, and helped author Washington's "Trust Water Rights Program" guidelines. His previous professional history includes stints as the Regional Director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Region 3 in Yakima, and as the Habitat manager for the Yakama Nation Fisheries program. He is a native of Washington state, and has lived in the Yakima River Basin since 1979. The Bambrick family spend as much time as possible together floating, swimming, fishing and gazing at the lakes, rivers and streams of Washington. Dale is a graduate of Central Washington University.

Mitch Bateman, Treasurer is the Controller of Delta Western Inc. in Seattle. He participates in overseeing the day to day accounting functions, as well as ensuring timely and accurate financial reporting. Prior to joining Delta Western Inc., Mitch worked seven years as an auditor at the public accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP in Bellevue, WA. He studied Accounting at Central Washington University, earning both a Bachelors and Masters degree. In his free time, he enjoys camping, hiking, snowboarding, and doing yard work at his home.

Jim Anderson, Secretary is currently the Executive Advisor at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for which he was Executive Director from 1985-2005. He was also a founding member of the Timber Fish Wildlife Policy Group, Water Resource Forum, Shared Salmon Strategy and the Hatchery Reform Coordinating Committee. He has over twenty-five years of experience in statewide natural resource policy matters. Jim is also a board member on the Department of Interior's Sports Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, the Pacific Education Institute and the Enumclaw Regional Hospital. In his free time, Jim enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, golf and traveling.

Jessica Levin is a staff attorney at the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law & Equality at Seattle University School of Law.  Jessica began her career as a law clerk to the Honorable Marlin J. Appelwick in the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division One.  She then worked at Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell, LLP, where she practiced in a wide range of civil matters.  She returned to Division One to clerk for the Honorable James R. Verellen after traveling around the world.  She has volunteered for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project as a pro bono attorney in the Immigrant Families Advocacy Project. She enjoys spending time with her family floating and fly-fishing the Yakima River, cycling, gardening and traveling.  She holds the rank of third degree black belt in Aikido, a Japanese martial art whose philosophy centers on nonviolent conflict resolution.

Tom Ring is a hydrogeologist with the Water Resources Program of the Yakama Nation.  He has held this position since 1990 and, in that role, has worked on a variety of projects involving groundwater and surface water quantity and quality, water rights, irrigation and fisheries issues and planning for future water needs.  Previously he worked for the Water Resources Program at the Washington Department of Ecology.  Tom has Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in geology from Central Washington University and Northern Arizona University respectively.  He has taught geology and hydrogeology classes at Central Washington University and is a licensed geologist and hydrogeologist in Washington State. When not working, he enjoys hiking, climbing, and skiing in the mountains of the west. 

Suzanne Skinner, Senior Advisor, an attorney for over 25 years, is currently in private practice and a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Seattle University Law School's Korematsu Center, and its Homeless Rights Advocacy Project. She is the former Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy where she advocated to preserve instream flows in the courts, the legislature and with administrative agencies. From 2001 to 2010, she served as the Director of the Civil Division of the Seattle City Attorney's Office, representing the City and elected officials in a broad spectrum of political and legal issues. She is co-founder of Civic Exchange: a public policy think tank focused on improving environmental policy and democratic dialog in Hong Kong. Suzanne also served as an Administrative Appeals Judge for the Washington State Environmental Hearings Office from 1995-1999, and participated in decisions on water rights and hydraulic continuity. She also litigated hydro power and salmon issues for American Rivers out of its Seattle office from 1993-1995. Before moving home to Seattle, she was an Assistant US Attorney in Brooklyn, NY and clerked for the US District Court Judge Malcolm Muir. 

Suzanne is a volunteer attorney for Kids in Need of Defense and the ACLU, and on the board of the Seattle Shakespeare Company. When not working, she loves to play outside, travel and make bad ceramics.

Ken Slattery After graduating from Puyallup High School in 1970 and Western Washington State College in 1974, Ken Slattery worked for the Washington Department of Ecology’s Water Resources Program 35 years, the last six of which he was the Program Manager of that program. During his career, Ken authored or co-authored many pieces of legislation that were passed into law including the state’s Trust Water Rights Acts and federal legislation that authorized the Yakima Basin Water Enhancement Program. Much of his long career was devoted to protecting and restoring instream flows in the state’s rivers and streams. He was also involved in much of the litigation that helped shape Washington water law over three decades. Ken retired from state service in 2011 and has since enjoyed hiking, sailing, birding, travel and golf. He and his wife Teresa live in Tacoma and they have two grown daughters, Holly and Kelly.

William Stelle, Senior Advisor joined the Washington Water Trust as a member of the Board and as senior advisor to the Executive Director in 2018. Will has been involved with natural resource issues throughout his career. He specialized in marine resource law at the University of Washington, University of Maine and Dalhousie University, and then spent more than a decade in Washington D.C. in a variety of legislative and executive branch roles. He served with the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and then as general counsel for the House Fish and Wildlife Subcommittee and chief counsel for the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. Will later moved to the Executive branch as special assistant to then Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to develop the Northwest Forest Plan, and then shifted to the the White House to referee interdepartmental issues and priorities for natural resources policy and budgets.

Will moved tot the Puget Sound Region in 1993 and served two tours of duty as Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries from 1993-2000 and later from 2009-2017, where he oversaw the listings of salmon populations under the ESA and the creation and implementation of a comprehensive ESA salmon recovery program coastwide encompassing reforms in the four "Hs" of habitat, harvest, hatcheries and hydropower   involving multiple other federal agencies, tribal governments, state and local governments and a variety of private sector entities. In these capacities, Will has been deeply involved with a wide array of water, flow and aquatic resource issues in California and the PNW. Will and his wife Claudia Stelle have four grown sons.

Cleve Steward is a senior fisheries scientist and conservation biologist with AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc.  He provides technical assistance in analyzing environmental impacts, complying with governmental regulations, and resolving conflicts involving fisheries and aquatic resources, with emphasis on water management, land use, watershed analysis, habitat mitigation and restoration, and fisheries research and management. He has over twenty five years experience and education in salmon and trout ecology and management, both as a government employee and as a private consultant and has worked with agencies, tribes, utilities and conservation groups. He received a bachelor's degree in Wildlife studies at the University of Montana and completed his master's in Fisheries at the University of Washington.  He is an active member of the American Fisheries Society, American Water Resources Association, and American Institute of Fisheries Research Biologists, and is co-founder and current Executive Director of the Sustainable Fisheries Foundation.


Lara Fowler, Past President is an attorney with the law firm of Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP. Lara works with public and private clients to resolve environmental and natural resource issues. She works both as an advocate helping clients figure out their water rights, navigate the complexity of environmental laws, and figure out how to accomplish their goals, and as a mediator resolving complex multi-party issues like who is entitled to store and use groundwater under the greater Los Angeles area or a potential solution to regional transportation in the Puget Sound area.  Lara graduated with Honors from the University of Washington School of Law and holds a BA in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College.

Dan Guderjohn, WWT advisory board member and former Treasurer, is a business appraiser with Corporate Advisory Associates in Seattle. He provides financial and valuation advisory services to privately-held companies in the Pacific Northwest for purposes of tax and financial reporting, ownership transitions, merger/acquisition transactions, and business litigation. Prior to joining Corporate Advisory Associates, Dan worked at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle in the asset/liability management group. He studied economics and mathematics at the University of Washington and completed graduate studies in computational finance at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In his free time, he enjoys camping, hiking, fly-fishing, and racquetball.

Wick Dufford, is a lawyer who represented Washington State in water resource matters for many years as Assistant Attorney General.  He is a former chairman of the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board, the trial forum for most water resource cases in the state.  He has taught water law as a member of the Gonzaga University Law School faculty, and he has written a number of articles on the topic of water law. Mr. Dufford currently serves as a land use Hearing Examiner for San Juan County and for the cities of Bellevue and Tacoma.  He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Washington School of Law.

Gareth Green, PhD, currently teaches Economics at Seattle University. He received his PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics in 1995 from the University of California at Berkeley and his BA in Economics at the University of Washington. Prior to joining Seattle University, he taught micro and macroeconomics at Western Washington University and natural resource economics and microeconomic theory at Washington State University. Green's research interests include natural resource and environmental economics, investment theory, the economics of technology adoption, and statistical modeling. Specific examples of his research include designing water purchase programs for the Bureau of Reclamation for salmon habitat restoration in Idaho and Washington, developing and instituting water pricing policies in California irrigation districts, estimating the technology-adoption response to water pricing regulations, and examining the potential for environmental water marketing and leasing in Washington.

Patricia L. Olson, PhD, holds a double major in International Relations and Geography, an MS in Physical Geography from the University of Calgary and a PhD in Hydrology from the University of Washington.  Her dissertation research focused on groundwater-surface water interactions, with emphasis on aquatic relationships. She was formerly director of the Pacific Watershed Institute an organization dedicated to integrating ecosystem science with management in aquatic systems.  Between obtaining her advanced degrees, Ms. Olson worked for the Division of Waters, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  As statewide Instream Flow Program manager, she developed partnerships among tribal, federal, state and local governments that led to implementation of Minnesota’s instream flow program.  At the Pacific Watershed Institute, Ms. Olson  developed watershed assessment, monitoring and restoration strategies for tribal and federal governments and other partnerships.  She has also provided scientific and technical advice and testimony on water rights issues in Washington, particularly in relation to effects of groundwater appropriations on stream flow and aquatic habitat.  She is currently works with Washington Department of Ecology in Olympia.

Pat Spurgin is an attorney, Yakima, WA.

Steve Suagee is an attorney who has represented Native American Tribes up and down the West Coast.   Mr. Suagee has worked with the Hoopa Valley Tribe on the Trinity River in northern California, and for the past five years, with the Colville Tribes as a reservation based attorney on the Columbia, Okanogan, and San Poil Rivers in north central Washington.  He has worked on instream flow issues for 14 years and much of the work he has done in both California and Washington has involved protection and restoration of stream flows. Mr. Suagee is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and received his JD from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1986.  Mr. Suagee also is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Indian Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association, and member of the Cherokee Nation.

Norman K.  Whittlesey, PhD, is Professor (Emeritus) of Agricultural Economics at Washington State University, where he has been since 1963.  During his tenure at WSU, he has been heavily involved in research and teaching related to production agriculture, irrigation development, water policy and environmental economics throughout the West. Mr. Whittlesey has authored over 200 publications related to water value, allocation and conservation.  In 1987, he won the prestigious Award for Professional Excellence from the American Agricultural Economics Association in recognition of his distinguished policy contribution for work in water policy related to irrigation development in the West.  He has been involved in many consulting efforts, including as lead economist on a U.S. Supreme Court case evaluating economic benefits and damages in Texas and New Mexico involving long-disputed allocations of the Pecos River.  He is currently serving a similar role for a similar case involving the Arkansas River.  He has served on numerous regional and national committees and task forces engaged in policy development for solving environmental and natural resource management problems.