Board of directors candidates


REIN Attemann

Rein Attemann has been involved with The Lands Council for nearly twenty years as a staff member and board member. As a staff member at The Lands Council from 2000-2004, he served as the Selkirk Project Manager focusing his efforts to wildlife and forest protection efforts in the Selkirk Mountains. Since his departure in 2004, he has served on the Board of Directors to continue advocating for the wildlife, waterways, and communities of the Inland Northwest which is dear to his heart. Currently, Rein lives in Seattle and is the Puget Sound Campaign Manager, at Washington Environmental Council where he focuses on engaging members, key stakeholders and coalitions to ensure policy success for Puget Sound recovery and protection. He has been instrumental in organizing the annual lobby day for the environmental community in Olympia, building necessary support during legislative session to pass critical legislation, building a diverse stakeholder coalitions around oil spill prevention issues, stopping fossil fuels infrastructure proposals, and orca recovery. He has a gnash for mobilizing the public on these issues. When not at work, Rein loves to travel, bike, hike, sail, cook, and sauna in his back yard, all the time with his wife Marcy.


Phil has spent most of his life in the Pacific Northwest and is an avid outdoorsman. He is a professional civil engineer with extensive background in construction and well know as a leader in his profession. After he and his wife graduated from WSU, they spent 10 years wandering around the country before they realized that they had come from paradise. They moved back to Spokane in 1974 and never looked back. His construction background led him to understand the need to protect the environment and he is ready to give back. He wants to help insure that his grandchildren, who are outdoors people, have as many of the outdoor opportunities as he had. The family spends much of their free time enjoying the solitude of “the lake”.

Greg Gordon

Originally from Colorado by way of Montana, Greg Gordon brings 40 years of environmental activism to The Lands Council board. While his primary interest has long been in forest and wildlife conservation, his current focus is on urban re-wilding, especially urban river systems. Greg received his M.S. in Environmental Studies and PhD in History from the University of Montana and is currently an associate professor of Environmental Studies at Gonzaga University. His most recent book, When Money Grew on Trees: A. B. Hammond and the Age of the Timber Baron was runner-up for the Washington State Book Award. He has served on the Lands Council board since 2017.


Bob is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician and works at Sacred Heart Pediatric Emergency Department. He’s had a lifelong interest in the outdoors starting as a young boy as his best friend’s father was a Naturalist for the state of Michigan. He would spend hours learning to identify the flora and fauna of Michigan as well as being immersed in environmental education. 

In mid-career, Bob returned to obtain a Masters of Public Health with a focus on the human health effects of environmental degradation. Bob believes healthy ecosystems equals healthy people.

Bob believes The Lands Council mission and its many diverse activities are critical in preserving and strengthening our region’s ecosystems, raising awareness of the health effects of environmental degradation and in providing strong educational programs to the next generation.


Denis bassett

As much as I have taken satisfaction in becoming a new member of TLC, the prospect of joining the Board of Directors was an opportunity I never considered. Now that opportunity is real and I've been thinking hard about the kind of contribution I can make. My first order of business is to gain insight into TLC's history and evolution, its current projects and its future goals. I intend to listen and ask questions, and then to listen and ask more questions of those dedicated individuals in the organization that I've met and whose work I deeply respect. As this process unfolds I intend to meld what I'm learning with what I am already observing about the impact of human activity on the natural systems in this region. One thing I know for sure is that rapid changes are coming, and that The Lands Council must be instrumental in guiding those changes for the better.
A native of St. Louis, I moved to New Hampshire with my family when I was 15. Aside from a brief summer in the Ozarks as a city kid, I had never experienced a place of almost unlimited natural beauty as I suddenly found in northern New England. While in high school, I got a summer appointment working on the crew at Dartmouth College's Moosilauke Ravine Lodge in the White Mountains. I became hooked: mountains were where I belonged. After graduating from college with a degree in anthropology and concentrations in English and German, I nevertheless ended up, with my patient and supportive wife, in New York making a bare living reporting and writing for business publications. When our two daughters were born, I knew I had to get serious and I found a decent paying job in sales. My wife and I decided we'd much rather raise our children in N.H. And VT and eventually moved back there. My daughters grew up enjoying small town childhoods and outdoor pursuits, and finally went off to college and careers. After my wife's untimely death and later, in my retirement, I became more active in the movement against growing sprawl in Vermont, and joined The Nature Conservancy, The Upper Valley Land Trust and The Vermont Land Trust. In addition to my interest in conservation, I am an inveterate bike rider and dedicated, albeit, amateur sax player. I moved to Spokane last April to be near to one of my daughters and two growing grandsons. I had visited Spokane several times before and knew I liked the city. Each month that goes by makes me feel more and more at home. It was a good move and a good fit.


chantilly higbee

Chantilly lived in Spokane for most of her life and now resides in Northern Idaho. She earned her Master’s in Biology from Eastern Washington University and has spent most of her scientific career studying water quality and communicating science in Inland Northwest communities. She enjoys thinking about how environmental pollutants move through aquatic ecosystems and affect life. Currently, Chantilly leads water-related advocacy initiatives and water quality monitoring projects for the non-profit, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper (Sandpoint, ID). She also serves as the Environmental Representative for the Idaho Panhandle Basin Advisory Group – which advises the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality on water-related issues in the five northern counties. Chantilly has volunteered for The Lands Council in a variety of roles through the years; from helping to write grants to planting trees to assisting with special events, she has enjoyed helping wherever she can. Now she looks forward to using her education and experience to serve the organization in a new capacity as a member of the Board of Directors.

In her free time, Chantilly loves spending time in the wilderness, whether in snowshoes or waders. She equally enjoys exploring coffee shops with friends, riding her bike, or kicking back with a good book.


krista larsen

I have been in education for 21 years and am a high school science teacher at Central Valley High School with the disciplines of Environmental Science and Earth Science.  This is my 6th year teaching the College Board Advanced Placement class for Environmental Science and my 5th year involving my students in Lands Council events.  In addition to my work in the classroom, I am the district Green Team advisor.  I coordinate the recycling needs and extracurricular environmental activities for the 23 schools in Central Valley School District. At a school level, I help students plan outdoor activities, campus clean ups, and community services events themed around the environment.  I also run a community garden for our students and teach them everything from planning, planting, maintaining and harvesting all summer long. 

I have had the opportunity to work with many members of the Lands Council over the past 5 years.  They have provided real world connections and experiences for my students, many of which have gone on to fields in environmental science. I feel that having a K-12 member on the Lands Council board would be advantageous.  Education standards are constantly changing.  It would be beneficial for The Lands Council to know the current skills and needs of students, as they will be the future of the organizations that take care of our planet.  This connection would allow mentorship in the classroom as well as exposure to more volunteers for events. 


VIKI Leuba

I am familiar with the work of the Lands Council through my previous employment with the Washington State Department of Ecology.  The agency awarded grants to The Lands Council for projects ad activities.  I am retired from paid employment and would like to continue supporting the work of this organization by serving on the Board of Directors.

I retired from the Department of Ecology after 28 years in state service.  Prior to working for the State of Washington, I had a career as a biochemist in research settings for nearly 20 years.  I am particularly interested in studies that increase our understanding of ecology and the functioning of the ecological network.  I occasionally teach a course on water law for Spokane Community College and have remained active and engaged in planning for the future of water use in the Walla Walla basin. 

I am an active Toastmaster and have earned a Distinguished Toastmaster award having demonstrated strong leadership and speaking skills (and perseverance).  I continue my engagement in Toastmasters through membership in two clubs and I volunteer to assist the Toastmasters clubs at the Airway Heights Correction Center.  I also offer a youth leadership program at the Community School. 

My leisure time is often occupied by various fiber arts crafts; I weave and knit and teach both skills. 


Julie Neff

Julie served as the lead urban designer for the City of Spokane’s Planning Department for over 12 years before retiring in 2017.  Prior to joining the City of Spokane, she worked in interdisciplinary design firms as a licensed landscape architect in Seattle and Coeur d’ Alene.  Professional accomplishments include helping establish wildlife crossings on US93 between Evaro and Polson, Montana; a Low Impact Development site plan for Panhandle Public Health Facility in Hayden, ID; beautification of the Division Street Gateway immediately off I-90 in Spokane; and code and policy updates geared toward improving the quality of the public realm in the City of Spokane, such as revisions to the street tree codes.  These experiences helped establish a deep appreciation for the importance of respectful open discussion, listening, creative problem solving, and finding common ground from which to move forward.

Julie is a member of the Lands Council because she shares the organization’s commitment to healthy native landscapes, clean water, and wildlife. She’s interested in serving as a board member to help address environmental issues and climate change at the local level by helping protect the area’s surrounding natural habitat and advocating for green infrastructure within the built environment. She’s looking forward to using her experience to serve the community and help maintain the region’s quality of life.


Toni Sharkey

I am a resource special education teacher at Rogers High School. This is my fifth year at Rogers, and I was fortunate enough to loop with my students, from freshman to senior year. My first loop graduated last year, and I have a new group of students this year. I was able to share and educate my group of students about environmental issues, from the documentaries Blackfish, Inconvenient Truth, and various lessons about the science of our planet. During Earth Week, a few of my students passed out baby ponderosa seedlings, made a video about Earth Day, and wrote statistics, in chalk around campus on Earth Day. Our principal, during her speech at graduation stated that the class of 2019 knew more about environmental issues and cared more about our planet than any class she has had in the past 🌎.

I was a teacher in California for 10 years and taught PE. My husband and I moved to Spokane about 10 years ago. He went to Gonzaga University and studied engineering. He works as an Energy Efficiency Engineer for Bonneville Power and he brought me here for a Hoop Fest, years ago. I was delighted that our city had such amazing qualities - craftsman homes, historical downtown brick buildings, and an amazing unique urban forest with 150-year-old grandiose trees in people’s lawns. We have two children Tommie (8) and Frankie (6) and they both attend Hutton Elementary School and of course they are awesome kids and their favorite Dr. Seuss book is The Lorax.

I am eager to serve on the board and to be more involved with The Lands Council. I want your mission and your work to be introduced to different groups in the city of Spokane. I am on the Rockwood Neighborhood Council, the PTG and Environmental Club at Hutton Elementary School, Citizens Advisory Committee for Urban Forest and a Lands Use group through city of Spokane. This group is informed of any land-use changes within city limits a year before the City Council votes on it. Because I am involved with these groups, I can then get the word out about The Lands Council and its efforts in Spokane and the surrounding areas. A big motivation for me to be on the board of The Lands Council is I want to see our Ponderosa Urban Forest stay intact within city limits for my kids and their grandkids. Of course, I support all river cleaning efforts, considering I float the river about once or twice a year. I also support reforestation efforts outside of the city but, our Urban Forest is so special, it makes Spokane a distinguished and a destination city. I’ve been part of a tree group called Ponderosa People and once a year, on Arbor Day we give certificates of appreciation. I found that in Spokane, rewarding someone for doing the right thing when it comes to our forest is better than reprimanding or putting development in a negative light. We can have responsible development in our City and Greenstone is proving that.

Lastly, I want to get my parents and close friends involved in our fundraising efforts. I look forward to the opportunity to be a part of a great environmental group in Spokane, The Land’s Council.