Please join the Institute for Natural Resources, Gail’s friends and colleagues as they celebrate her life.

Friday, February 24, 2012


LaSells Stewart Center – Construction and Engineering Hall

Gail Achterman, one of Oregon’s foremost experts in natural resources, environmental law and policy and transportation, died on Jan. 28, 2012, of pancreatic cancer. She was 62 years old. She had recently retired as director of the Institute for Natural Resources at Oregon State University and as Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission. Gail was born in Portland on Aug. 1, 1949, to Walter and Patricia Achterman. She graduated from South Salem High and received her A.B. degree in economics with honors from Stanford University, where she was a three-sport athlete -basketball, track and swim-ming. Long after she graduated, the Stanford Athletic Department awarded a letter jacket to Gail and many other women in recognition of the role they played in women’s athletics. Gail went on to earn both her law degree and master’s degree in Natural Resource Policy and Management from the University of Michigan. She began her career working in Washington D.C. for the Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior. In 1978, she returned to her beloved Oregon and joined the law firm that became Stoel Rives, LLP. As an associate and then a partner at Stoel Rives, she specialized in natural resource and environmental law, with a focus on public land law, natural resource acquisition, development and permitting. From 1987 to 1991, Gail worked as assistant to the governor of Oregon for natural resources. In 2000, she became the executive director of Deschutes Resources Conservancy in Bend. In 2003, she became director of the Institute for Natural Resources at Oregon State University. After leaving INR in 2011, she started her legacy project, Willamette Strategies, with the goal of promoting a shared understanding and vision of our relationship to the Willamette Valley. In lieu of flowers, the family sug-gests contributions to the Japanese Garden Society of Portland, Hoyt Arboretum Friends, the Deschutes River Conservancy, the Oregon State University Foundation for the Institute for Natural Resources or the Gail Achterman Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.Excerpt from The Oregonian on published January 31, 2012

Gail Achterman

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