Erik Kancler will be spending even more time in Salem this session than he did two years ago, when he led Central Oregon LandWatch’s push to ban destination resorts from the Metolius River Basin.
Only now he won’t be working for LandWatch. Kancler recently took a full-time job as a policy analyst for the Senate Democrats.
Kancler won’t discuss his departure other than to echo a press release issued by the group in December. But it appears Bend’s most prominent local conservation group will now maintain a slightly lower profile in Salem – even as land use reforms look to be a very hot topic under the Capitol dome.
Paul Dewey, the group’s lawyer, will take over as acting executive director for now and says he’ll go to Salem when needed. But Dewey doesn’t foresee making the trip as often as Kancler did two years ago, when the Metolius battle was the group’s top priority.
He says LandWatch will again use contract lobbyist Jonathan Manton in Salem. Manton teamed up with Kancler for the 2009 Metolius fight before taking a job with Sen. Jeff Merkley.