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Mary O'Brien


Contact Information
Address: Utah



Profession or Area of Expertise

Public interest scientist, Ph.D. Botany

Personal Statement

I currently work for Grand Canyon Trust and with a coalition of organizations that is proposing alternatives for the forest plans, livestock grazing EISs, and travel/ORV plans of the three southern Utah National Forests: Dixie, Fishlake, and Manti-La Sal. I focus in particular on changing the sheep and cattle grazing practices, and getting reference areas established on the three Forests.

I became acquainted with the grasslands of northeastern Oregon and western Idaho while serving as the Ecosystem Policy Analyst (1994-1997) and as a Board member (1991-1996) of Hells Canyon Preservation Council. I have a doctorate in Botany, although for 23 years I have worked extensively in the area of alternatives to toxics and alternatives to risk assessment, including serving as Staff Scientist for Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides  for 8 years (1983-1990).

I am particularly interested in (1) working for the retention and restoration of native grasslands and riparian areas, (2) increasing public and rancher consciousness of and affection for grassland and riparian communities; and (3) learning and conveying the ecological differences between those grasslands and riparian areas that are grazed by livestock and those that have not been grazed by livestock for a number of years.


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