Allison Hensey

Allison Hensey believes in the power of collaboration to effect real environmental change. Here in Oregon, she’s built an impactful career in conservation, including 9 years as a staff member at Oregon Environmental Council from 2006 – 2015.

At Oregon Environmental Council, Allison focused on strengthening ties with the agricultural community and bridging the divide between urban and rural constituents. She holds a deep respect for farmers in Oregon, who helped inform her approach to agricultural and water policy.

“We can talk theoretically about what can happen, but farmers will tell you what will work. Having conversations about best practices and business constraints is essential to grounding policy in reality.”

Allison’s major accomplishments at Oregon Environmental Council have a common thread — promoting sustainability and forward-thinking policies for the 

agricultural community that protect our climate and the clean water we all rely on for our lives and livelihoods. For example, she worked on strengthening the 

Agricultural Water Quality program at the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Carbon Neutral Challenge program for wineries, the Climate Friendly Nurseries

project, and the Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships program.

Allison now works at Meyer Memorial Trust, where she directs the Willamette River Initiative. The Willamette River Initiative provides about $2.5 million each year in grants to improve the health of the river and its tributaries. When she thinks about what’s important to protect Oregon’s future, she sees Oregon Environmental Council as a key player.

“We’re lucky in Oregon. We still have strong protections for forest and agricultural lands, so that when you drive outside of the city, you see fields of blueberries, or wine, or wheat. Those horizons are part of what Oregon means to me…When I think about the importance of a group like OEC, they are the voice for statewide policy to protect Oregon’s environment that’s grounded in respect, relationships and an understanding of on-the-ground realities.”

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