This employee spotlight features Julie Mentzer, Environmental Director of Operations, PNW.
Julie Mentzer grew up in the San Fernando Valley of California. Yes, she’s a Valley Girl!
At UC Irvine, Julie studied Social Ecology with a focus on Environmental Analysis and Design. Social Ecology was a combination of equal parts sociology, environmental science, and law; the ideal foundation for her eventual career.
Before she came to Wildlands, Julie worked for a few small to medium sized environmental consulting firms. She worked as a wildlife biologist focused mainly on birds and as an environmental compliance specialist for a large fiber optics project in Northern California. In the Sacramento area, She was the monitor and environmental trainer for the light rail line extension from Folsom to Meadowview, training over 3,500 people on how to comply with the environmental regulations in the permits for the project.
Julie then began working in the realm of wetland identification and delineation, wetland and endangered species permitting and compliance, and mitigation. She even called Wildlands on a regular basis looking for mitigation credits for my various projects.
“One day when I was walking in mid-town Sacramento, where I worked at the time, a former coworker of mine ran out of a restaurant and asked me if I needed a job,” said Julie. “I thought it was a bit strange, to say the least, but he convinced me to go see a few of Wildlands’ projects. Three weeks later I accepted a job with Wildlands. I just celebrated my 10-year work anniversary at Wildlands this month!”
Since Julie has been with Wildlands, she’s had the opportunity to work on a variety of restoration projects for wetlands as well as many different species (vernal pool fairy shrimp and tadpole shrimp, burrowing owl, giant garter snake, Valley elderberry longhorn beetle, and more).
But the most rewarding and complex projects she describes having worked on are those restoration projects for fish species including salmonids and Delta smelt. In 2008, Julie began working on the Wildlands’ projects in Washington and Oregon, traveling to the PNW at least once a month. In 2010, Wildlands asked her to move to Portland and open an office. It didn’t take her very long to say, “Yes!”.
In addition to working on the projects already underway in Washington, she began work on one of Wildlands’ most exciting projects: The Alder Creek Restoration Project.
The goal was to transform a sawmill situated within the floodplain of the Willamette River into a mosaic of natural habitats for the benefit of the fish and wildlife species dependent on the Willamette River.
In September of this year, the project was connected to the Willamette River through one of two planned breaches. (see time lapse video below) This was an exciting milestone, both for Wildlands and for Julie as the project manager.
Julie looks forward to talking with credit purchasers that could benefit from the available credits at the Alder Creek Restoration Project.
On the Personal Side
Julie’s hobbies include traveling (visited Croatia this year), hiking, camping, biking and enjoying bootcamp on Portland’s beautiful waterfront park.
She did the 40-mile bridge pedal this year, biking across 11 bridges in the Portland area!
We’re thrilled to have Julie on our team and hope you enjoyed learning more about her.