Darilyn Parry Brown, Executive Director

Darilyn Parry BrownDarilyn returned to Hells Canyon Preservation Council after five years as executive director of the domestic violence shelter in La Grande. Darilyn served as HCPC’s development coordinator from 2002 to 2005. As a fourth-generation eastern Oregonian, she knows the people, the mountains, the rivers, and the forests of the region. She has a deep and passionate appreciation for the place and its history. 

Brian Kelly, Restoration Director

Brian and Whitman College student working in the Imnaha Canyon

Brian received a B.S. from Cornell University where he studied Plant Sciences and Forestry.  He was the Urban Forestry Consultant for the City of La Grande from 1996 to 2005.  During that time Brian was the liaison to the Landscape and Forestry Commission, found volunteers for urban forestry activities, spoke extensively about urban forestry, and was responsible for planting over one thousand new landscape trees.  Brian established close relationships with people in the city of La Grande and developed a positive approach to resolving problems in this closely knit community.  He has won awards for his work from the National Arbor Day Foundation, Oregon Community Trees and Oregon Department of Forestry. Brian is a Certified Arborist.

Veronica Warnock, Conservation Director


Veronica atop Chief Joseph Mountain overlooking Wallowa Lake

Veronica grew up in Vermont, making annual pilgrimages to Eastern Oregon to visit family and explore the Wallowa Mountains. She fell in love with the west, and that led her to study at the Evergreen State College where she received a degree in Environmental and Land Use Policy. After working as a land use planner for several years in Western Washington, Veronica returned to Vermont to earn her JD at Vermont Law School. Veronica has worked as a summer associate with CRAG Law Center, a civil prosecuting attorney, and a nonpartisan attorney for the Washington State Legislature. In all of these roles she worked on a wide range of issues including land use, water rights, and mining. Veronica is thrilled to return to the area where she first cultivated her passion for the great outdoors. 


Kirsten Johnson, Development and Outreach Director


Kirsten grew up exploring the Elkhorns, Wallowas, and Blues with her wildlife-loving family.  After graduating from Williams College in Massachusetts, she spent three years bouncing between Taiwan and California, and finally returned home to her beloved Eastern Oregon in fall of 2014.  She is excited and honored to be a part of HCPC and preserving this incredible land that has deeply influenced her.

Top of Eagle Cap

Danae Yurgel, Office Administrator

Danae at Buckhorn Springs overlook

Buckhorn Springs overlook

Northeast Oregon is Danae’s home. She now lives on a 2.5 acre heirloom orchard “fruit forest” in La Grande (Avella Orchard).  Her life is creating partnerships between the land and the people here, especially introducing children to the wonders of nature. She is seriously thrilled to be part of Hells Canyon Preservation Council after decades of working with various non-profits and cooperatives.