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Laurel Harkness

A smiling woman with long hair, wearing a black blazer and a necklace, set against a green circular background.

Laurel is the Coalition Director of the nonprofit Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition. RVCC works to advance place-based conservation solutions that support both land stewardship and rural community well-being across the West through policy, peer-learning, and storytelling. Laurel has a diverse background in natural resources, rural development, and working landscapes. Prior to joining RVCC, Laurel served in the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development working to support resilient, equitable, and sustainable economies in rural communities. Laurel has many years of experience working to build place-based collaborative capacity, growing rural stewardship economies, and supporting the sustainability of land and communities. Laurel is of the belief that small-diameter sawmill facilities need to be considered as essential to rural communities as libraries and farmers markets. She is a graduate of University of California, Davis (B.S. Soil & Water Science / Viticulture) and is currently a graduate student in Rural Policy at Oregon State University.