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May 16, 2008

CCA adds advocacy expertise in the Pacific Northwest

Heath Heikkila has joined CCA's team to provide strategic guidance and counsel to CCA chapters in Washington and Oregon

Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is pleased to announce that Heath Heikkila has joined its advocacy team to provide strategic guidance and counsel to CCA chapters in Washington and Oregon. He joins a veteran CCA national advocacy team that includes Robert G. Hayes, general counsel, Richen Brame, Atlantic States Fisheries Director, Dr. Russell Nelson, Gulf Fisheries Consultant, and Matt Paxton, federal lobbyist.

"The combination of spectacular membership growth and a highly successful inaugural banquet season has allowed us to achieve yet another milestone in our development: the hiring of Heath Heikkila as the Pacific States Fisheries Director," said Angela Hult, chairman of the CCA Regional Government Relations Committee. "Throughout his career, Heath has worked on some of the toughest fisheries management issues the region has to offer and has maintained good working relationships within the Northwest Congressional delegation, agency staff, and state and local elected officials. His insight and guidance will be tremendous assets for CCA."

In 2004, Heikkila joined the Washington, D.C. office of Ball Janik LLP, a Portland-based law and government relations firm. During his time with Ball Janik, he represented several Pacific Northwest clients on natural resource, environmental and public land matters before the Congress and the Executive Branch.   

"This hire is a logical and critical next step for CCA in the region," said Gary Loomis, chairman of CCA in the Northwest. "More than 6,000 conservationists joined the Washington and Oregon chapters in their first year of existence. The first CCA banquets held in the region this year were a success by every measure. Heath's knowledge and experience are a perfect complement to the enthusiasm of our grassroots network here."

Prior to joining Ball Janik, Heikkila served as a policy advisor at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where he focused on endangered salmon recovery efforts on the West Coast. With 27 stocks of salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a wide range of public land management, hydroelectric energy, irrigation and transportation activities in the Pacific Northwest and California were subject to agency consultation and review. He had direct involvement in legislative, public affairs and policy development aspects of agency recovery efforts.

 "CCA has always prided itself on the strength of its advocacy team, and we are a stronger organization with the addition of Heath Heikkila to that team," said David Cummins, president of CCA. "There is a lot of work to do in the Pacific Northwest, and CCA PNW is gearing up for the challenge."