Longtime member and former staff attorney Meriel Darzen joined 1000 Friends in the circuit rider staff attorney position from 2016 until 2019, working with local affiliate organizations, farmers, ranchers, and foresters, and government representatives. Meriel continues to build relationships and knowledge of Oregon’s special and unique land use planning system now as a staff attorney at Crag Law Center.
Meriel is originally from the Boston area but has spent the last 15 years living and working in the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from the University of Washington with a law degree and an MS in forest resource. After law school, Meriel spent six years living in Bend where she practiced civil litigation and land use law. Meriel’s current docket at Crag primarily consists of litigating public lands and forest issues in federal court, and supporting local community groups on rural land use issues at the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). She is admitted to practice in Oregon and Washington.
Before becoming an attorney, Meriel graduated from Wesleyan University and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, where she helped construct a fruit tree nursery and learned how to graft mango trees. She speaks Spanish and lives in Portland with her family. She recently served on the board of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and in her free time she enjoys trail running, backcountry snowboarding, and vegetable gardening.