Pacific Chapter

California, Nevada, Hawaii

We are river professionals and students from California, Nevada and Hawaii. Our goal is to further the RMS mission by providing a forum for members in the Pacific Region to discuss river management and professional development issues in chapter workshops and other events that are informative and fun. The most recent RMS Journal with a Pacific Chapter focus is the Fall 2020 issue.

Pacific Chapter Bylaws

Pacific Chapter Klamath Trip 2022. Photo by Tom O'Keefe.

Welcome your 2022-2024 Chapter Officers

Kristina Rylands

President Kristina Rylands


Kristina Rylands is a lifetime RMS member who previously served for ten years as president of the Pacific Chapter. As a kid growing up in Southern California, she daydreamed that a river ran through her backyard and knew it was all over as a 10-year-old when she first set foot in the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park. She has lived in the Yosemite region for nearly 30 years, spending 13 years as an NPS wild and scenic river planner on both the Merced River Plan (including multiple rounds of litigation) and Tuolumne River Plan (0 litigation!). In addition, she served as an NPS representative on the Interagency Wild & Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council. Eleven years ago she left the NPS (and most river work) to follow her passion for inspiring the next generation of stewards as the Yosemite Regional Director for NatureBridge, a nonprofit education partner of the NPS. Now in semi-retirement, she's BACK and works as a freelance project manager in support of the Upper Merced River Watershed Council just outside of Yosemite National Park. You'll find her spending as much time as she can on a river, especially in her beloved IK named Bunny.

Leigh Karp
Vice President Leigh Karp


Leigh Karp grew up kayaking on the Potomac where she met her husband teaching kayaking for rival adventure camps. They have been fortunate enough to have paddled over 70 runs with a goal, and a little bit of a competition, to reach one hundred. Leigh earned BS degrees in biology and recreation, parks, & tourism with a chemistry minor from Radford University. Later, she designed her MA from both the environmental management and conflict resolution schools at George Mason University to focus on multiple-use land management. Leigh first interned with the Bureau of Land Management in 2007 and is now the National Conservation Lands lead for the California Desert District. She is currently supporting the development of four Wild and Scenic River planning efforts. Leigh is looking to get more involved with RMS and support the river community which means so much to her.


Larry Freilich

Secretary Larry Freilich


Larry Freilich is a biologist serving as the Mitigation Manager for the Inyo County Water Department in Eastern California. He oversees the implementation of 64 mitigation projects called for under the Long Term Water Agreement between the County and the City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power. In this role, he manages the Lower Owens River Project, which includes a 62-mile section of the Owens River now restored that had been dried when its flow was captured by the Los Angeles Aqueduct. He developed a recreational use plan for the Lower Owens River and is currently leading an effort to develop a paddle trail on a designated section of the Lower Owens. Larry has also worked as a fisheries biologist in a FERC hydro relicensing study. He has served as regional representative for the national Sierra Club in Texas and Arkansas where his work included protecting the headwaters of the Buffalo River. He has worked as an ED for a land trust and development director for a nature preserve. He’s an avid kayaker and river fanatic.

Larry will work with the Pacific Chapter President and Executive Committee to promote RMS and build membership in the region through direct outreach and through sponsored events such as river trips and educational forums. He is interested in enlarging RMS’s reach through affiliations with non-profits working on river projects in California.

Bob Stanley

Trip Coordinator Bob Stanley


Been living and working in mountains/rivers as much as possible since I was five years old. Participating in cub scouts was infuriating … they never went into the woods for more than a day! Boy scouts worked out a bit better with one campout a month, a week camp in the Sierra Nevada… and some canoeing 50-milers thrown in. My first driver’s license was the ticket, as I was able to say "Bye-bye" to the scouts (I am a “Life for life” scout) and head off to the mountains. I have spent most of my life working and living in remote mountains and on their rivers for the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and river/mountain outfitters in the Americas and South Asia…I’m now river rangering for the Forest Service six months each year and doing littoral research in the Gulf of Thailand during the other six. Happy to be of some use to RMS! 

Past Chapter Trips

Kern River Trip, Aug. 11-13, 2023
Klamath River Chapter Trip, June 10-12, 2022

The Pacific Chapter invited RMS members to a weekend on the Klamath River from June 10-12, 2022, a regional gem that will become a historic icon as host for the largest dam removal event in our nation’s history, scheduled for 2023-24. The Klamath River Basin has often been called the "Everglades of the West" as the most extensive freshwater wetland west of the Mississippi River.  Sturgeon, lamp ray, steelhead, trout, and many, many terrestrial species rely on the river as did salmon, whose population is now only 10% of historic levels.  Planning underway for the removal of four dams is being driven by Tribes, anglers, industry, government, and a committed cohort of community and conservation advocates and will establish a model for large-scale dam removal. The weekend provided a real-world meeting for sharing information and ideas about establishing/reinforcing collaborative working relationships among Klamath River stakeholders. Our partners were BLM, USFS, OARS, and Momentum River Expeditions. Learn more on the trip webpage.

Issues for Rivers of the Pacific Slope, April 19-21, 2019 

Final Program

Here are a few messages we've received from participants:

"I wanted to reach out to say thank you for organizing the RMS Pacific Chapter Tuolumne River conference this past weekend.  I sincerely appreciate the invitation to come share the research that the USGS has been involved with on the recent landslides in the Tuolumne Canyon.  I also appreciate the opportunity that the meeting provided to learn about a whole suite of river-related issues, as well as in making new connections with others working in this region."
Brian D. Collins, Ph.D., P.E.Research Civil Engineer, U.S. Geological Survey
"The Tuolumne River event over the weekend was absolutely fantastic! Bob did an incredible job, and Christina was outstanding ... It was great getting to catch up with Jim Eicher. He and I picked up like no time had passed, which is what is so great about RMS friendships. We had some good discussions about how we might want to continue seeing these kinds of events in the Pacific chapter. So much great collaboration AND it was a way to reach folks who wouldn't otherwise be able to get to a symposium."
Kristina Rylands, Yosemite Regional Director, NatureBridge