Patty Clary (Executive Director): A traumatic and nearly fatal exposure to herbicide sprays was the incident that politicized Patty and started her career as an anti-toxics campaigner in 1976.

Though a native of Sonoma County, Patty and her family were living in Oregon's Umpqua River Valley, where the federal government was spraying the forests with chemicals similar to the notorious Vietnam-era herbicide Agent Orange. By 1980, she had become one of the victim witnesses in the EPA's review of the infamous herbicide 2,4,5-T, which helped lead to the decision to remove the chemical from the market.

After returning to California and settling on the North Coast, Patty was instrumental in organizing her community to stop local pesticide use on roadsides, at the schools her children attended and by timber companies in the watershed. She took over as Executive Director of CATs in 1988.

Now in her 22nd year at the helm, Patty has worked with experts and scientists from around the world and now is recognized as an expert herself. She spent four years on a UN-sponsored technical options committee on methyl bromide for the Montreal Protocol. She has served as an expert witness in federal court, leads campaigns, develops political and legal strategies and frequently authors reports and articles. She assists grassroots activities throughout the region--including, when necessary, opposing government regulations and actions.

A life-long love of the outdoors and natural places has stoked Patty’s desire to preserve the diversity and beauty of the planet by advocating for a non-toxic and organic environment for all.

Acting on her goal of integrating education and advocacy in a celebratory way, Patty originated and is now the director for the Organic Planet Festival, a green expo, musical event and non-toxic fair on the Eureka waterfront. 

A mother of two and also a grandmother of two, Patty spends much of her free time chasing pre-schoolers, pruning her inland organic orchard and co-habitating with bugs in the garden. Email Patty at

green dotListen to Patty talk about pesticides on KHSU's 'Through the Eyes of Women'; Spring 2009
[5.6 mb mp3 file]


Julia Olson (Staff Attorney): Julia has represented conservationists in courts throughout the West for 12 years to protect forests, wilderness areas, rivers, wildlife and human health. Julia has worked with CATs for nine of those years.

Julia is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and UC Hastings College of the Law. She is also a mom and lives in Eugene, Oregon with her family. Any chance they get, they are on a hike or a river and sleeping in a tent.

Turning her passion for healthy food and sustainable food production, without pesticides, into effective advocacy is her next exciting task.

Matt Lang (IT coordinator): While working for the computer laboratory of his alma mater, Humboldt State University, Matt volunteered his expertise to build customized databases for CATs, a role which morphed into a job as a staff member with multiple talents.


Now in his eleventh year working for CATs, Matt combines his degree in interdisciplinary studies with his broad experience working with computers to keep CATs at the cutting edge in information technology: from websites, databases, tech support and networking to GIS, desktop publishing and graphics. His development and analysis of maps and data from California’s pesticide reporting database are critical to CATs’ programs and have been used in court, before agencies and in reports and newsletters.

Matt’s background includes summers as a camper, then a counselor and now a volunteer at a famed YMCA camp in southern Humboldt County. He grew up in Eureka and inherited his reverence for northern California’s unique environment from a father who is a biologist and a mother who loves the outdoors.

As a guitarist and devotee of live music, Matt worked for the Appel Farm’s Art and Music Center in New Jersey to help produce the Center’s annual music festival and he has traveled extensively in the Caribbean to study the history and development of reggae music. A natural outgrowth of these interests has been his job as coordinator of the Organic Planet Festival since its inception, making the Festival one of the premier events of the region.

While not entertaining his dogs and cats with his many musical instruments or helping stray animals find homes, Matt enjoys his leisure time in travels to exotic tropical places. Matt can be reached at

Board of Directors

Michelle Smith, President

Jene McCovey, Vice President

Portia Bramble, Secretary

Steve Watts, Treasurer

Tony Silviaggio



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