Leslie Koenig

Name: Leslie Koenig
Occupation: Biologist
Agency: Alameda County Resource Conservation District

Leslie has been working in her current role as a Biologist with the Alameda County Resource Conservation District since 2007. Her professional career began in 2004 after graduating from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO with a BS in Biology and minor in Chemistry. Thanks to landing her great job at the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, her interest in helping restore/create wetlands took off. Her job as a biologist has allowed her to visit many areas within the Bay Area on private lands which has taught her how important these rangelands and the landowners who steward them are for watershed health, species habitat as well as serving as working lands.

In her day to day professional world, Leslie serves as a project manager, overseeing multiple restoration projects with many local partners as well as managing the grants and funding sources that support them. One of the best parts of her job is the diversity of projects she works on. She will typically start her day in the office coordinating projects and gets out in the field as often as she can, depending upon the time of year. In the field she can be found conducting wildlife surveys for listed species and learning from the many land managers she works with partnering on voluntary conservation projects. She also oversees restoration projects from the beginning conceptual phases all the way through the permitting and implementation phase, providing construction oversight to meet permit requirements. When she has the opportunity she enjoys teaching youth and the public about natural resources conservation and why they are so important.

Among the projects Leslie has been most engaged with and enjoyed is the Alameda County Wildlife Friendly Livestock Pond Program which has supported the restoration of 32 livestock ponds and the many stream restoration projects along the Arroyo de la Laguna and Stonybrook Creek. She has been involved in the development of a Streamlined Permit Program in Alameda County that provides support to landowners and land managers interested in conducting voluntary restoration projects on their property. She participated in the development of the Alameda County Voluntary Local Program which is the first program in the state to provide coverage to landowners under the California Endangered Species Act while recognizing the unique value that rangelands and land managers have to species and habitat.

When not at work Leslie enjoys spending time with her two little ones – Samantha (5) and Melody (almost 2!) and staying active outdoors by camping, running, hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing. Originally from Colorado, she grew up in a small mountain town where her interest in becoming a biologist was instilled in her by her mom and her 9th grade biology teacher. She currently enjoys all the Bay Area has to offer being so close to the beach and the mountains and the opportunity to pass on her passion for nature and the outdoors to her children.