Section Executive Committee Members
Martha Wehling, Chair
Martha Wehling s a staff attorney for the Office of Program Research at the House of Representatives. Martha was previously an Assistant Attorney General in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, representing two programs for the Department of Natural Resources, Forest Resources & Conservation and Product Sales & Leasing, in intense litigation, including a Washington Supreme Court decision affirming the “trust mandate” for the State’s public lands, multi-party complex litigation challenging programmatic management decisions governing the state trust lands, and defense of DNR in serial challenges to individual timber sales and timber sale contracts in multiple superior courts and the Court of Appeals. In her nearly two decades practicing law, Martha has also been in-house counsel for WFPA, an associate at a boutique land use and environmental law firm, and represented WDFW, State Parks, and DNR’s forest practices division. Martha used to hoot for Northern spotted owls, chase Cabbage white butterflies, and scowl at Brown headed cowbirds. She downsized this year, and now has only slightly over a ton of pets. She does CrossFit (poorly), competes in three-day eventing with her ex-racehorse Duke, and laughs at Kevin Underhill’s “Lowering the Bar” in her non-working hours.
Tom Wilcox, Chair-Elect
Tom Wilcox is an attorney with Axiom Law, focusing his practice on environmental health and safety, real estate, and supplier contracting practice for Axiom clients such as IBM and WL Gore & Associates. He is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and juris doctor studies at Georgetown University Law Center. He volunteers as a Visiting Attorney with the Environmental Law Institute supporting Carl Bruch, Director, ELI International Programs. Tom has 30+ years of in-house environmental, health, and safety practice with aerospace facilities for Boeing in St. Louis and Seattle and, before that, meat packing, grain, animal feed, fertilizer, and petroleum companies for Farmland Industries, Inc. in Kansas City. He started his career at Spencer Fane Britt & Browne in Kansas City. Tom’s free time is busy with his partner, teenaged children, and the family Westie, Armando. He enjoys piano and choral music, hiking and beachcombing, and genealogy research.
Donya Williamson Burns, Immediate Past Chair
Donya Williamson Burns is in-house counsel for Weyerhaeuser, with a practice focus in real estate transactions. In her spare time (usually 4-7 a.m.) Donya enjoys competitive rowing, yardwork, drawing, and reading fiction. She also has a couple of kids. They're adorable but do not contribute in any way to the aforementioned spare time.
Caroline Cress, Treasurer, At-Large Member
Caroline Cress is an Assistant Attorney General in the Ecology Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office in Olympia. Her current practice focuses on air quality, climate mitigation, environmental justice, and regulatory oversight of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Prior to joining the Ecology Division in 2016, Caroline clerked for Hon. Ann Schindler at Division I of the Washington State Court of Appeals. She also worked for the Global Environmental Governance Project, the Nature Conservancy, and the Southern Environmental Law Center. Caroline received a B.A. in government and environmental policy from the College of William & Mary and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. In her free time, Caroline enjoys gardening, hiking, and playing with her dogs.
Rachel Sinsheimer, Young Lawyer Liaison (YLL)
Rachel Sinsheimer is an attorney at Corvid Law, a boutique environmental law firm, based in Seattle, Washington. Her current practice focuses on environmental remediation. Rachel graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2021. While in law school, Rachel served as Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Journal of Social and Environmental Justice (formerly the Washington Journal of Environmental Law and Policy) and participated in the Tribal Defense Clinic. Rachel worked as a legal intern at the American Civil Liberties Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Rachel was also in the first class of Environmental Justice fellows at the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Prior to law school, Rachel worked as a paralegal at several New England based environmental firms. Rachel received her undergraduate degree from the George Washington University where she majored in International Affairs with a focus on wildlife management. She has studied monkey behavior in four countries. In her free time Rachel enjoys skiing, concerts, and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her rescue pitbull, Lola.
Gabrielle Gurian, At-Large Member
Gabrielle Gurian is an attorney at Perkins Coie in the firm’s Real Estate & Land Use practice group. Gabrielle focuses her practice on land use entitlements and zoning matters, including condemnation, environmental compliance, and real estate transactions. Prior to joining the firm, Gabby was an Assistant Attorney General in the Ecology Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office focused on water quality, shorelands protection, toxics cleanup, and environmental reviews under SEPA and NEPA plus associated permitting. Prior to joining the Ecology Division in 2019, Gabrielle clerked at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Public Justice, and worked as a student attorney for the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Gabrielle received a B.A. in International Affairs and Spanish from University of Washington and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chongqing, China from 2012-2014. In her free time, Gabrielle enjoys rock climbing, surfing, mushroom foraging, and playing with her puppies, Mori (named after her favorite mushroom, Morels) and Tikka.
Jason A. Foust, At-Large Member
Jason A. Foust is an Assistant Attorney General in the Public Lands and Conservation Division at the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Currently, Jason is tasked with Wildfire and Forest Practices litigation. Prior to getting involved in environmental law, Jason was a criminal prosecutor, public defender, and a civil trial attorney in South Florida. Jason holds an LL.M. in Environmental Law from Vermont Law and Graduate School and serves as a Fire Commissioner for McLane Black Lake Fire Department in Olympia, WA. In his free time, Jason enjoys surfing, mountaineering, skiing, riding motorcycles, playing guitar, and spending time with his wife Bridget, rescue dog Lucy, and their four chickens.
Jessica Pilgrim, At-Large Member
Jessica Pilgrim is a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Spokane County. Her current practice focuses on land use law and long-range planning in conformance with the Growth Management Act. Jessica graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law in 2013. While in law school, Jessica served as the Executive Editor of the Idaho Law Review. Prior to joining Spokane County in 2015, Jessica clerked for the Honorable Kevin Korsmo with Division 3 of the Court of Appeals. Jessica’s interest in land use and the environment predated her legal career. Before law school, Jessica spent time working for the Department of Ecology in the Conservation Corps, protecting and enhancing riparian buffer areas. Jessica also worked for the City of Spokane on achieving compliance with the dissolved oxygen TMDL, resulting in the ban of phosphate-containing dish detergents and the adoption of tertiary treatment at the City’s wastewater reclamation facility. After the City, Jessica joined the Spokane County Conservation District where she monitored stream health and worked with local farmers on direct-seed and riparian management programs. In her free time, Jessica enjoys gardening, kayaking, hiking, camping, spending time with her husband and teen daughters, and caring for her menagerie of rescue animals including four dogs, four chickens, two guinea pigs, a rabbit, and fish.