Ryen Helzer

Community Forest Manager


Favorite native plant: Ocean Spray
Favorite native tree: Cedar and Madrone
Favorite local food: Anything grown here, from veggies to beef
Favorite local place: Chimacum Ridge
Favorite activity: Hiking and building/crafting

Ryen joined the Land Trust in 2023 as the Community Forest Manager for Chimacum Ridge Community Forest. He was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and started his journey with resource management as a wildland firefighter in northern Arizona and on subsequent trail crews in Juneau, Alaska. Ryen practiced sustainable forestry on the Big Island of Hawaii while obtaining his B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. During his time at school, Ryen focused on working with geographic information systems (GIS) and studying resilience management practices. He also has a strong background in wilderness therapy, and has led Rites of Passage programs on the Olympic Peninsula. Beyond his professional pursuits, Ryen finds joy in hiking, gardening, woodworking, and ceramics. He firmly believes that stewardship and observance of the natural world is the best way to understand ourselves and communities.