Arlene Burns 

the dalles testimony

Eight years of experience in rural government has enabled an understanding of the nuts and bolts of city planning and collaboration,  working with state agencies and regional partners on strategies that enable our rural communities to thrive.  Our motto, “Small enough to make a difference”,  has set a framework that not only embraces issues head-on, but also gives us a mechanism towards innovative solutions.


A geologist by education, after university I was driven by a curiosity to explore the world and share pristine experiences with others – first as an instructor and river guide, then as a photojournalist, public speaker and  filmmaker.  I believe in the power of stories to shape our future.

Arlene Burns for 59th District
  • BS in Geology from University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • World class expedition kayaker, guide and trip leader in New Zealand, Nepal, Tibet,  Siberia, Central Asia, Chile and Argentina;  Medalist of US Women’s Whitewater team for competitions in Siberia, North Carolina and Costa Rica;  Based in Kathmandu, Nepal for a decade;  Meryl Streep’s role model, coach and sometimes stunt double in Universal Studio’s The River Wild
  • Outdoor industry consultant for National Geographic, Timberland, MontBell, Perception, Malden Mills (Polartec International Board of Advisors), Patagonia (Catalog photographer and essay writer)
  • Public Speaker for Baylor Walkabout, Extreme Connection, Wilderness Medical Conferences, executive retreats, film festivals and workshops
  • Photojournalist published in outdoor magazines, catalogs and books
  • Trip leader/guide for Project RAFT (Russians and Americans for Teamwork)
  • Producer/Director/Host for films in Japan, Central Asia, Costa Rica, and North America, including Survival of the Fittest (ESPN); the Gorge Games (NBC);  X games (ESPN); Trailside; Anyplace Wild (PBS); Sport Northwest, Action Sports Cable Network; Sea Studio Foundation‘s “Otter 501”.
  • Film Festival Director / Board Member / Judge for various organizations including Mountainfilm in Telluride;  Blue Ocean Film Festival, Monterey, CA; Jackson Wild;  International Wildlife Film Festival;  Seawatch, and UNDP World Wildlife Day Film Showcase
  •  In development: Doc on Sardine Fisheries in Sea of Cortez.