Board of Directors

Director Elections

Thank you for your interest in the position of director with your local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is the elections officer for the SWCD director elections, as per Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 568.520 and 568.530. This packet contains information about the election process, and includes the forms needed to file for the position of SWCD director: 2024 Candidate Packet for SWCD Director Elections.

For more information please visit the Oregon Department of Agriculture Elections page.

Associate Board Members

Interested in becoming an Associate Board Director? It’s a great way to get involved with environmental restoration and conservation work in a leadership position and also to show your passion for the environment and our community. While Associates do not have a vote, they play a vital role in directing the conversation and representing the District’s work to the public.

Potential Associate Directors must attend at least two Board meetings, held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, submit a letter of interest to the Board and seek recommendation from a member of the Board or the UWSWCD staff.

Associate Directors can be appointed to be full Directors an at-large directorship at any time if they are registered to vote within the district. An Associate Director can be appointed to a zone directorship if they meet the regular requirements of being a zone director at any time. In lieu of the 10 acres of owned or managed land within the zone requirement, they can show interest by being an Associate Director (or at large director) for at least one year and have a conservation plan for their land (even if it is an urban lot). They are also required to be a registered voter within the zone they will represent.

Please contact Leslie Owens at [email protected] for more information.

Who are Directors?

A Director of the District is anyone who has been elected or appointed to serve on a conservation district board. To ensure that there is proper representation, each district is divided into legally defined zones. Directors are then elected or appointed for those zones. By statute ORS 568.560, a seven-member board must have five zone director positions and two at-large positions. Each Director is elected by the registered voters of the district to serve a four-year term.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Serve as a conservation district spokesperson
  • Manage projects/committing resources
  • Actively participate in monthly board meetings
  • Stay abreast of local conservation issues
  • Obligate conservation district funds
  • Promote the conservation district’s work to landowners, its constituency, agencies, and organizations
  • Promote the conservation district’s work to legislators regarding funding
  • Help identify local conservation needs, programs, and services
  • Keep the conservation district’s mission in focus
  • Develop and implement a long range plan and an annual work plan
  • Seek new partners in conservation efforts
  • Work with other Directors to achieve the Vision of the district

Director Terms

Each District has either five (5) or seven (7) Directors; (example: 5 Directors and two at-large Director Positions). Each term of office for each position is four (4) years, and requires election to that office.

Al Hrynyshyn Chair, Zone 1 Director

Al is a retired geologist, with a BS from the University of Wyoming and MS from Utah State University. He worked for several years in the petroleum industry and spent many years as an educator teaching geology, physics, and chemistry at every level from middle school to university and adult educati… Read more

Andy Burke Zone 3 Director

Andy Burke’s academic and professional backgrounds are in the sciences. Andy has undergraduate degrees in Biology from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, and Biological and Ecological Engineering from Oregon State University. Andy’s engineering degree emphasized design where the natural wor… Read more

Ralph Perkins Vice-Chair, Zone 5 Director

Ralph has been with the UWSWCD for over 25 years. He has always been interested in Natural Resources. Ralph quickly learned the UWSWCD’s mission and philosophy aligned with his. He also found that most of the people working in the natural resources field are ‘hard working and nice folks’. He i… Read more

Mary Durfee Ph.D. Zone 2 Director

Mary Durfee is Professor Emerita of government at Michigan Technological University, which is on Lake Superior. She was U.S. Co-chair of The Lake Superior Binational Forum, a citizen advisory body that advised the governments of the U.S. and Canada. She has published on Great Lakes water quality. Sh… Read more

Vacant Zone 4 Director

Chuck Arrera At Large 1 Director

Chuck grew up working on his uncle’s dairy farm in Dufur, Oregon. He attended Oregon State University, graduating with a BS in Agriculture. After graduating from OSU, he worked in the agricultural irrigation business for 5 years before branching off to specialize in municipal water and wastewater … Read more

BOD Member Karl Morgenstern

Karl Morgenstern At Large 2 Director

Karl recently retired from the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) in Eugene, Oregon. Karl was the Watershed Restoration Program Manager for EWEB leading the response and recovery efforts to the devastation of the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire on the McKenzie Watershed, Eugene’s sole source of drink… Read more

Craig Marcus Associate Director

Craig is currently a professor at Oregon State University in the department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology in the College of Agricultural Sciences.  He received a BS in Biochemistry and a PhD in Entomology/Environmental Toxicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been tra… Read more

Abel Kloster Associate Director

A fourth generation Oregon native, Abel is well acquainted with the forests and fields of the Pacific Northwest where he has been a farmer and restoration forester for many years. He is the co-owner of Resilience Perm culture Design, a whole systems design and installation firm specializing in farm … Read more