Board of Directors

Future Director Elections

Please view the Recruitment Packet if you are interested in candidacy. To receive a printed copy of the Recruitment Packet, please contact Leslie Owens (541-729-1139 or [email protected]).

There is more information on the Oregon Department of Agriculture Elections page. For the Candidate Packet for Director Elections, which includes the Declaration of Candidacy Form and Petition for Nomination Signature Sheet, please click here:

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

Gary Jensen Secretary/Treasury, Zone 3 Director

Gary’s education began with a BS in Forest Management that was followed by a BS in Accounting along with additional studies in Education. He has spent over 40 years working as an industrial forester for various companies in the Northwest, including 20 years for Lane Plywood, Inc. Following these e… 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

Email: [email protected]

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

Eric Nusbaum Associate Director

Eric has worked in Oregon’s conservation world for over 20 years. Before joining the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) he managed the Siuslaw Soil and Water Conservation District in Western Lane County. At ODA he has previously been a Water Quality Specialist before becoming the Operations Sp… 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

Andy Burke Associate 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