The San Juan Islands Conservation District Board of Supervisors is comprised of three elected positions and two appointed positions. Each volunteer supervisor serves a 3-year term.
Vicki Heater, Treasurer, Appointed 2009
Background – Water Quality
Vicki has been associated with the San Juan County Conservation District since 1994. She is an environmental health specialist with the SJC health department and is lead staff for the county’s drinking water program. She is also watershed lead for WRIA 2 and developed the San Juan County Watershed Action Plan under the Non-Point Rule (400-12 WAC) and is currently working on water resource planning under RCW 90.82. She has been actively involved with the San Juan County Pony Club since 1986 and teaches riding and horse management. She and her husband live on 24 acres, which includes a small farm and 20 acres of forestland.
Henning Sehmsdorf, Elected 2010
Background – Sustainable Farming
Henning and his wife, Elizabeth have owned and operated S&S Homestead, a sustainable, organic meat and produce farm on Lopez Island for over thirty years. Their mission is to develop and maintain an environmentally and economically sustainable farm that will: 1) grow organic soils and pastures; 2) produce high quality organic foods for both family and the community and improve local food security and control; 3) recycle farm wastes to produce farm fertility inputs; 4) train apprentices and interns in sustainable and organic farm practices; and 5) promote the growth of small-scale, community-based farming in San Juan County and beyond. Henning is currently engaged in a project supported by a SARE grant to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of growing organic grain on small acreages using appropriately scaled harvesting equipment.
Ron Zee, Chair, Elected 2012
Background – Renewable Resources
Ron is a former San Juan Islands Conservation District Manager (2006-2008) and fifteen-year resident of San Juan Island. He owns and operates Sweet Earth Farm, with his wife Elaine and daughters Amanda and Amara, selling produce at the San Juan Farmers Market and to local Friday Harbor restaurants. He is active with the Stewardship Network of the San Juans, and served on the San Juan County Agricultural Resources Committee for seven years. He is CEO of the Madrona Institute, a nonprofit organization, that sponsors the San Juan Island Conservation Corps in cooperation with the Stewardship Network.
Jerry Rasmussen, Appointed 2013
Background – Civil Engineering
Jerry and his wife Patty own and operate Longhouse B&B on San Juan Island. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington, and a Masters from Oregon State. He has taught Civil Engineering at the University of Delaware and Water Resource Engineering at Seattle University. Jerry has served as the Head of Engineering Studies for R.W. Beck and Associates, Director of Engineering for EMCON Engineering, and Senior Engineer for King County Public Works. In San Juan County, Jerry served as the County Engineer from 1999-2005, and as a member of the San Juan County Water Resources Committee from 2005-2008.
Robert Gamble, Board Member, Elected 2014
Background – Community Development and Planning
Bob has had a decades long interest in San Juan County planning. He served on the County committee that helped draft the Comprehensive Plan, and the following year on the group that worked on the County Unified Development Code. Over the years he has been a member of several other County advisory boards, including the SJC Housing Advisory Board and the SJC Economic Development Council. He was a founding board member of Homes for Islanders and was on the committee that wrote the bylaws for the Island Grown Farmers Co-operative. He currently serves on the San Juan County Planning Commission and is a board member of Kwiaht and OPAL Community Land Trust. He and his wife Winnie Adams divide their time between Orcas and Waldron islands, with their garden firmly planted in Waldron soil.
Background – Land Use and Environmental Law
Kyle is honored to have the opportunity to assist the Conservation District in sharing its knowledge and expertise with the conservation-minded residents who shepherd our local resources. He grew up on Anderson Island, in the south sound, and returned to island living on San Juan Island in 2007 to serve as the staff attorney for Friends of the San Juans. Since then, Kyle has actively engaged in community endeavors like the Water Resources Management Committee, Leadership San Juan Islands, Trails Committee, and Families and Neighbors Support Island Rec. Kyle shares a home in the woods with his wife, Katie, her parents, and approximately 275 active pounds of dogs.
Background – Biology
Thor Hanson lives on San Juan Island with his wife, Eliza, and their son, Noah. He works as a conservation biologist and is also an award-winning author. A former land steward for both the San Juan Preservation Trust and the San Juan County Land Bank, Thor has deep island roots and a strong commitment to local land conservation. Thor holds undergraduate degrees in ecology and writing, a master’s degree in botany, and a doctorate in natural resources. Though his career has taken him around the globe, the San Juans have always remained firmly at the center of his orbit.
Background – Land Use and Environmental Law
Lynn Bahrych was appointed to the Washington State Conservation Commission by Governor Gary Locke in January of 2004, and for two further terms by Governor Chris Gregoire in 2007 and 2011. Lynn resides on Shaw Island. She graduated with Honors in Humanities from Stanford University and received a Masters Degree in English Education from the University of Texas. Lynn received a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and a law degree from the University of Washington Law School. Lynn practiced Maritime and Admiralty law in Seattle for ten years before focusing exclusively on land use and environmental law. She is currently on the Executive Commission of the Conservation Commission and works independently as a certified permaculturalist.
Background – Forestry
Thom graduated from Michigan State University in 1972 with a BS in Forestry. He worked for the US Forest Service from 1969, seasonally until retirement in 1999. Thom spent the majority of his career in silviculture, with several seasons of timber presale, sale layout, timber marking, timber sale administration and fire suppression. He worked in minerals management inspecting exploratory drilling sites and mine construction. He has written numerous NEPA documents. Thom moved to the San Juan Islands in 1999 and volunteered his time with the Conservation District to help save the threatened Garry Oak (Quercus garryiana) habitat. Thom has also worked in our schools with K-12 students leading environmental education programs.
© San Juan Islands Conservation District 2016