Board of Directors


William Reid, Chair – At Large 2:
Bill has lived in the Illinois Valley for over 37 years and was elected to the board in 2007. He is retired from the real estate business but still works in property management between his time in his vineyard. His interests include viticulture, electronics, and investment.

Rhett Nelsen – Zone 2:
Rhett was appointed to this position at the February 28, 2019 monthly board meeting. He has lived in the Illinois Valley all his life and operates the Sweet Cron farm with his family. He is also an active member of the Farm Bureau. 

Robert Webb, Vice Chair – Zone  3: 
Bob spent that last 47 years in the Illinois Valley and has served in the Zone 3 seat since 2000. His interests include farming, agriculture, produce, and meat. Bob has enjoyed his life in the Valley working with timber, farming, and lumber industries and looks forward to another 47 years here.

Jim Gurley – Zone 1 : 
Jim has lived in the Illinois Valley for 28 years and was elected to the board for zone 5 in 2016.  He is retired from the tech industry and has been a volunteer firefighter for 10 years. Jim owns ½ mile of creek frontage and is hoping to apply good science to the SWCD’s decision making process.

Marcy Sowa – At Large 1:
Marcy has been living in the Illinois Valley for over 15 years now, and brought with her a passion and skill for community work. Her jobs in the Valley have ranged from volunteer coordinator to social scientist and beyond. She also is a skilled baker and runs a small homestead farm in Selma.

Katrina Poydack – Zone 4:
Katrina was born in Southern Oregon and has lived here on and off her entire life. She has served on the board for over 4 years and is interested in forest health, fire restoration, salmon, biodiversity, hiking and fishing.

Bob Schmidt – Zone 5:
Bob has lived in the valley since 2011 and recently joined the board a year ago. His main interests include salmon, healthy forests, beaver, bringing more beaver to the valley, and ensuring water quantity and quality.

Associate Directors:

Carol Crawford: 
Carol has lived in the Illinois Valley for over 30 years, 7 of which she has spent on the board as an Associate Director. She is a part of the Back Country Horsemen, Sourdough Chapter and loves spending time on a trail. She is an animal lover and takes pleasure in the simple farm style life. Her interests include horses, trails, farming, and ranching.

Don Young: 
Don has lived in the Illinois Valley for over 30 years and was appointed to the board as an Associate Director in 2002. He has a background in natural resource management, geography, environmental studies and mining. He is an active member of the Sierra Club and his interests include riparian restoration, mining, and forestry.

Gene Merrill: 
Gene was born and raised in the Illinois Valley and has served on the board since 2016 as Associate Director.  He works at the Illinois Valley High School as College and Career Coordinator and is involved in the IV Booster Club and the Valley Evangelical Free Church. He is passionate about outdoor recreation, sustainable farming, and our Valley’s natural resources.

John Gardiner: 

John has resided in the valley for over a decade and is active in a multitude of organizations including the Rusk Ranch Nature Center, IV Chamber of Commerce and the Farmer’s Market. He is a semi-retired watershed and river restoration engineer from the UK who currently runs a small livestock and hemp farm.

Joy McEwen:

Joy is a beekeeper with a Masters Degree in Environmental Science. You may know her from the Diggin’ Livin’ natural foods store in Cave Junction. She was the founding board President for the Spiral Living Center and has served on the Dome School Board for two years.  Joy has also been asked to serve on the National Advisory Committee for Bio-dynamic Apiculture.

Janice Denney:

After working for a variety of agencies and spending time in the Illinois Valley decades ago, Janice moved back in 2019. She worked in New Zealand for the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as for Greenpeace, and on many community initiatives. Some of the projects she contributed to include river clean ups, school gardens, teaching about reducing plastic waste, worm composting, and advocating against the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides, and for the use of native plants and goats to restore healthy ecosystems. We are grateful to have her join us as an Associate Director.

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