email@example.com Education: MS and BS in Environmental Science
Occupation: Biologist, Sound Transit
Statement: I am running for the King Conservation District Board of Supervisors position because I believe in the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation of natural resources. I am committed to promoting sustainable practices that help local communities by ensuring fair and equitable access to natural resources and local programs. By engaging the public and restoring degraded habitat, we can help support conservation district core values of providing local food, clean water, healthy forests, better soils, and accessible open spaces. If elected, I will help build stronger community partnerships that are forward thinking for current and future generations. As a biologist that has worked in the private and public sectors, I have demonstrated experience conveying information around natural resources in ways that are engaging and effective. I work closely with cities, companies, communities, and volunteer groups to support healthy and functional ecosystems that maximize public benefit. With your vote, I will build on the success of King Conservation District by promoting the sustainable use of natural resources across the region.
Candidate Forum Questionnaire:
1. Why do you want to be a KCD board member? My purpose for running for this seat is not politically motivated and I have no financial incentives to gain from any of the programs offered. I enjoy the programs the King Conservation District offers and regularly volunteer at restoration events they offer. I fully believe in improving and advancing existing programs that align with KCD core values of supporting local food, clean water, healthy forests, better soil, and accessible open spaces. My combination of education and practical experience planning and implementing a wide range of environmental restoration projects makes me an ideal candidate to supplement the existing board. I am uniquely qualified to provide science-based solutions for complex issues around conservation of natural resources, sustainable food production, and long-term planning.
2. What are your qualifications for this position? I have a master's degree in environmental science and am a certified professional wetland scientist (PWS) that specializes in ecological restoration of riparian and aquatic habitats. For the past 10 years, I have worked as a private consultant and public sector biologist as a subject matter expert for wetland and stream restoration. I have been involved in projects big and small and understand the actual effort and costs associated with getting things off the ground. We need a candidate that understands the process of starting with a conceptual idea, permitting, design, and project development. I have proven experience working effectively with local cities and counties as a third-party consultant to ensure projects are code compliant and conducted in environmentally responsible ways. My current position with Sound Transit focuses on environmental mitigation that aims to maximize environmental benefits for communities we operate in.
3. What are your priorities if you are elected? As a certified professional wetland scientist (PWS), my priorities are supporting and advancing programs that focus on riparian restorations, wetland enhancement, and stream buffer enhancement across the county. The benefits gained from the relatively small investment are huge. This will involve partnering with local agencies, local community organizations, and private land owners through voluntary or subsidized conservation and restoration. Some projects will come to the board through grant applications, but others require outreach and partnership.
4. What would you like to accomplish? The King Conservation District has many wonderful programs and services designed to benefit people and the environment, but many of these are underutilized. Raising awareness of KCD programs by providing public education and technical assistance will be a primary goal of mine. The election should also be more recognized by being on the standard election ballot held in November. This has been an ongoing objective many KCD board members have tried to initiate, and I intend to fully support that effort to receive legislative approval.
5. What are the major challenges KCD is confronting? One of the primary challenges KCD is facing is balancing conservation of natural resources with an increasing pressure from land use development and capital projects. As populations in the region continue to grow, there will be a strong demand for programs that prioritize conservation and restoration near critical areas and within rural communities.
6. What can KCD do to address/mitigate climate change in our region? Climate change is not going anywhere, and no single action of an agency will mitigate all impacts of climate change. What KCD can do is continue to improve riparian functions of wetlands and streams, provide habitat for threatened and endangered species, and reduce the effects of excessive heating across the region. KCD is also well positioned to provide assistance for at-risk communities and local farmers by offering programs to increase canopy cover, maintain hydrologic functions for agriculture, and assist with wildfire preparedness.
7. What are your ideas for activating & engaging citizens for your plans? Over the years I have built and maintained relationships with community organizations and local planning and parks departments across King County. These groups provide a nexus that connects individuals to larger projects in their local communities. I intend to expand partnerships with local agencies by working to combine similar efforts and programs. Doing so will help improve processes and engagement.
8. Which are KCD's most important programs & which should be scaled back or eliminated? KCD operates all programs and outreach on a budget around 12 million dollars. In the grand scheme of environmental work, it is a small budget and responsible use of funds is extremely important. The riparian restoration and land stewardship programs are extremely important and provide education and technical assistance to achieve successful projects. The benefits gained from the relatively small investment are huge. These programs are also more accessible for landowners since the bulk of the expense is covered by KCD and the Washington State Conservation Commission. I do not have a program that should be scaled back or eliminated at this time. KCD is set to grow in the coming years and these resources need to be supported however possible.