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Marion Soil & Water Conservation District

Directors & Staff

Meet the Directors and Staff of the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District. Each Director has a four year term that gives them the opportunity to work directly with staff on projects and strategic planning. The District also has a staff that is committed to enhancing and protecting the regions natural resource for generations to come. Directors and Staff have an intimate connection with local natural resources that gives them a first-hand understanding of the challenges and opportunities in Marion County.


Doug Krahmer

Doug Krahmer Zone 1 – Secretary/Treasurer

Doug has been an outspoken advocate for conservation in Marion County for several years and has represented Zone 1 on the Marion SWCD Board of Directors since 2000. He has served as District Chair, Vice-Chair and as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Board. In 2004 Doug was appointed to the Soil and Water Conservation Commission (SWCC) to represent five SWCDs. In 2005 he was elected Chair for the Commission and remains in that position to date. Doug is also a voting member on the Board of Agriculture serving as Vice-Chair and chairs their Natural Resource Sub-Committee. Additionally, he also serves on the Oregon Farm Bureau’s State Labor Advisory Committee and nationally for the US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) where he serves as Treasurer on the Executive Committee and also chairs their Finance Committee.


Vacant –  Zone 2

The Marion SWCD has a vacancy on their board to fill the position of Zone 2 Director. To qualify for the position as Zone 2 Director, and individual must be 18 years of age, be a registered voter in Marion County, own or manager 10 or more acres of land within the zone and live in Marion County. The Zone 2 area encompasses all the land west of Highway 213 to I-5 then north of Brooks to the Clackamas County line.  The towns that are included in Zone 2 are Brooks, Gervais, Mt. Angel, Woodburn (except for the area that is designated outside of the District), Hubbard and Aurora.  A map of the District including the area each zone covers is available here. This is a non-paid volunteer position who will serve until the next general election in November 2014.

Application is available here, or stop by the office, or call 503-391-9927. Completed applications must be either delivered or mailed to the Marion SWCD office, located at 338 Hawthorne Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97301 or can be emailed to as soon as possible. Please include “Director Vacancy” in the email subject line. The District will continue to accept applications until the vacancy is filled.

Darin Olson

Darin Olson Zone 3

Darin Olson and his family own a 200 acre farm just south of Salem. He was elected to his current position as Zone 3 Director in 2006. Darin has been working with Marion Soil and Water Conservation programs for many years, and he says that it is because of MSWCD programs, that he has been able to complete many projects that he might never have accomplished on his own. Darin says “the program has helped his farm save thousands of gallons of water each year”. And “in an area that is seeing a large amount of residential growth, water savings is an important issue that needs to be addressed by farmers and small land owners alike”.

Tim Bielenberg

Tim Bielenberg Zone 4 – Chair

Tim was born and raised in Silverton and has lived his whole life on a farm. He has been operating thefamily dairy and row crop farm for the last 40 years near Aumsville. Being the grandparent of 6 young children, he is very concerned about the importance of protecting our water and preserving our farm ground for the future of the next generations. Tim hasinstituted several conservation practices on the farm over the years, from protecting stream edges to installing irrigation water saving linears. The latest innovation being the methane digester that is operating at full capacity on our dairy farm. Tim previously served 1- term for the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District and is privileged to again devote time to conservation issues involving our county.

David Keasey

David Keasey Zone 5

Dave is a small-acreage forestland owner who helps represent small-forestry interests in the District. Dave has an extensive education background with a BS in Chemical Engineering and a MS in Civil/Environmental Engineering from Oregon State University, along with US Air Force Meteorology Training from North Carolina State University. Dave has worked overseas for part of his career as a Project Manager and Environmental Advisor for a major petrochemical company in Saudi Arabia

Emily Ackland

Emily Ackland At-Large 1 – Vice Chair

Emily became involved with the Marion SWCD while working as an Environmental Specialist for Marion County. During those 4 years, she collaborated with SWCD staff on various projects and became very familiar with the goals and objectives of the District. In 2008, Emily was nominated as an Associate Director, appointed Director; she continues to serve in this capacity.

Emily’s current job has her working with all 36 counties in the state on various environmental issues and policies, including water quality, salmon recovery, and alternative energy strategies. She enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, and playing with her two Rhodesian Ridgebacks.


Ken Hetsel – At-Large 2

The Marion SWCD has appointed Ken Hetsel to fulfill the remaining term of the At-Large 2 position.


Jane Keppinger

Jane Keppinger District Manager

In 2007, Jane became the District Manager and also serves in the capacity as the District’s budget officer each year. Finances and budgeting are two of her strongest suits. She first came to the Marion SWCD back in August 2001 and worked as the Administrative Coordinator after spending the previous two years at the Polk SWCD in Dallas, Oregon. She has 22 years of experience working for several SWCD’s in the Willamette Valley after she was first hired by Linn SWCD in 1989. Having already attended Linn Benton Community College studying in the medical field, then working for a handful of doctors and a variety of private businesses, Jane knew she had finally found a career and work she loved! She thoroughly enjoys managing people, projects, finances and most all working with a great board of directors and employees. Don’t hesitate to contact Jane if you have any questions or concerns about the Marion SWCD. She is here to help you.

Direct Line: 503-391-9927 ext. #304

Ron Crouse

Ron Crouse Education and Outreach Coordinator

Ron has been with the District since 2007 and has a B.S. in environmental education from Colorado State University and a Masters of Science Teaching degree from Portland State University. Prior to working for the District Ron served as head instructor for the marine education programs at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center which lead to a four year planning position for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service creating the Comprehensive Conservation Plan/ Environmental Impact Statement for Hanford Reach National Monument. Ron is currently the District’s Education and Outreach Coordinator and also the State Coordinator for the Oregon Envirothon natural resource education competition. Ron helps manage the District’s CLEAR Grant program and should be contacted if interested in any of the District’s educational opportunities.

Direct Line: 503-391-9927 ext. #316

Scott Eden

Scott Eden Resource Conservationist

Scott has been with the District since 2002 and is currently the District’s longest-employed Resource Conservationist, and is an NRCS Certified Planner. He has a B.S. in Biology from Oregon State University and prior to working for the District, Scott was employed as Coordinator to the Pudding River Watershed Council and worked for a number of agencies and private contractor’s to perform fish and wildlife surveys, mostly in Oregon. These included stream inventories, fish studies, forest mammal and bird surveys and mapping historic and current fish distributions on Oregon rivers and streams. Scott helps landowners with voluntary conservation plans, technical advice, and grant funded conservation projects and programs. Scott also works to implement and manage Water Quality monitoring projects that help the SWCD determine locations where local resources and conservation projects and programs are most needed to get conservation on the ground.

Direct Line: 503-391-9927 ext. #313

Jenny Meisel

Jenny Meisel Resource Conservationist

Jenny coordinates the Native and Invasive Plants Programs and the district’s Annual Native Plant Sale. She also provides education and outreach activities within the district. Jenny joined the Marion SWCD in 2008, and holds a Master of Science in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in environmental science from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Before working for Marion SWCD, Jenny worked as a wildlife biologist and technician for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, as a wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and briefly for the US Geological Survey conducting research in eastern Oregon and Washington. When not at work, Jenny enjoys birding, camping, hiking and working in her yard and garden.

Direct Line: 503-391-9927 ext. #312

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Brenda Sanchez Resource Conservationist

Brenda has a diverse background in soil and water quality management. She has worked directly on several land-use projects related to soil and water conservation. Brenda has concentrated her efforts on restoring function to riparian areas, sustaining soil health, improving water quality and assisting with vegetation management. Brenda works comprehensively with landowners to develop voluntary conservation plans as well as assists with technical support and funding opportunities for soil and water conservation projects. Brenda works as part of a team assisting with the area’s agricultural water quality program. Brenda attended Montana State University where she earned her B.S. in Environmental Science in Land Rehabilitation. Brenda has worked in several natural resource capacities and prior to the District she worked as a soil scientist for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Central Oregon. Please contact Brenda if you are in need of technical assistance or just have a question about the management of your natural resources.

Direct Line: 503-391-9927 ext. #335

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Susan Ortiz Administrative Coordinator

Susan joined the District in 2008 and holds a B.S. degree in Crop and Soil Science, with a minor in Horticulture from Oregon State University. Prior to working for the District Susan worked for Linn SWCD, the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts, and as an agricultural producer. She provides District administrative support in the areas of Contract Development and Administration, Grant Management, Fiscal Administration and Human Resources, and District Operations.

Direct Line: 503-391-9927 ext. #315

Janice Calkins

Janice Calkins Office Coordinator

Janice joined the District back in 2006 bringing her smile, skills in customer service and administrative duties along with her. When you contact us, she will likely be the first person you encounter! Janice is very creative, and earned an Associates of Art degree in Merchandising/Art from Modesto Junior College (California). She is most happy when her creative abilities can be used. As in: designing newsletters, flyers, brochures, organizing annual meetings, and Poster Contests! And if you need some information on any particular subject, she’ll do her best to locate some information for you, be it in the form of a flyer, a brochure or reference to a website! Feel free to contact Janice any time!

Direct Line: 503-391-9927 ext. #306

Becca Bourson

Becca Bourson Conservation Technician

Becca started working for the District in June 2012 conducting invasive species surveys along the North Santiam River. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon and prior to working for the District, she worked as a technician for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Her technical skills include GIS data management, mapping, plant identification, and biological sampling.

Direct Line: 503-391-9927 ext. #334