Commissioner Cherie Kearney serves as one of the governor-appointed representatives of the state Conservation Commission. She is also the forestry conservation director at the Columbia Land Trust, where she puts her collaborative spirit toward conserving working forestland and large landscapes. She's often heading up conservation projects that initially seem complex—or even impossible. Commissioner Kearney is also a runner, boater, hiker, sailor, and all-around adventurer.
Governor Jay Inslee appointed Daryl Williams to the Commission in 2015. Commissioner Williams is a Tulalip Tribal member and works part-time for the Tulalip Tribes as an environmental consultant. Prior to that he had worked for the Tribe as an employee for about 40 years and has a B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College of Missouri. He is also the President of Qualco Energy, which is a partnership organization comprised of the Tulalip Tribes, Northwest Chinook Recovery, and the Werkhoven Dairy. Qualco operates a dairy digester to help improve nutrient management for the dairy and protect water quality for fish and wildlife.
Commissioner Larry Cochran was elected to serve on the Conservation Commission in December 2015. He is also chair of the Palouse Conservation District. He’s a third generation farmer and runs Cochran Farms in Colfax.
Commissioner Perry Beale joined the Commission in 2014 representing the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). Commissioner Beale is the manager for the WSDA Natural Resources Assessment Section(NRAS), the ag science program located in the Director’s Office. Perry was raised on a wheat and cattle ranch in southeastern Washington and is the Vice President of the family farm. He graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Agronomy. Perry is also a graduate of the Ag Forestry Leadership program.
Mike grew up in Southwestern Michigan on a sixty plus acre hobby farm (though if pressed, he’ll admit it was more work than hobby). The farm had a small commercial asparagus operation and for a while his dad ran a sixty head pig business. There were always two to three Holstein steers hanging around; all of the corn and alfalfa used to feed the steers was grown on the farm. Besides picking asparagus he earned spending money picking raspberries, grapes and helping bale hay for local dairy farmers. Mike graduated from Michigan Technological University with a bachelor of science degree in forestry. He worked for almost thirty years for the U.S. Forest Service as a small sales/salvage sales forester, a presale forester/logging systems specialist as well as in various positions within the Fire and Aviation Management division ending his career doing resource protection work. When he was stationed on the Paisley Ranger District of the Fremont National Forest he gained experience with large scale beef cattle operations including how to navigate a rig through a 1,000 head of cattle being driven down a state highway! Because of his forestry knowledge Mike was asked in October 2015 to join the Pend Oreille Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors, and in June of 2019 joined the Washington Association of Conservation Districts as an Area Director; he currently serves as the Association’s President. Mike’s interests are small farm operations (including farmer’s markets), small woodlot management, wildfire prevention/protection especially in the wildland urban interface and wildfire smoke intrusion into populated areas.
Brook has served as Ecology’s Eastern Region Director since 2019 and has been with the agency since 2005. Growing up in a small farming community just southeast of Spokane gave her a strong connection to the land and environment. She has fond memories of spring calves, alfalfa fields, and helping barn cats find mice in hay stacks. Brook studied Biology at Whitworth University and was called to environmental and science education to help student understanding of natural systems. Throughout her career, her work has centered around building collaborative partnerships through community outreach and education, strategic communications, and facilitating conversations about shared values that lead to achieving environmental goals. Brook lives in Spokane with her family, which includes a few city chickens.
Commissioner Crose joined the SCC Board in 2017 and is also a Resource Conservationist with the Grant County Conservation District.
Jim Kropf joined the Commission in 2010, representing Washington State University (WSU) Extension. Jim has been a faculty member of WSU Extension since 1979, serving as an Extension educator on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Stevens County, Douglas and Chelan Counties, and Pierce and King Counties. He served as the Western District Director for WSU Extension from 1999 through 2010 and currently serves as the Extension Natural Resources Program Director. His Extension work primarily has focused on the production of agronomic and horticultural crops, agricultural marketing, and water quality. A Washington native, Jim grew up in Pierce County and has a B.S. and M.S. in Agronomy from Washington State University.
Commissioner Longrie serves as the Chairman and Conservation District Western Representative on the Commission. He also serves on the Board of Supervisors at Clark Conservation District.
Terra Rentz began serving as the DNR representative on the Conservation Commission in 2020. Her full biography is coming soon.