At their meeting on December 2, the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) Board of Commissioners appointed Daryl Williams as their new chair and Larry Cochran as vice chair.
Both Williams and Cochran have been serving as commissioners since 2015. Cochran also previously served on the Commission in 1998 when he was president of the Washington Association of Conservation Districts.
Chair Williams was appointed to the Commission by Governor Jay Inslee. Williams is a member of the Tulalip Tribe and worked as the Tulalip Natural Resources Liaison until retirement. He still works for the tribe part-time under contract. His extensive service record on boards and committees over the years includes the Snohomish County Sustainable Lands Strategy; King County Fish, Farm and Flood Committee; and the Adopt a Stream Foundation.
Williams submitted the following statement about his role as chair and the path ahead for the Conservation Commission:
“The Conservation Commission has just adopted their 2022-2027 Strategic Plan. This plan was developed over the last year to help guide our commissioners and staff to meet several goals concerning voluntary conservation of our natural resources, sustainable agriculture, climate resiliency, accountability, and developing more partners while strengthening our relationships with our current partners. It also directs us to look at how we can be more inclusive and look at how we can improve on how we work with and support minority farmers and organizations and look at how we can be more equitable across all communities no matter what their gender, race, age, religion, accessibility, neurodiversity, or income status. I also believe we need to provide some preference for those that have given so much to our country by serving in our military. I look forward to working with our other commissioners, staff, and partners to implement this plan.”
Vice chair Cochran was elected as the Eastern Washington representative to the Commission by members of the Washington Association of Conservation Districts. Cochran is a third generation farmer and runs Cochran Farms in Colfax. His record of service also includes the Palouse Conservation District Board of Supervisors, the Palouse Local Working Group, and Washington Association of Wheat Growers.
Cochran also recently served on a committee tasked with exploring improvements to the conservation district election process and recommending reforms to the Conservation Commission.
Cochran submitted the following statement about his role as vice chair:
“I represent the conservation districts in Eastern Washington and now all of the districts as vice chair of the Commission. My belief is voluntary, incentive-based conservation is the best way to get conservation on the ground. And I would say as a member of the elections committee what we drafted should help all districts have an elections process based on what is best for them and their communities.”
Williams’ and Cochran’s chair and vice chair roles are one-year appointments with the option to be re-appointed by the SCC Board of Commissioners at their meeting in December 2022.
The Washington State Conservation Commission is governed by a 10-member board representing governor appointees, state agencies, and conservation districts. Visit our website to learn more about our Commission Members and Commission Meetings.