Two candidates for position on San Juan Islands Conservation District Board of Supervisors; election March 16

The candidates for the San Juan Islands Conservation District Board of Supervisors. Top photo: Ed Kilduff. Bottom photo: At right, Henning Sehmsdorf. - Submitted photos
The candidates for the San Juan Islands Conservation District Board of Supervisors. Top photo: Ed Kilduff. Bottom photo: At right, Henning Sehmsdorf.
— image credit: Submitted photos

There are two candidates for one position on the San Juan Islands Conservation District Board of Supervisors:

— Ed Kilduff, an environmental planner and geologist, as well as member of the San Juan County Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

— Henning Sehmsdorf, owner and operator of S&S Homestead Farm, and incumbent district supervisor.

The election is March 16. All San Juan County registered voters are eligible to vote. Deadline to request a ballot is Monday. Call 378-6621, e-mail, or visit the district office at 540 Guard St,. No. 150, Friday Harbor.

Supervisors serve three-year staggered terms. Their positions are at large. There are five supervisors. District office manager Josie Byington said candidate statements are posted on the district Web site, Their statements are also published below.

The Board of Supervisors is responsible for governance of the conservation district. The board approves district budgets, sets policy, and monitors use of district resources. The district is non-regulatory. Its mission is education, information, and assisting landowners on how to conserve natural resources.

The board meets monthly. Each supervisor also serves on committees and provides technical support as appropriate. Supervisors are not compensated.

My name is Ed Kilduff, and I am a candidate for the San Juan Islands Conservation District Board. I live on Lopez Island. I ask for your vote.

Historically, the people of San Juan County have been very good stewards of the environment. I am an advocate for bottoms-up, locally driven approaches that support rural landowners in protecting our lands and waters. I am a member of the county’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and my driving interest there is making local government transparent, accountable and participatory. I will bring that focus to the District too.

I am an environmental professional. I have decades of experience working with regulators and the public on some of the most highly charged and technically challenging environmental projects in the nation. My qualifications are a timely match for the County and the Conservation District. District programs include low impact development and eco-building; I am one of only two LEED Accredited Professionals in San Juan County (LEED AP BD+ C). There are District programs for land use and watersheds; I am one of only two licensed hydrogeologists/engineering geologists in the county (LHG and LEG). There are District programs for agriculture and forest lands; as an owner of those lands, I have an interest in voluntary, incentive-based options that support working landscapes while protecting and enhancing our natural resources.

— Ed Kilduff, LG, LEG, LHG, LEED AP BD+C
MBA, Applied Economics and Finance — MIT Sloan
MS, Geophysics — Colorado School of Mines
BS, Mathematics and Geology — Tufts University

* * *

Henning Sehmsdorf has been a supervisor of the San Juan Islands Conservation District for the last 10 years, and during that period has helped shape educational and resource planning programs focused on the role of agriculture in preserving the county’s soil and forest resources, water quality, wildlife habitat and native plants. A long-time farmer on Lopez Island, Henning understands the role of sustainable farming practices in protecting vital ecosystems, and on his farm has developed classes for the community and public school students about ecological food production (see ).

Together with his wife Elizabeth, Henning started the Lopez Farm-to-School program, and on the board of directors of the Community Land Trust initiated the concept of the first federally inspected mobile slaughter unit to serve the local production and distribution of safe and wholesome meats. Henning has taken his concern for ecosystem protection beyond the county by serving on the board of Washington Tilth Producers, and for the last year and a half on a committee for the National Academy of Sciences to produce a science-based report on “21st Century Sustainable Agriculture.”

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Agriculture is often responsible for environmental degradation, such as non-sustainable food production, poor fuel use, natural resource depletion and habitat exploitation. But at the same time farmers should be considered as key players in stopping degradation of the ecological balance on which current and future generations depend.” In the light of this, the San Juan Islands Conservation board needs to have at least one active farmer among its supervisors. Henning volunteers to serve the District for another term.

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