scdThe Skagit Conservation District Board of Supervisors election will be held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, at 2021 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, WA.  Any registered Washington state voter living in Skagit County may vote in this public election.  Absentee ballots may be requested until 4 p.m. Tuesday, January 31, by calling (360) 428-4313, visiting the office or emailing the Skagit Conservation District (skagitcd@skagitcd.org).

Jed Holmes, an active volunteer for the Skagit County Democrats, has qualified for the ballot and issued the following statement:

Jed Holmes for Skagit Conservation District Board

I am running for a position on the Skagit Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors to support what I believe is a great organization that could benefit from my participation. The supervisors serve on a voluntary basis and set policies and provide direction to the district.

I am a strong advocate of the Skagit Conservation District’s mission to provide voluntary, incentive-based options that support working landscapes while protecting and enhancing our natural resources. I intend to be an active board member, using my knowledge and experience to help the management and staff of the conservation district successfully implement its programs and develop new ones which will benefit our communities.

My priorities:

  • Improve cooperation and coordination with local organizations whose objectives are aligned with those of the Conservation District, including the Nature Conservancy, Skagit Land Trust, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and Skagit Watershed Council, among others;
  • Ensure that the staff of the Conservation District has all the necessary support to work effectively, including additional professional training when needed;
  • Adopt ideas and best practices from other conservation districts around the state;
  • Maximize the impact of the Conservation District’s investments through improved public outreach efforts to boost participation;
  • Ensure that upriver communities are well informed about the Conservation District’s program
  • Communicate regularly with farmers, landowners and residents to ensure that the Conservation District is responsive to their ideas and concerns.

Background

I am currently employed by the Pilchuck Audubon Society as the Everett Backyard Habitat Coordinator. I am responsible for helping landowners improve their backyard habitat to be more suitable for birds and other wildlife. In this role, I work in close contact with the Snohomish Conservation District, local government agencies, public schools and other conservation groups at the local and state level.

In 2016 I worked actively and enthusiastically for the Skagit County Democrats, first as a volunteer and then as coordinated campaign manager for local, state and national races. I continue to volunteer in support of the Skagit Democrats and other political causes.

Previously, I worked for more than a decade in Moscow, Russia, first in publishing and then in public relations, providing communications support for a variety of organizations and businesses, from start-up Russian NGOs to Fortune 500 companies.

Meeting_with_votersI grew up in the Skagit Valley and graduated from Mount Vernon High School. I have a deep appreciation for the agricultural heritage of Skagit County. All my first jobs were in some way connected to the farming community: picking raspberries in Bow, milking cows in Conway and working for many summers at the WSU research station on Memorial Highway.

As many of you, I have witnessed the transformation of our valley over the years, watching fertile fields become paved over for malls and auto dealerships. I remember when there were no warning signs about harvesting shellfish or swimming prohibitions at our beaches. These changes are disappointing, but they are also a call to action.

The Skagit Conservation District works to help us be good stewards of the land and ensure that our shared resources are clean and healthy, and available to future generations of Skagitonians. It would be an honor to work on the board of this organization and help make its efforts even more effective for the benefit of all members of our community.

Education: Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Evergreen State College

Family: Married, three children.

Volunteer activities: National Park Service (North Cascades National Park & Yellowstone National Park), National Language Service Corps, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group