top of page

Board of Supervisors

A five-member Board of Supervisors governs the Whatcom Conservation District (WCD). Board members are local residents and are elected by the public or appointed by the Washington State Conservation Commission.  At least two of the elected and one of the appointed supervisors must be local landowners or operators of a farm. The term of office is three years for all positions. 

Board members attend monthly Board meetings, develop policies, establish long-range priorities, approve annual work plans and budgets, and represent WCD in the community.

Board members serve without compensation – They are volunteers.

Image of staff member.

Heather Christianson


Heather is a fourth generation Whatcom County resident. She lives in the small farmhouse her grandfather built with his father and gardens where her grandmother gardened. This deeply personal connection to the land started in her childhood having grown up spending her afternoons on her grandparent’s farm. Helping farmers with their conservation strategies is work she sees great value in and she is honored to contribute to the amazing work of the Whatcom Conservation District to promote responsible stewardship of our natural resources.

Image of staff member.

Suzzi Snydar

Vice Chair

Suzzi Snydar has resided in Everson with her husband Jeff and their three children since 2000. Their family farm has raised Dairy replacement heifers for over 25 years. They also custom harvest grass and corn for Dairy farmers in Whatcom County. Suzzi has always been an inquisitive student to learn and clearly understand Agricultural practices.

Suzzi has a strong interest in advocating for Best Management Practices in the stewardship of natural resources in Whatcom County. She understands the importance of educating the public, beginning at an early age, on how to preserve and protect our land and water. An open-minded thinker, she is also capable of standing firm for what is optimal for the whole County.

Suzzi aims to ensure there is no loss of farmland in Whatcom County, and that all natural resource-based industries which provide food, fiber and energy are served, while still protecting their contributions to the local economy.

For over 20 years a conscientious and vocal advocate for Agriculture, it is Suzzi's desire to raise awareness for landowners of the voluntary, incentive-based programs available that increase their stewardship of their land and natural resources, while preserving Whatcom County for future generations.

Image of staff member.

Valeri Wade


Valeri Wade has resided in Whatcom County for over 30 years. A graduate of WWU, she’s been a small business owner, a wholesale plant nursery manager, and an environmental activist. She believes the land use choices we make today are our gift to future generations.

Image of staff member.

Alan Chapman


Alan has lived in the Laurel area since the late 1980s with his wife Catherine. They have raised two sons on a 6-acre property with a pond and water course draining roads and pastures in the area. We have raised livestock in the past but not recently.

He has been involved in salmon, tuna, trawl and reef fish biology, ecology and fisheries management and development in Canada, Vietnam, and the Pacific Islands prior to returning to the Pacific Northwest in 1985. For the last 30+ years, he was employed in various positions by the Lummi Nation in the Natural Resources Department dealing with fisheries harvest management for maximum sustainable harvest of fish and shellfish and issues related to productivity, environmental and fisheries impacts and harvest sharing according to international, federal and Indian treaty laws. For the last 10 years his efforts have been focused on accommodating the human population growth without destroying the valued environmental goods and services that draw people to the area though the Puget Sound Partnership and its many sub-divisions. He is participating in Whatcom County Watershed Planning, as a well owner and rural land owner with agricultural interests and the Puget Sound Partnership Strategic Implementation Teams for Shellfish and Habitat to support a healthy economy and human population while protecting species, clean water and habitat.

He retired from Lummi in early 2018 but pursues solutions to the longstanding problems associated with preservation of the rural heritage of Whatcom County through wise development of housing and associated infrastructure and employment opportunities to support the health and welfare of the community competing for limited land and water resources without destroying the valued ecosystem goods and services. The Conservation District is a logical venue to pursue the solution of flood, farm, fish and water conflicts.

Image of staff member.

Fred Berman


Fred has lived in Whatcom County for the past 43 years and been involved in agriculture for nearly 50 years. He is passionate about local sustainable food systems and spent 27 years in the hospitality industry promoting and supporting local, small-scale farms, including owning and operating a farm-to-table restaurant adjacent to his 20 acre organic farm in the foothills of Mt. Baker.

Following a career at WSDA as the Small Farm and Direct Marketing Coordinator, and a Project Manager at NABC, he retired to an active volunteer role in local non-profit activities, including Sustainable Connections (Cloud Mountain Farm Center), Common Threads Farm, Maple Alley Inn, and Whatcom Land Trust.

As a recently appointed Supervisor to the Whatcom Conservation District he is looking forward to contributing his extensive experience and knowledge to the Board. He is hoping to make a difference in conserving our valuable natural resources and assuring a bright future for the land, air and water we steward and the fish and wildlife with which we share this special place we call home.

Image of staff member.

Larry Davis

Associate Board Member

In May 2021, Larry completed 12 years as a member of the WCD Board of Directors. At that time, he self-termed out and shifted his status to Associate Supervisor. He remains involved with the Washington Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) as Co-chair of the Tribal Relations Committee of WACD. He also participates on three committees of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD): 1) Chairs the Tribal Outreach and Partnership Resource Policy Group; 2) Chairs the reinstituted NACD Policy Book Task Force; and 3) Serves on the NACD Special Committee on Bylaws. Away from these responsibilities Larry is a member of the Washington State Envirothon Committee and is a long-time member and President of the Washington Conservation Society.

Nearly 40 years paid and voluntary public service in education and conservation arenas. Expertise and experience with public policy processes (legislative, state agency, county-based state agency). Eleven-plus years on non-partisan staff of the Washington State Senate Education Committee. Twelve years as Executive Director of the Washington State Board of Education (SBE).

bottom of page