Jay Kehne has worked for Conservation Northwest (CNW) since May, 2009 as an Okanogan Outreach Associate. He retired from a 33 year career with USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service in Washington and California to go to work for CNW. His positions with USDA included Field Soil Scientist – Ellensburg; Soil Survey Party Leader- Waterville; River-basin Study Soil Specialist - Moses Lake; Area Soil Scientist - Ephrata; District Conservationist - Yakima; District Conservationist - Lake Tahoe, California, and RC&D Coordinator - Chelan, and Okanogan.
Selected by the U.S. China International Relations Committee in 2000 to participate in a Time-Life sponsored work assignment to Northeast China, Jay learned and brought back a broader perspective of landscapes, wildlife, natural resources and how to work with diverse cultures to solve resource issues. Jay has a degree in Wildlife Biology from Washington State University (WSU) and a degree in soil science, also from WSU.
In his current position as Outreach Associate with CNW, Jay is assisting ranchers with conservation easements that provide them with options other than selling to developers. These programs help preserve important open space for wildlife while providing capital to maintain working ranches. Working for CNW allows Jay to also spend time providing information and education on important local wildlife issues such as habitat connectivity, and the return of wolves to Washington. Jay is married with 5 children ages 27, 25, 21, 18, and 12 and enjoys skiing, backpacking, hunting, golfing, gardening, and fishing. To round out their lives, he and his wife Rita have hosted 6 foreign exchange students from Norway, Denmark, Italy and Germany over the last 4 years. He lives with his family on 6 acres overlooking the Okanogan River in Omak.
(CURRENT TERM: Apr. 16, 2013 - Dec. 31, 2018)