Michael Cairns, Board President

Michael Cairns is a retired (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) watershed ecologist. Since retirement, he has worked as a watershed project manager to design and implement restoration projects. Michael also does consulting work to assess fish and wildlife habitat. Although his primary work is in the area of water quality and watershed enhancement, he is also interested in global change, alternative energy, and sustainable agriculture. With his family, he also owns the Oregon Beer Growler, a magazine promoting he Oregon craft beer industry.

Dave Vesely, Board Member

Dave graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1977. He went on to work in child psychiatry nursing and crisis intervention in Minneapolis Public Schools. In 1985, Dave worked as a volunteer on peregrine reintroduction project in the Superior National Forest. That experience led him to change careers and he spent the next several years working on different projects as a seasonal wildlife technician. Dave followed his future wife to Corvallis in 1987 where she began graduate school in Forestry while Dave earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration at OSU.  After completing his BFA, Dave was accepted into the OSU College of Forestry, where he completed an MS in Forest Science in 1996. Upon graduation, he started a small consulting firm specializing in wildlife conservation and research studies. Then in 2006, Dave and two friends from OSU founded the Oregon Wildlife Institute, a non-profit organization that conducted wildlife research and assisted in many conservation planning efforts across the state.  Dave retired from OWI in 2019, but still works as a part-time dog trainer helping humans and dogs better understand one another.

Vern Holm, Board Member

Vern is retired after working for 15 years as the Coordinator for the Western Invasives Network, a program of Cascade Pacific RC&D, deigned to build and enhance the programmatic and technical abilities of Cooperative Weed Management Areas in Western Oregon and Southwest Washington. In that capacity he worked with over 120 federal, state, local, and regional natural resources management agencies as well as individual landowners and private industries. In addition to his job, Vern served on a number of organizations. He was a member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council, Oregon Vegetation Management Association, and board member with the Institute of Applied Ecology. Currently he is a member of Yamhill County’s Technical Advisory Committee for Roadside Vegetation Management.

Jeff Powers, Board Member

Jeff has a broad background in Park Administration and Natural Resource Management ranging from planning and management of water based recreational facilities to habitat conservation for threatened and endangered species. He retired after 30 years of public sector service, mostly at the County level. He most recently served for nine years as the Director of the Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department. Jeff spent much of his youth outside on the farmlands, woodlots and rivers of the Upper Midwest. He studied Forestry at Purdue University prior to migrating to Oregon in 1977. A few years later he completed work toward a Bachelors degree in Resource Recreation Management from Oregon State. When not enjoying his four grandchildren and tending to the family two acres north of Corvallis, he tries to set aside time for a range of outdoor activities and travel.