The directors of the Trust are all residents of the Kings River area who understand and appreciate the long-term benefits and challenges of maintaining the Kings River landscape where agricultural and natural systems work together.
El Rio Reyes Conservation Trust’s Board of Directors
David Cehrs, President
David Cehrs earned his Ph.D. in Hydrology and is a native of the Kings River area. He and his family farm in the Kings River bottom where he also volunteers on hydrologic projects for the betterment of the local environment. He serves on the board of the Kings River Conservation District and is an Executive Committee member in the Tehipite Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Eileen Apperson, Vice President
Eileen Apperson was raised on a small family farm near the Kings River. She earned her BA in English, MA in creative nonfiction writing, and MFA in poetry from CSU Fresno. She is an English instructor at Reedley College and continues to write about the beauty of the San Joaquin Valley.
Kent Kinney, Secretary
Kent Kinney has served the board of the El Rio Reyes Conservation Trust since shortly after its inception and has lived in the Kings River area all his life. He earned his B.S. in Natural Resources Management and later his M.S. in Agriculture Education. He is a Forestry Instructor at Reedley College. Kinney is an active member of the Society of American Foresters
Anne Cehrs, Treasurer
Anne is a retired math and science teacher with a Masters Degree in Education and lives on her family’s farm in the Kings River bottom. She has taught in both Wisconsin and Sanger, CA for a combined total of 30 years.
Karen Hale, Director
Doug Cornelius, Director
Doug Cornelius has lived along the Kings River all his life and has raised his family here where they farm and managed their mountain property up in the high country. He earned an A.S. in Horticulture and his five year carpenter journeyman degree. He has served as a carpenter for the Clovis Unified School District for over 20 years. He is the President of Local Chapter 250 C.S.E.A. Union.
Kyle Lane, Director
Kyle Lane has lived his entire life in Dunlap, California, a small foothill community east of the Central Valley. Kyle earned his associates degree in Forestry & Natural Resources at Reedley College. Soon after, Kyle transferred to CSU Fresno State where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration, with an emphasis in Adventure Recreation & Tourism. Kyle currently works full time for the United States Forest Service-Sequoia National Forest, and part-time as an Forestry adjunct instructor at Reedley College
(All board members are volunteer and are not compensated for their time nor expertise)
Julie Burkdoll, Outreach and Fund Development Committee
Julie was raised in the Kern Valley area East of Bakersfield, CA. Her grandfather, Harold Shaw, moved from L.A. and bought a ranch in Weldon, CA. It was called the Steer Head Ranch which he owned until he retired and sold it years later. Her grandfather taught her about ranch work, riding horses and taking care of livestock, animals and most importantly, chores always came before we sat down to eat. Julie graduated from Kern Valley High School and attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for three years and then Fresno State majoring in Agriculture. After more than 40 years in retail she and her husband, now retired, board horses and put on cattle sorting and horse events for her community.
Nancy McCall, Outreach and Fund Development Committee
Nancy and her husband moved to Squaw Valley 22 years ago. Recently retired, she worked as a veterinary assistant and receptionist in Kingsburg for 40 years. In the early 90’s, Nancy was one of the founding members of the Kings River Bluegrass Association in Centerville and served as editor of their newsletter. About the same time, she planned the first two mule shows for the Mountain Rodeo Association. In 2009 and 2011, Nancy put together the Horsemen for Hope benefit trail ride which raised money for various cancer organizations. The help of so many volunteers during both of these rides was such a humbling and wonderful experience for all. She really enjoys working with people and animals.
Steve McDonald, Authorized Representative and Advisor to the Board
Steve McDonald has lived and raised his family in the Kings River Bottom area since 1974 on their cattle ranch. He is President of McDonald Properties Inc. with interests in ranching, timber and real estate. He is also owner of SDM Realty focused on agricultural properties. He has over 25 years of experience in management, transactions, and negotiations, including conservation easement transactions and easement monitoring. He currently serves as Director with Central Valley Community Bank, Fresno Kings County Cattlemen’s Association (past President), and California Rangeland Trust (since 1998 and served as past President). For 18 years he served as director of Kings River Water District. Steve received his Bachelor’s Degree and MBA from the University of Southern California.(All board members and advisers are volunteer and are not compensated for their time nor expertise)
Erin Davis, Staff Consultant - Conservation and Communications
Erin Davis has lived in the Central Valley for over a decade and has worked with El Rio Reyes Conservation Trust since March of 2012. She is owner of Davis Communications Group since 2009 with expertise in non- profit outreach, fundraising, and board and organizational development with a specialization in agricultural conservation land trusts. She has over 15 years experience working with agricultural trade organizations and land trusts throughout including California Cattlemen’s Association California, California Council of Land Trusts, California Rangeland Trust, Central Valley Farmland Trust, Sacramento County Farm Bureau, and the CA Rangeland Conservation Coalition. Erin earned her Bachelors of Science in Agriculture and her Master’s thesis defense is pending in Agricultural Communications from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Erin assists her family in their hay and cattle operation in Paso Robles, CA.
Heidi Ann Isner
Heidi Isner lives in Tulare County and works for the Kings River Conservation District as a Resource Analyst 1. She earned her B.S. in Natural Resources from Oregon State University and has nine years experience in the field of natural resources, wildlife biology and natural history. Heidi is a member of the Central California Chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals and is an AAFA Certified Personal Trainer.