Melanie Kleiss Boerger [Vice-Chair]
Melanie lives in St. Croix Falls and currently co-owns and manages Kleiss Gears, a mechanical engineering business in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. From the University of Minnesota she has a BA degree degree in biology, a MS degree in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, and a law degree. Her practical experience includes dealing with land protection and water quality issues involved with numerous river protection projects in the Washington, D.C. area. She has also worked as a bird bander, water tester for the Chippewa River Watershed Project, and educator at the Minnesota Science Museum and Bell Museum of Natural History. In the past, she volunteered for EarthJustice, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among numerous other organizations. Melanie looks forward to volunteer work that will expand public awareness of the “whole watershed” concept as well as helping to develop more ways to involve watershed communities in protecting the St. Croix.
Paul retired from the Corps of Engineers in 2008. He continues to work part-time for the Institute for Water Resources where he manages projects related to water resources training and international collaboration. He spent most of his career in the Washington, DC area where he also served as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He has knowledge and experience with water resources training and education, integrated water resources management, dispute resolution, geo-spatial data management, and international relations.
Paul was raised in Hudson and was drawn back to the area in large measure due to the natural beauty of the St. Croix Valley, which he hopes to see preserved for future generations. He and his wife Lisa live east of Hudson within the remnants of an old Christmas tree farm where he worked many summers ago trimming the trees. They have two children, two dogs, a cat and a fish named Bubbles.
Bill Clapp [Secretary]
Bill is long-time member of the St. Croix River Association and cabin-owner in Scandia. Until retirement, he was employed by the Minnesota Attorney General, with his client being the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, specializing in shoreland and wetland protection and conservation easements. Bill has served on the board of directors of Standing Cedars Community Land Conservancy since 1994, several of those years as chair. He served as commissioner of the Minnesota Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission, and was active in the St Croix Scenic Coalition.
Jerry is co-owner/operator of Wild River Outfitters in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, which provides canoe and kayak rental and shuttle service in addition to a campground and gift shop. For over 20 years, he and his business have served paddlers on over 150 miles of the Upper St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. He is past board member of the Siren Tourism Commission and has served as a board member and Secretary of the Grantsburg Chamber of Commerce. He is a member and Treasurer of the Burnett County Democratic Club Board of Directors. Jerry is an avid student of the geologic and cultural history along the river way, enjoys informing people about this resource and enjoys speaking to groups about the riverway.
Randy was Vice-President of the St. Croix River Association from 2005 and President in 2007. He formerly served on the Board of Trustees of Standing Cedars Community Land Conservancy, and as a Commissioner on the Washington County Parks and Open Space Commission. He is retired after nearly 33 years of service with the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. His last assignment was the Chief of the Natural Resources Division for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, where he worked from 1994 to 2005. While in this position he chaired the interagency St. Croix Basin Water Resources Planning Team from 1995 until his retirement and he continues his involvement with the Basin Team today.
Dave is the County Conservationist for Burnett County. Dave has been a part of the Land and Water Conservation Department for 25+ years, first as a Conservation Technician, and then as the County Conservationist. Dave represents the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Assoc (WLWCA) on the WI DNR Forest Stewardship Committee, has represented northwest Wisconsin on the Wisconsin Assoc of land Conservation Employees (WALCE) Executive Board for several terms. Dave has been a member of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress for over fifteen years and has been the chair for the Burnett County delegation for many of those years. Dave and his long-time girlfriend Beth enjoy many outdoor activities all around NW Wis.
Jim recently retired as the first Emeritus Executive Director of the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center. Beginning in 1981, he helped build the Nature Center from scratch with the help from many people. He developed programming, staffing, the volunteer program, a development department, the captive wildlife program, and the orchard program. Jim also developed the Wisconsin campus beginning in 1989 to its 300 acre total now. Jim retired with the Foundation in good shape and several projects in the works, including the Sale of Conservation Easements over 75 acres of CNC River
Peter Gove [Past Chair]
Peter held an executive position in communications and public policy with St. Jude Medical, Inc. and Control Data Corp. before retiring in 2005. Peter was Minnesota Governor Wendell R. Anderson’s environmental assistant, Executive Director of the Pollution Control Agency and a founding member of the Environmental Quality Board before joining Anderson’s U.S. Senate staff as Legislative Director. He was then Chief, Office of Legislation for the U.S. National Park Service. Peter was the first chairman of the Mississippi River Commission appointed by the
Secretary of the Interior to develop a comprehensive general management plan for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). He founded Friends of the Mississippi River in 1993 and is the current FMR board chair. Peter is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota and Trust for Public Land Advisory Board. He has served on the SCRA board since 2007 and is the current chair.
David retired in 2008 after 8 years as president of the St. Croix Valley Community Foundation which serves the people and programs in the five Minnesota and Wisconsin counties that border the St. Croix River. He spent more than 35 years in higher education, work with non-profit organizations and involvement with communities. He moved to Minnesota in 1989 where he served as the vice president for advancement at Macalester College through 1994. During his 12 years in Idaho, David served as the vice chair of the Blaine County school board, was a director of the Idaho chapter of the Nature Conservancy and was a candidate for a seat in the Idaho legislature.
He and his wife, Katherine, live in St. Paul and have three adult children. Among his interests are fly fishing, canoeing and cycling.
Don recently retired after 35 years of service with the US Geological Survey. He was the Director of Investigation Section, coordinated technically diverse, water resource assessments and data collection activities and was responsible for initial planning and completion of these projects. Don served on many State and Federal committees, including the State Interagency Water Resources Committee, the Southwest Metropolitan Groundwater Work Group, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Interagency Work Group, St Croix River Basin Team and St Croix Basin Interagency Implementation Team. He has a broad knowledge in all aspects of hydrology, authored many reports, papers, and abstracts.
Don lives in Taylors Falls with his wife Sydney Paredes. Together, they support Festival Theatre by providing guest artists and intern’s summer housing. Don is currently First Lutheran Church council president, coordinates the Youth Maple Syrup Youth program, and enjoys woodworking, carving and maple syrup production.
Karen Ciegler Hansen
Karen is an attorney with over 25 years of experience concentrating in estate planning and estate administration. She is a partner with the law firm of Winthrop & Weinstine, working in both their St. Paul and Minneapolis offices. Karen has long been active with including Family Means, the St. Croix Valley Foundation and the Partnership Plan. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of estate planning and charitable giving, and recently authored the chapter on estate planning in the book, Mapping Your Retirement.
Jean Hoffman lives on the St. Croix River in Somerset with her husband Mark, and they have two adult sons. Before coming to the St. Croix Valley to work as an educator, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Jean makes it a priority to spend as much time on the St. Croix and Apple Rivers as possible, and that not only gives her reason to celebrate, but also strengthens her desire to protect what should never be taken for granted. Jean serves on the Town of Somerset Parks and Recreation Committee, is an Apple River Association board member, and she is involved with other groups that encourage appropriate land use, environmentally responsible practices, and wildlife preservation.
Steve Johnson has served as Associate Executive Director of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission from 1977 to 1987, where his role was to advocate for environmental protection of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers. From 1987 to 2004, he was River Management Supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, where he was responsible for natural resource management of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers, and for other rivers throughout the state. He led the interagency process from 1995 to 2002 that developed a new management plan for the Lower St. Croix. From 2004 to 2010 he was Chief of Resource Management for the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. He retired in August 2010.
He is a former member of the board of the St. Croix Scenic Coalition, and is currently President of the River Management Society. He has served on the River Management Society board since 2003.
He has lived in the St. Croix Valley since 1979—11 of those years in Hudson and the last 21 in West Lakeland Township. He has been a member of the St. Croix River Association since 1977.
John Kaul, Jr.
John has been a resident of Afton for almost a quarter of a century. He is the owner of Capital Gains, a lobby firm which focuses primarily on state issues in Minnesota. Prior to establishing his own business he was the chief lobbyist for MnSCU for a dozen years. He has been involved in public policy development at the Capital for 42 years.
John is a graduate of Minnesota State University-Mankato where he majored in political science and history. He often describes himself as “an artist locked up in the body of a lobbyist” for his greatest passions are photography and filmmaking. He formed Lightshed Productions eight years ago with Stillwater resident, Emily Haddad. They have made several documentary films including, most recently, “Girl from Birch Creek,” which is a film about the life and legacy of Rosalie Wahl. When the session ends, John is most often found plying the waters of the St. Croix River in a kayak with his camera in hand.
Verna is co-founder of Philadelphia Community Farm and Standing Cedars Community Land Conservancy. She has degrees in Home Economics from North Dakota State University and in School Administration from the University of Minnesota. Verna completed a year-long Reflective Leadership Seminar at the Humphrey Institute and a two-year Face to Face Seminar in Child Development and Curative Education offered by the Camphill Special Schools at Beaver Run, PA. She has worked in early childhood education, as a high school teacher and administrator, as director of a shelter for homeless young men, as a CSA farmer and with the Land Stewardship Project as a Farm Education specialist.
Gary Noren [Chair]
Gary lives in St. Croix Falls, also his birthplace, with his wife Martha Harding. They are minutes away from the river and adjacent to Interstate Park. This gives them many unique opportunities to play in and around the river. Gary has canoed the entire river, he’s cross country skied throughout the St. Croix watershed (he co-authored “Ski Minnesota, A Cross Country Skier’s Guide to MN and Western WI”), he’s a Friend of Wild River State Park, the Sunrise River, and Interstate Park, and he enjoys adding to his collection of all-season photographs of the riverway. Gary has taught mathematics, established community recycling and waste reduction programs, and is a lifelong environmental educator, having served 9 years on the MN Environmental Education Advisory Board. He has three children and two grandchildren – all living in the Twin Cities. Current Board involvement includes the Communications, Education, and Outreach Committee (vice chair), development and coordination of the SCRA Centennial Photo Contest, and the Great Paddle.
Tom is retired from the MN DNR. While he was there, he was a State Park Planner, a Forest Resources Planner and a Resource Manager. He worked with restoration management, both with the DNR and privately. He continues to volunteer his time with others, advising on restoration management. Tom volunteers as a member of the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District Board of Managers. He also volunteers with Take a Friend Fishing, American Red Cross, Ramsey County Family Homeless Shelter, and numerous other organizations. He has knowledge and experience with environmental education, government relations, land protection, recreation, forestry, hunting and fishing, water quality, natural resources management and policy.
Tom is passionate about the St. Croix River and the outdoors and enjoys outdoor activities year round. He and his wife Dianne live north of Stillwater, where they works on their Christmas tree farm They also have a cabin on the St. Croix River south of Marine on St Croix that has been in the family for over 75 years. They are long- time members of the SCRA.
Patricia’s professional career included both academic and non-profit work. She was Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Northland College from 1968-98 which she helped design and taught in the interdisciplinary environmental studies program. Then from 1998-2005, she served as Vice President for community and education programs at American Composers Forum, where she directed the community based music commissioning project, Continental Harmony, a model of arts-based community development. Most recently, she has worked as an independent consultant in research and evaluation to communities and arts groups. Publications include Between Grace and Fear: the Role of the Arts in a Time of Change with William Cleveland and “Converging Streams: The Community Arts and Sustainable Community Movements,” with Dorothy Lagerros.
Patricia lives in rural Washburn County on a small lake and serves on the board of Washburn County Lakes and Rivers Association; the group’s most ambitious project to date was the purchase in 2012 of a significant land parcel along the Totogatic Wild River.
Bonnie is a CPA who works with the firm of Wilkerson, Guthmann, and accounting firm, in their Scandia office. She has been with them since November 2008. Bonnie is a graduate of Metro State University where she obtained her CPA certification in 2004. She is licensed both in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Bonnie is a resident of Willernie and volunteers with several non-profit organizations. She was the treasurer for Little Treasures Childcare & Family Services from May 2005 to November 2008.
Tom is an attorney and consultant with substantial experience with nonprofit and government structure issues. For the past ten years, he has focused his consulting and legal work on helping nonprofits develop more diversified and sustainable revenue streams. He does this through group training and individual consulting.
Tom has served as CEO of four Minnesota nonprofits. Prior to that we was commissioner of three Minnesota state government agencies: Finance, Revenue and Planning. He was also an attorney with two of the state’s largest law firms and with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office. He is on the adjunct faculty of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas where he teaches courses relating to nonprofit management and finance. He is a commissioner of the Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the founder of Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails, and is a board member of the national Social Enterprise Alliance.
He has a B.A. from Grinnell College and a J.D. from Duke University. He lives on six acres of trees near the St. Croix River in eastern Minnesota.
John Velin [Treasurer]
From high school successes in athletics, choir and student government, John served two years as an Army officer, and then earned a Master’s degree with concentration in Public and Business Administration. John directed the manpower programs at Dakota county , followed by a 12 year stint as assistant director for what is now called the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources,(LCCMR) essentially, managing money and projects that help the environment. As part of an overhaul in Ramsey County government, John assisted the County Manager as director of legislative affairs for the county board and numerous management analysis tasks. John finished the last 20 years of his career as Director of the LCCMR, winning many accolades for effective and efficient administration and leadership, while managing over a half billion dollars in state money directed to specific management needs.