About Us

The Buckeye is an organization of family farm, ranch and forest landowners and resource managers in the North Coast Region of California. We are dedicated to the promotion, communication, and implementation of those ideals and policies that support the ecologic and economic sustainability of natural resources and open space in family ownership.

Vision Statement

The Buckeye has a vision of the future that drives our work as an organization:Ranchers and forest landowners thriving in their operations, sustainably
managing natural resources to provide wildlife habitat, food and fiber.

  •  Ranchers and forest landowners engaged in progressive practices in their land stewardship and in their businesses to ensure durable succession to future generations.
  •  Public policies that encourage and support the viability of the wise use of natural resources through private family ownership.
  • Ranchers and forest landowners respected and regarded as critical components of a healthy rural culture, landscape, and economy.
  • The Buckeye is a venerable organization and a valued partner to landowners advocating through education for the private conservation of natural resources.

Mission Statement

The mission of The Buckeye is to protect open space and family ranch land values on
California’s North Coast.

Values of the Organization

Although there are many important principles that guide our work, The Buckeye
emphasizes the following values as core to our efforts:

  • Generational Responsibility: We are committed to the long-term viability of ranches and private forests throughout our region. Our efforts are intended not only to serve landowners today, but also to serve the generations of private landowners that follow.
  • Responsibility to the Public: Ranchers have, for generations, fulfilled a critical role of preserving open spaces, and producing food and fiber. We recognize our responsibility to help ranchers and forest landowners fulfill this vital role.
  • Respect: We recognize, value, and appreciate the hard work and effort that ranchers and forest landowners contribute to their land, their businesses and their communities every day. Accordingly, we will work to earn the respect and trust of these ranchers and forest landowners through our hard work and effort.
  • Integrity: We are dedicated to fulfilling our mission with integrity and honesty while working with others in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration.
  • Organizational Excellence: We are a professional and effective organization, committed to excellence and accountable to our stakeholders, funders, and partners.



Board of Directors 2019

Chair - Sarah Mora, Marketing Director 
1st Vice-Chair - Jorie Chadbourne, Rancher
2nd Vice-Chair - Mike Downey, Retired Sheriff
CFO - Scott Downie, Fisheries Manager
Jim Able, Consulting Forester 
Ken Fulgham, Professor & Certified Range Manager
Ben Hawk, Registered Professional Forester
Mel Kreb, Organic Farmer
Kyle Lutz, Dairyman
Claire McAdams, Timberland Owner
Elizabeth Marshall, Rancher
Cody Nicholson-Stratton, Dairyman
Kathy O'Day, Rancher
Jimmie Faye-Beal, Rancher
Gary Rynearson, Registered Professional Forester

Valerie Elder, Executive Director