Valerie Minton has been named executive director of the Sonoma Resource Conservation District.

Minton succeeds Kara Heckert. He served as the district’s executive director from 2006 until last month. She has served as acting director since then and before that was the district’s program director.

The nearly 10 year district employee is credited in the announcement for working in district operations, finance, development, and partnership building as well as bringing ”in millions of dollars in program funding to support the RCD’s mission.”

“I am honored to take the helm of an organization whose mission I believe in so deeply,” stated Minton in the announcement. “I am grateful for the trust that the board and staff have placed in me and look forward to my future work with this amazing team. Continuing to improve and expand our programs, to listen to the community and strive for excellence, will enable us to play an integral role in solving our county’s most pressing natural resource issues.”

Most recently, the agency has been involved in helping to fashion a new regulatory framework for groundwater in Sonoma County, as part of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which seeks to regulate groundwater for the first time in California when the law goes into effect in 2022.

Sonoma Resource Conservation District is the lead agency among five in working toward forming the Petaluma Valley’s “groundwater sustainability agency.”