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Hart named interim head of Ag & Open Space

Former Director of Sonoma County Regional Parks Caryl Hart was recently appointed to serve as interim general manager of the Sonoma County Ag + Open Space District. Hart will manage the district while the Board of Directors oversees a nationwide search for a new general manager to succeed Bill Keene, who recently stepped down after serving in the position for 11 years. The search is due to begin in early January and is expected to be completed by the end of April. Hart will begin her service on Dec. 1.

A longtime resident of Sebastopol, Hart is an attorney whobrings to the position more than 25 years of advocacy, scholarship and administrative experience. She served for 13 years as a member of the California State Parks Commission, including seven years as Chair. In 2014, Hart was appointed by then-Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the Parks Forward Commission to assist in forming a sustainable path forward for the California State Park System. From 2010–17, she served as Director of Sonoma County Regional Parks.

The Sonoma County Ag + Open Space District was created in 1990 through a voter-authorized quarter-cent sales tax used to fund the protection and preservation of open space areas. Over the past 30 years the district has preserved more than 120,000 acres of land in Sonoma County, including agricultural lands, community separators, scenic corridors, recreational spaces and natural wildlife habitat.

The new general manager will oversee a staff of 29 people and have an annual budget of roughly $55 million. For more information about the Sonoma County Ag + Open Space District, go to www.