As Chair of the County Commission in 2020, Commissioner Heather Buch led Lane County’s response to crises on multiple fronts. As our communities faced the surging COVID-19 pandemic and the Holiday Farm Fire devastated the McKenzie region, Commissioner Buch ensured her East Lane County district received critical CARES Act and American Rescue Plan funding. She worked tirelessly with two simultaneous emergency operations centers, and she partnered with mayors and other local leaders to publicize critical and dependable public health information to all Lane County residents.
During the aftermath of the megafire, Commissioner Buch worked with an incident command team, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, and FEMA to protect Lane County families’ lives and livelihoods. She successfully secured $27.5 million from the Oregon Legislature’s 2021 Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery to support the McKenzie area’s recovery.
As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild from 2020’s unprecedented Labor Day fires, Heather Buch is committed to jumpstarting the local small business economy and expanding housing with supported services for our unsheltered neighbors.
Commissioner Buch serves on the County’s Finance & Audit Committee and the Technology Management Team, and she is the board liaison to the Lane County Planning Commission, Transportation Advisory Committee, and several watershed councils. Regionally, Commissioner Buch serves as chair of the Cascades West Economic Development District (CWEDD), Vice Chair of the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) Board of Directors, and she sits on the Metropolitan Policy Committee and the Lane Area of Commission on Transportation (LaneACT).
Buch is a strong advocate for Lane County on both the state and federal levels as a member of the Oregon Association of Counties (OAC) and National Association of Counties (NACo). She is a member of NACo's Committee on Transportation and serves as Chair of the Subcommittee on Highway/Highway Safety. She is also a member of the Women of NACo Leadership Network and Next Generation NACo Network. On the state level, Commissioner Buch is a member of OAC's Legislative Committee and Transportation & Community Development Committee.
Before her election to the Lane County Commission in 2019, Buch spent her professional career running a small real estate business for 15 years specializing in affordable housing. She also worked as the Special Projects Director for St. Vincent DePaul Society of Lane County, Inc., our county’s largest nonprofit human services organization, helping local families access and afford housing.
Living in the Spencer Creek area of unincorporated Lane County, Commissioner Buch is the mother of an energetic young daughter and wife to a Merchant Mariner and U.S. Navy reservist. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Seattle University.
District 5 includes the cities of Cottage Grove, Creswell, Oakridge, Lowell, Westfir, Coburg, portions of West Eugene, and numerous unincorporated communities.
Note: Commissioner Buch’s last name is pronounced “Buck.”