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Agency Leadership

Jim Paul photoJim Paul, Agency Director

Before being appointed director in February 2016, Jim Paul served as one of the agency’s three assistant directors for nearly six years.

The Director’s Office oversees administrative responsibilities for the State Land Board and directs the operations and policies of the agency. Legislative coordination, policy development and agency communications are located in the four-person office. 

The DSL Director also oversees the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, a 5,900-acre natural area located in the Coos estuary on the south coast of Oregon. The Reserve was designated in 1974 as the first unit of the national reserve system, and is a state/federal partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Reserve’s governing body is the South Slough Management Commission whose members are appointed by the Governor. The DSL Director serves as chair. 

Jim's career in public service began in 1996 in the Oregon Department of Forestry’s forest practices monitoring program. He went on to serve as the hydrologist for the agency from 1999 to 2003, providing technical and policy support on water quality and forest riparian protection rules and initiatives. 

In 2006 Jim was appointed State Forests Division Chief at Forestry, and then to Private Forests Division Chief in 2008. He came to State Lands in 2010 to oversee the Land Management Division. Since an agency-wide reorganization in 2014, Jim has been the assistant director of the Common School Fund Property Program. 

During his tenure at DSL Jim has overseen a number of agency initiatives, including the 2012 Real Estate Asset Management Plan, the Remediation Rules Advisory Committee for state-owned waterways, the Filled Lands Advisory Group, the remodeling of the DSL headquarters office, and the Elliott State Forest project. 

Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Whitman College and a Master of Science in Forest Hydrology from the University of Washington.

Photo of Bill Ryan

Bill Ryan, Deputy Director for Operations

Aquatic Resource Management Program

The Aquatic Resource Management Program conserves and protects waters of the state and public access to state-owned waterways. The program has four core functions: 1) regulating removal-fill activities in waters of the state; 2) managing mitigation programs, including mitigation banking and payment-in-lieu programs; 3) managing the state’s aquatic resource planning program; and 4) issuing authorizations for use of and overseeing navigable waterways to protect public trust rights.

The Deputy Director supervises three regional managers, and a policy and planning manager. Most program staff is located in the Salem headquarters office; three resource coordinators work out of the Bend Field Office, and one works out of the Southern Region.

Real Property Program

The Real Property Program staff, mostly located in the Bend Field Office, oversee implementation of DSL’s Real Estate Asset Management Plan, as well as agency land sales, exchanges, authorizations and planning. Bend Field Office staff perform annual rangeland inventories on 30,000 of the more than 600,000 acres of rangelands to collect data relating to vegetation types, soil types and general rangeland health conditions.

The Deputy Director supervises the Bend Field Office Manager, who oversees real property functions.

Photo of Cynthia Wickham

Cynthia Wickham, Deputy Director for Administration

Business Operations and Support Services Program

The Business Operations and Support Services program is responsible for DSL’s agency-wide support functions, providing accounting, budget, human resources, rulemaking, clerical support, and information technology services. The BOSS also provides oversight of DSL-managed funds, audits and properties. It includes the following sections: Information Technology, Finance, Human Resources, and Support Services.

Trust Property Program

The agency’s Unclaimed Property unit is the depository of record for unclaimed and presumed abandoned property and funds. Unclaimed funds are held in custody in the Common School Fund. Tangible personal property, primarily from abandoned safe deposit boxes, is held for a minimum of one year, and then publicly auctioned. All unclaimed property (and the proceeds from the sale of property) is available for claim by the owners or their heirs forever. 

The Department of State Lands is the court-appointed personal representative for the administration of estates of people who die without a will and without known heirs. After 10 years, if no will is located and there are no apparent heirs, estates proceeds are deposited permanently in the Common School Fund.

Five managers – Fiscal, Human Resources, Information Systems, Support Services and Trust Property – report to the Deputy Director, who also oversees the agency’s Key Performance Measures and budget development.


Jim Paul
Phone: 503-986-5224

Bill Ryan
Deputy Director for Operations
Phone: 503-986-5259

Cynthia Wickham
Deputy Director for Administration
Phone: 503-986-5227

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