Executive Director Update
By Kasey Hovik
Umpqua Watersheds is celebrating our 25th anniversary. Things have changed a lot in 25 years. Looking back at how much things cost in 1995 is interesting. Sadly, one of the most significant changes, one that will impact every facet of our lives and that of the next several generations, is the increase of carbon in the atmosphere. In 1995 carbon concentration in the atmosphere was at 359. By January, 2020 it was 413 and current projections for the next 25 years continues with that trend.1 The forests of the Pacific Northwest provide one of the greatest carbon storage sinks on earth. These forests store 1 ½ times the amount of carbon the fossil fuels burned in our country each year.2
Over the last 25 years Umpqua Watersheds has fought for the protection and restoration of the ecosystems of the Umpqua watershed. We have worked closely with other environmental conservation organizations to update the Oregon Forest Practices Act and signed on to legislative proposals to address the threat that fire poses to our forests and our community as our climate continues to change.
One of the events vital to carrying out our mission is our annual banquet and silent auction. The 25th Anniversary Banquet and Silent auction on April 4 is an opportunity to gather our membership and supporters together to review and celebrate the work and accomplishments of our organization. It is a time of renewal and inspiration. One of our primary goals in our strategic plan is to continue to engage young people to get involved in becoming part of our organization and work with us to make a difference in our community to protect and restore our beloved watersheds. We hope to have at least 2-3 tables of young people (20-30 people) at the banquet but we need sponsors to enable them to attend. Many AmeriCorps serving in our community and UCC students would love to attend the banquet but can’t afford the price of a ticket. Please consider donating to our banquet ticket scholarship to help.
In addition to having a table at the April 11th Earth Day and Energy Fair, we will be participating in an upcoming event that celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. That event will be on Wednesday, April 22 where we will work with students at UCC to provide information about the history of Earth Day. Along with our friends at the Douglas County Global Warming Coalition (DCGWC) and students at UCC, we will sponsor a “There is No Planet B” Earth Day March downtown. We will also be working with DCGWC to do a presentation at the Roseburg Library at 6pm that day, on Earth Day, and highlight the great work of several local groups that are working to protect our planet.