FROM THE PRESIDENT
As we close another year, we are in awe of how fortunate we are here in our corner of the world. Umpqua Watersheds continues to celebrate, protect, and restore our environment and community. We face many challenges regularly. Ongoing efforts advocating for the Crater Lake Wilderness protection, The River Democracy Act, and public land stewardship, protection, and restoration continue through our Conservation Committee. Our new Wilderness Committee Chair, Robbin Shindele, takes over the helm from Tony Cannon, who stepped down to focus on family and work. Robbin has much committee experience, graphic design, and computer skills. Look for his new Crater Lake Wilderness Campaign webpage soon on the Umpqua Watersheds website. Our Conservation Chair and Legal Director, Angela Jensen, also had to step down to focus on personal matters. Angela brought so many skills to the position. She will be missed, and we hope that someday she rejoins us. Diana Pace and Steve Cole remain fully engaged in the public land management issues concerning our forests, including the Elliott State Forest, Umpqua National Forest, Coos Bay, and Roseburg BLM. Cindy Haws, Kirsten Campbell, and Jessica Saxton contribute immensely to the committee with their broad knowledge and important skills. We happily welcomed new member Daniel Garcia to the group recently.
We’ve had some changes on the Education Committee as well. Ryan Kincaid has provided substantial time to the education and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committees’ efforts before becoming employed full-time in New York. We miss Ryan’s contributions, but we are thrilled with her new position! Meanwhile, Jessica Saxton is our new AmeriCorps Education and Outreach Leader, taking over from Viviana Young.
Outreach efforts continue to increase as we learn to live with the pandemic. We held our annual Banquet, River Appreciation Day, the AmeriCorps group campout, Youth Wilderness Campout, and the Umpqua Brew Fest. Some things are returning to normal. Kasey Hovik plows full steam ahead. His efforts, with Patrick Schneider, to increase the reach of the KQUA radio station are starting to materialize, showing major progress. This committee is a great way to learn about the organization and engage with activities while finding your niche.
Restoration efforts were spearheaded by Spencer Dieterich, thanks to a grant from the River Network. Spencer spent his time in the Archie Creek Fire area organizing and implementing restoration projects. Ken Carloni, the chair for Restoration, continues to work collaboratively with organizations interested in the Umpqua Rivers and fisheries. Kasey Hovik is also working collaboratively on projects within the Umpqua watershed.
Grant writing is one way we have been able to keep programs going, and it takes a lot of effort to apply, manage, and report on grants and grant activities. Melanie MacKinnon keeps a sharp eye and a sharp pencil on those grant applications and manages the office tasks and facility.
With the new year, new tenants are coming to the facility, along with new plans for repair, expansion, and upgrades to the building—more on that in Kasey Hovik’s article. While we continue to make huge advances, we still need help from our members and supporters with monetary and non-monetary donations, volunteering, and encouragement. If you have a specialized skill, we could use you. Even if you don’t have a specialized skill, we could still use your help with many tasks. They may not be exciting, but they go a long way to helping the organization further its mission. For a list of items needed, visit https://umpquawatersheds.org/non-monetary-donation-opportunities/
If you are interested in joining the board, email me: email@example.com. Remember to renew your membership. Every little bit helps! Here is looking toward 2023!