President’s Report Dec 2021
Published December 7th, 2021 in President's Corner
Lately, I have been reviewing some of the newsletters from 20 years ago. Three aspects jumped out at me:
- Some of the stories from those years were about the struggles to preserve the remaining old-growth forest, prevent clear-cut harvest methods on federal land, and protect roadless areas (umpquawatersheds.org/wp-content/uploads/4-UW-Newsletter-Winter-1998.pdf). It is obvious that those struggles have not ended and will never end. So long as those trees remain upright, short-sighted and greedy people will only see those trees as a source of monetary wealth. The struggle to keep those trees upright is constant and so is our need for support, encouragement, and involvement in Umpqua Watersheds. A lapse in awareness and participation in the public land management decisions that affect our watershed have and will continue to have an irreversible destructive impact. The Archie Creek Fire was an epic devastating event, not because of the fire, but because of its extent and intensity. The entire Rock Creek drainage, a tributary of the North Umpqua River, was hit hardest. Public agencies, including the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon Department of Forestry have facilitated the speedy removal of burned and green trees by circumventing current laws. Many of the decisions being made by these agencies are driven by monetary gain rather than ecological protection.
- There was more member participation in the leadership part of the organization. Members were actively seeking ways to help. I realize that we are in a pandemic and that the outreach and member participation has declined, and I am hoping that we can remedy that when we can interact face to face again.
- We had a lot more paid staff. Currently, we are mostly a volunteer organization with limited training to deal with the scope and onslaught of issues that we need to address. We currently have grants for a ¼ time Conservation and Legal Advisor and a ¼ time Outreach and Education Director. Our board would prefer to have a full-time paid staff. We continue to work toward finding funding opportunities through grant writing. Full-time paid staff would allow us to meet our mission and goals more effectively. It is astounding what we have been able to do with volunteers, but that can only continue for so long. Our organization needs full-time paid positions for a radio program manager, legal advisor, outreach, executive director, and office manager. One way that you can help is to donate monthly. A secure funding source will enable us to focus on a longer-term strategic plan rather than short-term funding needs for our basic operations. If you have grant writing skills, you could be very helpful with those efforts. It is a challenge for sure. It is not easy being green, but thanks to our many generous supporters and donors, it can be easier. Consider joining us. View our past newsletters on our website at umpquawatersheds.org/who-we-are/newsletters/