President’s Update Fall 2021
Greetings! I have taken the baton from Ken Carloni to be president of Umpqua Watersheds. His dedication to the organization is inspiring. He is a founding member and has been involved in the organization ever since. Other than being class president in second grade, the only other time I have been president of an organization was with the Umpqua Valley Stamp Club. This is a much bigger responsibility. I must admit that I am a little humbled by the opportunity. In researching the past presidents of Umpqua Watersheds, I saw some very admirable individuals. I hope that I can steer the organization as well as they all have done, and I hope to get the help of our board, staff, and members to do so. I have been a member of the organization since its beginning but taking a public leadership role was not possible while I was employed by the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. I have always seen Umpqua Watersheds as a voice of counterbalance in the community.
Umpqua Watersheds is at a disadvantage when compared to voices from the for-profit businesses in our community because voices in opposition to the mission of Umpqua Watersheds can usually do so as part of their employment. Active and vocal members in this community, such as Umpqua Watersheds, who are fighting for conservation, community rights, or individual benefits do so without compensation. Our passion and involvement in conservation efforts is not driven by money but by what we feel is best for our long-term persistence and livability of our community and region. Our organization has been able to persist because of our members’ support providing funds for our office manager and maintenance, our AmeriCorps, our radio station: KQUA, conservation and restoration efforts, and our outreach events. Our efforts through education of our community as we face many challenges to climate change, forest conservation, and other environmental issues are very important to ensure that information is presented from the basis of science. We have been so fortunate to have many individuals so dedicated to the mission of Umpqua Watersheds. I feel that the board, the staff, and the members are an extended family. Since my retirement from federal service in 2019, I have been able to attend many of the committee meetings. This allowed me to settle into a few categories where I believe that I can help the most. As a member of the conservation committee, I feel my expertise in spotted owl biology can assist with comments on the timber sales on federal land, management plans for state lands, or input on the state regulations for private lands. Angela Jensen heads our Conservation Committee as legal advisor. We are able to have Angela on our team due to the grant from The Burning Foundation. The renewal of that grant allows us to continue to work on conservation issues. Her continued participation allows us to build on that knowledge and experience so we can provide constructive and credible comments on ongoing projects, especially on federal land. You never know where you can help with an organization, and it can be a rewarding experience. Whatever your skill, it could be useful to the organization but if you are unable to provide time, your monetary contributions help the organization continue. We have received grants as well from River Network (rivernetwork.org) for Wild and Scenic Rivers Partnership Program, C. Giles Hunt Charitable Trust for our education committee and the Science and Environmental Education Strategies (SEEDS) Project, and the Rosso Family Foundation for our restoration committee and the Umpqua River protection and the Archie Creek (Fire) Restoration Initiative in honor of Abbey L. Rosso PhD.
Much of our effort is spent trying to acquire funding and the less time we spend on that, the more time we can spend on our mission. Join us!