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The future is now. Sounds a bit contradictory, doesn’t it? But we know that time is a continuum, that what we do today, in this very moment, will inevitably shape the future.

That can seem like a daunting notion, until we stop and take note of the good work already being done around our community, our state, and the world: New acquisitions for conservation, new connections, land transfers to tribal nations, people with valuable knowledge being placed in positions of power.

Those are huge and profound changes, and they give us so much hope when it comes to the direction we’re traveling and how we can continue taking steps to give our Earth what she needs, what our lands and waters need, to be healthy and thrive. We can support this change, join in what is already happening. That’s why I feel hopeful, not overwhelmed.

For NCLC, we’re tackling long-term stewardship of the Rainforest Reserve, along with our other conserved lands and waters on the Oregon Coast. We’re building conceptual bridges between the ocean and the land. We’re working with other communities to facilitate projects focused on protecting local drinking water sources.

Even if the future is a little a murky at times, or not entirely known, we must do the work now. It’s the only choice, and, fortunately, it’s a good one. There is so much power contained in this very moment.

Good work is happening, here at home and beyond. As long as we keep doing the good things, good things will keep happening.

With love,

Katie Voelke
Executive Director


Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, lunches are an annual tradition for longtime friends David Paul, Karl Anuta, and David McDonald.

But they’re not nearly as threatening as they sound. They consist of the three buddies, who met during law school, meeting for several hours, enjoying good food, catching up, and deciding what causes and organizations they want to financially support that year.

According to David McDonald, who lives in Washington but has offices in Portland, each person picks three organizations to which the others write checks. In the end, each person writes about six checks, although that sometimes “gets fudged,” he says. “The picking of the organizations is totally up to each person,” he adds. Also, the person who writes the least amount buys lunch, “so there is some incentive to up the ante, if you will.” “It is a joyous event every year,” David says.

Some of them have beneficiaries they’ve been devoted to for years—including Friends of Mount Hood, Friends Foundation International, The Nature Conservancy, and Friends of the Columbia Gorge—but they also try to support different organizations each year.
Twice, David McDonald has selected North Coast Land Conservancy as his beneficiary. He started visiting Manzanita when he moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1983 and “fell in love.”

“I have spent many, many, many days on the North Coast ever since and have watched your organization grow and do good work so, that is how you got picked,” David says.

The MAD lunches, which were a natural evolution of the men’s friendship, have now been taking place for several decades.

“For people who are committed to providing some of their funds to charitable groups that share our common values, this sure as hell is a fun way to do it,” he says.