This year is my last as Board President of North Coast Land Conservancy. I would like to take some time to reflect on my six years in this position, as it has been incredibly rewarding.
There have been multiple achievements during this timeframe—most notably, the purchase of the 3,500-acre Rainforest Reserve, which I think will be a landmark property under NCLC’s stewardship. Recently, we also have used our facilitation skills to help local water districts and community groups in our service area purchase portions of their watersheds to ensure clean source water. We have blended the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve into our own programs, expanding our efforts to include the nearby rocky shores and ocean into our mission of conservation on the Oregon Coast. And we have taken care to ensure the stewardship of our existing properties never wavers. We also were able to continue our work through the pandemic. We talk about resiliency in conservation, and this organization provided its own resiliency during that difficult time.
Additionally, due to the outstanding work of our board and staff, we have increased our capacity to pursue large-scale projects and have become a major player in the conservation world. Since 2017, we’ve created four entirely new staff positions, and we have increased our operating budget from approximately $560,300 six years ago to more than $1 million in this fiscal year. Through your help and our development skills, we have been able to meet our goals in this area.
Aside from these tangible accomplishments, NCLC has intentionally adopted goals of equity, diversity, and inclusion into its policies and programs. This is an ongoing process, as is the vision for “community conservation.” Another focus has been to incorporate natural solutions to deal with climate change. These concepts have changed the way we look at and approach conservation, and they’re so important today in the conservation world as a whole.
Lastly, probably the most rewarding for me has been to get to know and work with an amazing group of people: staff, board, committee members, donors, and partners, to name a few. This organization seems to attract a creative, passionate group of people. Through them, I have learned a great deal about what conservation really means—both the philosophy and the science. And just when the world seems to be coming unglued, there is always joy in this work.
So, I want to thank everyone for your support of NCLC. You are what makes us able to do the great work that we undertake year after year, day after day.