2017-18 Friends of the Columbia Gorge Annual Report

2017-18 Friends of the Columbia Gorge Annual Report
Autumn view to the east from Catherine Creek. (photographer: Debbie Asakawa)

Reflections 2017-18

As Friends of the Columbia Gorge approaches the end of our fourth decade, you might think years would begin running together, and one year wouldn’t really differ from others. But these past 12 months have truly stood apart, challenging and shaping our organization in ways we never could have imagined. This year's annual report tells of oil terminals stopped, land acquisition campaigns completed, fires endured, and new programs arising from the ashes. But those successes don’t tell the full story.

One of the most impressive aspects of this past year has been the quantity and quality of the people like you, who stepped up in response to the events. Thousands of individuals gave money, volunteered, and became more actively engaged. Some, like Don and Alona Steinke, devoted more than a thousand hours of personal time to fight the Tesoro oil terminal. Others, like Sarah Fish, who first became aware of Friends because of the Eagle Creek fire, have put in many weekend days this year to work as stewardship volunteers and Trailhead Ambassadors.

It was as if the Columbia Gorge, which has given so much to so many for so long, finally showed its vulnerability. In response, you and countless others stepped up to say, “We’ve got your back.” Individuals of all ages, cultures, and skills shared a fresh determination to make a difference for the Gorge.

People young and old, recent arrivals and long-time members, consistently echoed two themes: a keen recognition of how much this special place means and a strong sense of duty to care for it for coming generations. One new member summed it up best, saying, “I didn’t know I cared about the Gorge as much as I do.”

The challenges are certainly not over. But in a year when threats rose up like never before and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities presented themselves, you showed up in your activism, volunteerism, and philanthropy. And in all these ways, you became the active definition of a friend of the Columbia Gorge.

   





Geoff Carr, Chair, Board of Directors, Friends of the Columbia Gorge; Kevin Gorman, Executive Director, Friends of the Columbia Gorge; John Nelson, President, Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust

View Full Annual Report (PDF)

 

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