More than a number

More than a number

You are more than a number to us

for the Siskiyou Hiker
by Gabriel Howe, Executive Director

28 NOVEMBER 2017 | ASHLAND, ORE. — There are going to be a lot of charitable transactions today. Giving Tuesday is the 24 hour period in which nonprofits assign a dollar figure to their membership, or potential membership, and run with it. And it feels, well…transactional.

That’s just not us, so we’re giving a shout out to a couple of notable supporters instead of screaming like traders in the pit on the New York Stock Exchange.

Barbara Jones, member

A picture from one of Barbara’s trips in the Kalmiopsis

Barbara grew up in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, where she has a long lineage. And we sure appreciate all the fiscal support she and her husband, Kirk, have provided over the years. But perhaps even more, we love her tales from the old days.

We’ve never met in person, but on the phone Barbara is sharper than most anyone I’ve chatted with, and quite the story teller. Click here to check out one of her stories from the Kalmiopsis.

Thanks so much for your support, Barbara. We promise to keep the Kalmiopsis wild for generations to come.

Luke Brandy, volunteer and major donor
Luke Brandy and Aaron Babcock log out the Kelsey Trail

It may be easy to suspect Luke as a volunteer. He’s big, strong, passionate, and loves being in the woods. But we didn’t expect him to become a major donor.

Luke had given up his entire spring to work side by side with our field coordinator. It was a long and cold, wet maintenance season. Luke endured it because he is so passionate about the mission.

Later in the year at a barbecue with our interns, he let some corn kernels fall on the ground and rubbed them into the dirt with his foot.

“Woah, woah, woah,” interjected intern Jenna Comstock. “What about Leave No Trace?” Was Comstock joking? Probably, but nonetheless Luke picked up the kernel and threw it away.

Then he came home and donated a thousand bucks.

“I was inspired by the interns’ ethic,” he says. “I had to do it.”

We’re really crowd driven, our revenues made by lots of smaller donations. So a $1,000 is a big gift to us. Thanks, Luke! Your commitment and generosity is appreciated very much and inspiring.

Mac Jefferson, board member and major donor
Mac, Meg, and their grandkids

He spent his career banking for big institutions like G.E. Capital, Bank of America, Wells Fargo. Now he serves as a Siskiyou Mountain Club board member. Mac and his wife, Meg, are major contributors. You may wonder how a banker like Mac got into stewardship of wildlands. He attributes it to all the change he’s seen in his day.

“If you look at hyper-connectivity, the way people don’t know their neighbors anymore, the way politics are. Nothing brings people together more than wilderness,” he says. “It brings out the best in people.”

Mac says it’s important for people to come back from trips feeling better. “We want people to feel good. We don’t rub peoples’ noses into environmental politics. SMC gets people outside. It’s just a wonderful thing.”

Thanks, Mac!

Emily Osborne, staff
Emily at Hanging Rock, Wild Rogue Wilderness

She started as an office intern in 2015, which led to a job as administrative guru and queen. Emily is the glue of our operations. She manages the office, keeps up on required filings, pays our payroll taxes on time, and keeps up on membership duties. She helps out with events, and wears a whole lot of other hats. Right now she’s busy with her newborn baby, and working from home.

We’re glad she’s getting some time with her little one, Kyler, but can’t wait to have her back in the office making the world go round. We miss you here, Emily! (And your desk is nothing like you left it.)

Rynn Hamilton, 2017 intern
Rynn in his element

In June Rynn, 18, showed up to his first day of work with a briefcase type bag, a full sized Coleman stove, and not much else. Yeah, he was unprepared, but he had his heart in it and we had no doubt he’d do well over the summer if we just got him some decent gear. So we outfitted him and off he went.

What we didn’t know was how strong of a leader he would emerge to be. Rynn took the haul, showed initiative, and helped others succeed. He admits the work was hard, describing the crosscut saw with words we’ll leave to the imagination. “But his attitude never wavered,” says field coordinator Aaron Babcock. “Rynn’s the man.”

And Rynn isn’t just an intern. He’s a donor as well.

Aaron is right, Rynn. You are the man.

Julie Martin, agency partner
Julie serves as the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest’s Recreation Program Manager. That’s double speak for the one who turns the gears between Medford, Portland, and Washington D.C. to make sure agreements and programs are in place. She’s done so much for the Forest’s recreation program since she arrived from California in 2015, and we look forward to working with her for years to come.

Unfortunately we don’t have a pic of Julie, which means we just need to spend more time on the trail together!

Thanks, Julie!

Andrea Humbert, 2015 intern

She spent 2015 restoring the Wild Rogue Loop and buttoning up another route in the Kalmiopsis. But it wasn’t easy.

“I almost quit on our first hitch,” she says. “I didn’t tell anybody, but I felt really out of shape. It was hard for me to walk.” But Andrea stuck it out and excelled. She was recently accepted into Oregon State University’s forestry school and is working toward her undergrad there. Over the 2017 summer, Andrea found herself close to home working for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest’s Wild Rivers Ranger District.

We miss her brand of sinister and sarcastic, but optimistic, humor. Come back, Andrea!

Many, many more
There is an entire community behind our work, way too many to include in a blog post. 600 some odd annual supporters. 60+ annual volunteers. Foundations. Agency partners. A cadre of seasonal interns and staff. From that donor who gives $10,000 a year to keep our programs afloat, to the volunteer who comes out for a half day, you are all important to us. We value each and every contribution, and we also value your feedback.

Thank you — thank you — thank you.