Spring, that wonderful time of year when skies are often blue, trees leaf, flowers appear, birds and other fauna increase their activity—reminds us of the beauty of the northwest. Beautiful Kiana Lodge will again be the site of Great Peninsula Conservancy’s annual spring fundraising dinner on May 2nd, featuring guest speaker Guido Rahr, a salmon dinner, and ever-popular appetizers with the return of Taylor Shellfish’s oysters.
My husband and I first became aware of GPC while hiking and noticing stands of large trees, mature salal, blueberry bushes, red huckleberry, Oregon grape, and a sign saying Preserved by Great Peninsula Conservancy. After doing some research, we couldn’t believe that here was this great organization right in our backyard.
These are perilous times for our environment. Salmon are an important part of a complex interdependent ecosystem that when strained by human activity and changing climate struggle to survive. Salmon are not only important to the survival of many other species but also play a role in our nation’s economy. According to a 2016 NOAA Fisheries Economic Report, commercial and recreational fishing supported 1.7 million jobs nationwide and contributed 100 billion dollars to the United States GDP.
We are grateful for the tremendous efforts of GPC’s talented staff: Cindy Moore, Jonathan Decker, Erik Pedersen, Brenna Thompson, Katherine Tacke, Claire Voris, and the many volunteers and members led by Sandra Staples-Bortner who all undertake to maintain the health and vitality of our remaining wetlands, shorelines, and forests.
GPC’s Spring Dinner fundraiser is the perfect time to celebrate GPC’s accomplishments and contribute to ensuring that the bounty that sustains us continues into the future. Our Spring Dinner speaker Guido Rahr, President of Wild Salmon Center, will give us a glimpse into his organization’s efforts to proactively manage and protect the strongest remaining salmon populations around the Pacific Rim. With their partners, Wild Salmon Center has protected 7 million acres in North America and 31 rivers managed for wild fish. In 2015 Wild Salmon Center launched Ocean Outcomes, a global fishery improvement organization working with commercial fisheries and local communities worldwide to restore at-risk fisheries.
Every time GPC preserves another piece of undeveloped property reminds me of a quote from Rachel Carson: “In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”
Pat Weagant is a GPC board member, the events committee chair, and a longtime friend and supporter. To find out more about supporting GPC at this year’s Spring Dinner, visit our event page.