If you've followed our work over the years, you know the Deschutes Land Trust studiously avoids entanglement in politics. Yet judging from the conversations I've had over the past 48 hours, there is an elephant in the room that I can't avoid. Consequently, I want to be clear that these words are my own.
This week brought the end of a long and rhetorically turbulent and polarizing campaign season. With it comes a new president who promises radical change for the country and by extension our environment. Here at the Land Trust we know that all elections bring change--some large, some small. We've watched over the years as new administrations changed the incentives for conservation, established or disbanded conservation programs, or re-directed our federal partners. And while we've all heard the campaign rhetoric, it's simply too soon to understand the true extent of the change ahead and that uncertainty feeds our anxiety and fear.
Yet, I hope that you can find some measure of comfort in knowing that the permanence of private land conservation and the Land Trust's commitment to our local communities will never change. We can weather shifting political winds, because we work with willing landowners on voluntary, but permanent agreements. Our work is based upon the concept of perpetuity--not just the next 4 years.
Your support has been steadfast through thick and thin because you believe in the values of community and of conserving land for today and tomorrow. Together we have made Central Oregon a better place for the people and wildlife that will need it in the future. For this we are eternally thankful.
As we look towards the future and the changes that will undoubtedly come, we take heart in knowing that land conservation is grounded in place--this place we all call home. That's not a partisan concept belonging to one party or the other. And when we come together and find common cause, our collective efforts can make amazing and beautiful things happen at home--in our favorite meadows, forests and creeks. So lend a hand, and let's keep working to make Central Oregon a better place for all us.
From the Director
Nov 11, 2016Executive Director Brad Chalfant reflects on the election and this place we call home.