Combining more than forty years of activism Siskiyou Project and KS Wild unite in one voice to strengthen the conservation movement for the Klamath-Siskiyou eco-region
Our vision of preserving and restoring one of the most important wild places in the world, with its rich web of unique life, was born almost 30 years ago near Bald Mountain in the Kalmiopsis. Lou Gold, Pedro Tama, and Romain Cooper formed the Siskiyou Project to ensure that future generations of all species would enjoy this special place. Over the decades the work of Siskiyou Project inspired thousands to take a stand against the destruction; together we worked to reverse course, seeking a sustainable coexistence with our wild lands and rivers.
From Bald Mountain to the Rogue River, from old growth logging to a large-scale mining proposal on Rough and Ready Creek, from the Siskiyou Wild Rivers National Monument Campaign to the creation of the Siskiyou Field Institute, Siskiyou Project has carried out hundreds of actions and programs. There have been exciting times, great successes and even some tears.
Over the years many people have come and gone inspiring the next to carry the torch, and we owe them our gratitude and respect. We’d like to acknowledge a few of them – Lou Gold, Kelpie Wilson, Steve Marsden, Barbara Ullian, Romain Cooper, Kindi Fahrnkopf, Marjorie Reynolds, Julie Norman, Jen Marsden, Dave Willis, Sue Parish, Rich Nawa, Barry Snitkin, Erik Jules, and David Johns.
The next chapter for the protection of the Siskiyou Wild Rivers region will be with the newly, strengthened KS Wild; strengthened because it combines the strongest attributes of both organizations. For the last 15 years KS Wild has been at the forefront of the crucial movement to protect and restore the entire Klamath-Siskiyou. That’s why we’re confident we are uniting with a longtime partner to be even more effective at resisting attacks and making our vision a reality.
There are many factors that contributed to our decision. Siskiyou Project has long recognized a kindred spirit in KS Wild. They have fought tirelessly for what we all love and treasure, and know to be irreplaceable. KS Wild leaders like Spencer Lennard, George Sexton, Joseph Vaile, Jay Lininger, Erin Madden, Lesley Adams, and Stephanie Tidwell have been some of our closest colleagues since KS Wild’s inception in 1997. We are honored and energized to work under one banner, redoubling our efforts to protect the stunning Siskiyou Wild Rivers area of southwest Oregon. The Illinois, Wild Rogue, Chetco, Smith, Winchuck, and Pistol Rivers are surrounded by some of the most ecologically important and threatened landscapes in our region, and they deserve our absolute best efforts.
Although KS Wild and Siskiyou Project have worked together over the years on conservation efforts in the Siskiyou Wild Rivers region, from fighting against old-growth and post-fire logging proposals, to advancing forest and aquatic restoration and advocating for expanded protected areas, the inescapable reality is that having two regional groups with similar missions is not always the most efficient or effective way to go about getting things done. Combining our operations is not a new idea, but the time seemed ripe.
What does this mean for the Siskiyou Wild Rivers area and the work you support?
We have greater capacity. If you live in or love the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area, you’ll be seeing and hearing even more of us. Two of Siskiyou Project’s staff, ecologist Rich Nawa and executive director Shane Jimerfield, have joined KS Wild’s program staff consisting of Joseph Vaile, George Sexton, Lesley Adams, Monica Vaughn and Forrest English. Together they are a strong, experienced team that among other things brings new synergies to the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Campaign. The new board will also be stronger as Siskiyou Project directors Bob Hunter, David Johns, and Laurel Sampson join KS Wild’s Board of Directors.
We are more effective. Bringing together the hearts and minds of Siskiyou Project’s and KS Wild’s staff, board and membership will not simply increase our capacity but enable us to bring that capacity to bear on critical challenges facing us: permanent protections for wildlands, defeating mining proposals, and getting motorized recreation and roads under control.
We are more efficient. And of course, as we increase our program capacity and keep administrative costs low, everyone gets more bang for their buck. Both Siskiyou Project and KS Wild are proud of how much we have accomplished with the limited resources available to a small organizations such as ours. We are confident that this merger will make us even more efficient—it is programmatically wise and fiscally prudent.
We are excited about this new partnership, and hope you are, too. We ask that you continue your support of Siskiyou Project and KS Wild in our new incarnation. By supporting KS Wild you will support efforts to protect the Siskiyou Wild Rivers area. Learn more about our combined organization at www.kswild.org
For the Siskiyou Wild Rivers,
Shane Jimerfield, Executive Director
Darlene Southworth, Board President