Who would not want to see their photo in the NAS Magazine article Ending on a high note? What a way to head into retirement! Throughout my 22 years at Audubon Washington it has been an honor to work with all of you incredibly knowledgeable, wise, and generous chapter leaders. It has been a long road from a kid wandering the banks of the Wind River in search of Belted Kingfishers to implementing conservation through state and regional programs such as the Great Washington State Birding Trail maps and phone apps, and the recently completed Sagebrush Songbird Survey. I recall the gasp that went around the table at an Intermountain West Joint Venture meeting as I announced that that Audubon was starting a million-acre bird survey, and now we have done it!
I cut my teeth organizing Puget Sound chapters to pass the first Growth Management Critical Area Wetlands ordinances in the state (remember WETNET and the Bulldozer Guide!) followed by marketing Public Benefit Programs to provide landowners financial rewards for preserving wetlands. My first community science project initiated at Seattle Audubon, the Neighborhood Bird Project, is still going strong after 25 years. I am pleased to have employed my artistic skills for five Audubon publications, including Important Bird Areas of Washington, the third IBA book published in the US, and presentations at four National Audubon Conventions. Expanding Audubon partnerships is a personal goal, as well as giving back to the community, hence outreach to eight tribes as new partners along the Birding Trail and joint field research and training Northern Colombia Birding Trail guides from South America.
Today, Audubon’s trajectory into climate change is the perfect culmination for the Sagebrush Songbird Survey as our data will be both relevant and valuable, and just in time for 100% Clean renewable energy siting on the Columbia Plateau. I have confidence in the terrific team at Audubon Washington to carry on this important and timely conservation work.
Thanks for all the wonderful experiences.