a full room for the REI talk

a full room for the REI talk

Dear forest freaks,

When projects on which I’m working are successful, moving forward, and making serendipitous connections, I find it difficult to report out about them. In the afterglow of a beautiful twenty-four hours spent in Spokane mid-January, I’m finally forcing myself to sit down a pen a debrief for you.

REI invited me to present about the Kettles Map Project back in December and, as a result of that invitation, the events manager graciously introduced me to The Lands Council, a local non-profit with deep roots doing conservation work in the Kettle-Colville area. After learning more about the work Marc and I are doing with the map, TLC agreed to be our fiscal sponsor which will be a huge support as we seek grant funding to get our project off the ground.

The evening of the speaking event at REI went so smooth it felt like a dream. The room was already beginning to fill when I arrived to set up my presentation and get oriented to the room. We tacked draft maps to the walls and got the lighting just right as the final seat was taken. I decided, in integrity to my true nature, to share my full story of how I became interested in working in the Kettles. This tale included episodes of listening to the voice of the land, hallucinating that I was a raven, and how I feel about the wolf killings on the range. A few friends who attended said the audience was riveted; the room was silent until I called for questions. The questions I received in response to my presentation indicated a diverse audience: “where do I go to hunt bear on the Range?”, “are you working with the tribes to include indigenous place names and sacred sites?”, “when will the map be available?”

Through our initial fundraising process, Marc and I realized there is a deep need to first educate would-be recreators on what the Kettles are, why they’re important, and the basics on what to do when they visit. We’re also fortunate to have connected with Conservation Northwest, who co-presented with me that evening at REI, and TLC throughout our public outreach work.

Looking forward to providing another update soon on the project. There are exciting pieces falling into place that aren’t yet ready to be public.