Reliving Oregon’s Bounty Event
By Willamette Partnership staff
On May 31, 2018, Willamette Partnership held its annual fundraiser event co-hosted with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde at the World Forestry Center, and it was a blast! More than 150 people from over 60 organizations, agencies, and businesses joined us in celebrating conservation taking place on Oregon’s farms, ranches, and forests–our working lands. It was an evening of celebrating “rugged cooperation,” as Willamette Partnership Executive Director Bobby Cochran said, playing on the words of Wallace Stegner who challenged the myth of the rugged Western individual:
“One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery.” – Wallace Stegner
Three speakers who know about working the land in different rural corners of Oregon shared how inextricably linked strong, vibrant communities are to healthy landscapes: Mark Webb, executive director of the Blue Mountains Forest Partners, a forest restoration collaborative on the Malheur National Forest, and Pat Dudley and Mimi Casteel, of Bethel Heights and Hope Well vineyards, who are fighting to protect and restore native oak habitat in the Willamette Valley.
Among the smiles, new connections, and good conversations, guests enjoyed delicious foods prepared by Chef Matt of Sybaris Bistro and his team, live bluegrass music from Chill Monroe, and wine from vineyards that have signed the Oak Accord. Thanks to our amazing supporters and sponsors, $60,000 was raised to support Willamette Partnership’s work increasing the pace, scope, and effectiveness of conservation for people and nature in the West!
Scroll the photo gallery below to relive the night with us (Photos by Harmony Burright):