My grandfather was a water guy, who was either just retired or about to retire from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and somewhere in the back of my mind I think he helped hand-build the Colorado River Aqueduct. Which isn't entirely true, but it's what I remember.
He was also an outdoorsman, and a staunch supporter of the Federal government, and he and my grandmother spent much of their lives taking their kids -- my dad, my aunt and my uncle -- on long-distance trips to enjoy the National Forests and Parks far from the growing urban sprawl of Los Angeles. They didn't have much in the way of disposable income, and the lands managed by the Forest Service and the Park Service provided a way to enjoy the natural resources that abound in the western part of this country.
|Father and son in the San Bernardino. Courtesy USFS.|
Since then, I've become much more active in PAS. Though I'm not in an official leadership role, it's not in my nature to stand by and just let things happen (or not happen), and I hope that with the hard work of many folks, we are beginning to emerge from a very challenging time. There is still an incredible amount to do, and some open questions and ambiguity that make this very difficult, but there are also some very clear milestones and goals that we need to achieve to lay a stronger foundation for the future, and I believe I can help get us there. Just in the last few weeks, we've already seen some positive things start to happen, and I want to build on what we've accomplished.
So that's what's going on. Nominations were last evening, with elections in August and the term beginning Sept. 1. In the meantime, I'm going to be working my butt off to get some things going, even if I don't have a title to my name. I am doing this with full blessing from my wonderful wife, who continues to amaze me with all that she supports -- I trust that she, too, believes in what PAS can become. Because in my mind's eye, I have this vision of my Dad, pants rolled up to his knees, standing in a Wash Creek or Mills River with Kate and Daniel, cake pans in hand, swishing away the sediment and looking for shiny flecks of gold. And it's the work we do now, starting in 2012, that will make that a reality.
In announcing my candidacy, I prepared a short document that utilizes the current chapter by-laws as a way to illustrate my vision, as well as including some goals and activities and a brief bio. It's far from final -- we have a lot of outreach to do with our membership -- but it provides a starting point and an introduction. These are some of the ideas I have for Pisgah Area SORBA: