Kathy Young
Prez Says from BCHW President Kathy Young

2016 was a remarkable year for me, thanks to all of you. I’m sure I have not said often enough how much I appreciate your support. I met so many people at work parties, chapter meetings and events such as the SWWP and Legislative Day. Shall I mention that I logged over 6805 road miles in 2016? One of my goals was to get out to some chapter meetings and work parties to meet and visit, and I did manage to get out to Grays Harbor, Wenas Valley, Pierce County and Enumclaw Chapter meetings. I was also able to get to Mt. St. Helens Chapters Kalama Prize ride, a Skagit Chapter work party at Les Hilde/ Harry Osborne State Forest and Tahoma Chapter’s National Trails Day project on the Greenwater Lakes Trail. I continue to represent BCHW on the Teanaway Community Forest Committee and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Recreation Advisory Group. Jason Ridlon and Darrell Wallace got me out on my first (yep, first) pack trip to the Eagle Cap in Oregon. We packed in with BCHO and FS Region 6 personnel Jeff Mast, Trails and Travel Management and Aaron Pederson, Regional Sawyer Program Manager, for a mountaintop conversation. AND (this is huge) I rode my first mule in 2016. Lily took care of me on a trip up Pollalie Ridge to help Mark Reiss’ crew saw out something like 118 logs in 1.25 miles. If I was busy, I know that you guys were even busier. I saw your photos on Facebook and in your newsletters, and I heard stories related around campfires and in meetings. We are so lucky to have this passion for the backcountry, and be able to get out there on horseback or a great mule. That brings me finally to the future, this new year, 2017. You guys need to make that New Year’s resolution to get in shape, eat right, and stay healthy because we have lots of work to do.(Tongue in cheek ;-). Though, with a 70+ percent trails maintenance backlog on Federal lands we will be able to be out camping and pot-lucking with our fellow trail partners like WTA and PCTA a lot. That will take stamina. Heaven knows we get work done, and picking the projects has long since started. This is what I would like to see happen. I will love it if BCHW members and chapters always ask the groups that you work with and your land managers for greater recognition for the jobs we do. Ask that they name BCHW in their reports to their managers and their counterparts across the state. Be specific, we want to be more than “pack support.” I have noticed in my travels across the state that our accomplishments have not been as widely publicized as they could be. Our work is sincerely appreciated with the local managers, but when the word is spread across the state within the agencies, BCHW becomes more visible. I handed the SWWP report to a ranger that I have spoken with before, and have observed an expression of amazement along with these words “You can do _____?”(Insert; build bridges, install culverts, rebuild trails, etc.Yes, yes we can. We can do a lot more than brush and cut logs out of trails.) Followed by, “We will be looking at some projects that we need help with.” Now I understand with more visibility comes more expectation, but my hope is that when more trail users see us and know who we are, that we will draw more people to us that would like to be a part of this great organization. Another perk of greater visibility and name recognition can be donation dollars from outside sources. Those donation dollars are important. Just look to other nonprofit organizations to see that correlation. So please, toot your own horn, appoint a media person, buy orange trail crew shirts from the BCHW store and outfit your crew, so there is no question who it is out there fixing trails. Also in 2017 we will be looking into using some of the resources that BCHA has developed and is developing. Our BCHA management company has tech tools and other ideas that we can use to our advantage. We hope some of these will make life simpler for us. We have already had several members invited to join conference calls to learn about these resources. I am hopeful that some innovative ideas will be generated from these calls. You will hear more about this as it develops, and as we set up more calls for members to join. Last, but not least, get out your calendars and start planning for Leadership training; January 14 in Moses Lake, February 4th in North Bend. Legislative Day will be Feb 15, in Olympia, so start now to set your appointments with your legislators. And Rendezvous, March 17, 18, and 19 at the Kittitas Valley Event Center. It’s going to be fun!

Kathy Young, BCHW President

You can contact Kathy at: 

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