– NEWSLETTER –

Welcome to the first edition of our “What’s Happening” eNewsletter. This past quarter, WRCA participated in multiple planning discussions, and convenings with a variety of organizations including:

  • Attended the Oregon Community Foundation’s South Coast Leadership Council meeting, in which Jim Seeley is a member, discussing their next strategic focus for the south coast.
  • Participated in OWEB’s strategic planning conversation in Newport where stakeholders were invited to participate in planning their next set of priorities.
  • Joined WRCA grantee, Greater Bandon Association’s meeting as they reviewed five years of work and started a planning session for their next phase of work.
  • Hosted a meeting of the tourism workgroup and Tourism Workgroup Board as they transitioned leadership to the newly appointed board of directors.
  • Presented at The Non-Profit Association of Oregon’s regional funder forum with The Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Coquille Tribal Community Fund, Bay Area Hospital Foundation, and Three Rivers Foundation to a group of 125 non-profits regarding regional funding opportunities.
The photo above was taken at the Non-Profit Association of Oregon regional funder forum.

Regional Initiatives:

Sudden Oak Death

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and State Representative David Brock Smith created a statewide task force to work on the containment of Sudden Oak Death (SOD). In March of 2017, WRCA was invited to sit on the task force’s first meeting in order to seek a coordinated approach for the region and state to address the spread and containment of SOD. For more information on this first convening go to:  https://www.merkley.senate.gov/news/press-releases/merkley-brock-smith-convene-task-force-on-sudden-oak-death

Gorse Action Group

The mitigation and removal of gorse, through a designation of the Governor’s Office as an Oregon Solutions project, held its first meeting hosted by WRCA at the Wild Rivers Center in March of 2017. This project group, which is co-convened by Representative Caddy McKeown and Jim Seeley, met with over 25 participants to discuss the strategies for action in controlling gorse in the region. Sub-committees, the Science Team and Communication Team, are actively meeting and will be presenting their initial assessments to the full OS team at their June meeting. Additionally, The Oregon Invasive Species Council (OISC) invited the Gorse Action Group (GAG) to present at their statewide meeting. Jim Seeley serves on the OISC board, and Marie Simonds presented the history and current activity of the GAG at OISC’s March meeting.

Featured above are State Representative Caddy McKeown (right) and WRCA’s Jim Seeley (left) at the first Oregon Solutions project meeting held at WRCA.

Regional Tourism:

WRCA participated in Travel Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio which was conducted in the south coast region beginning in January through April 2017. Each month, Travel Oregon led workshops focused on Outdoor Recreation, Agri/Culinary Tourism, and Marketing to assist regional tourism stakeholders in identifying ways to deepen the impact of tourism in the region. In the Agritourism workshop, WRCA grantee Cathy Boden presented her work to date on the Wild Rivers Coast Farm Trail with great reception. Each workshop has created an action team that will focus on projects with a regional impact. Marie Simonds is coordinating the Marketing Action Team and will be assisting the group in the development of projects that will raise the profile of the south coast region.

Additionally, Jim Seeley along with Dave Lacey of Oregon Coast Visitor’s Association and Miles Phillips, Tourism and Business Development professor at Oregon State University presented to the Gold Beach Rotary about recent tourism initiatives on the south coast.

Communication:

Throughout WRCA’s strategic refresh process, we heard landowner succession planning was a topic of importance for local landowners. As a follow-up, WRCA worked with Oregon State University and the Rogue Farm Corps to have land use experts and attorneys present to a group of local residents regarding the technical nature of family transition and estate planning. This presentation was held in Bandon at the end of March 2017.

March 2017, WRCA hosted a Steering Committee welcoming six new members and seven returning members. Featured above (L to R): Christy Day (staff), Cam Parry, Jim Seeley (staff), Mark Grenbemer, Mary Wahl, Wayne Krieger, Jena Carter, Tony Roszkowski, Melissa Freeman, Al Johnson, Joe Whitworth, Steve Denney, Rick Goche, Marie Simonds (staff) and Matt Swanson.
Following the Steering Committee meeting, a member of WRCA’s Executive Committee Cam Parry, who also hosts the local radio show Hooked on Oregon, broadcasted live from the Wild Rivers Center interviewing many of the WRCA’s Steering Committee members.

Finally, our latest version of our Annual Report is now available! In this report, we reflect on WRCA’s impact over our first five years in operation. We are guided by our vision of a thriving south coast of Oregon and share in this report some of our grantees’ successes that have helped create additional jobs in the communities we serve, strengthen local non-profits, restore and enhance streams, and strengthen working landscapes on the south coast of Oregon. To see the latest Annual Report click on the image below.