Member Spotlight: XS Media

The Shire for the River campaign continues through October 26! Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Stephen Parac, COO of XS Media, shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust.

Stephen Parac shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust

Stephen is COO of XS Media, one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

We all live in Oregon for a reason. We have many roots and we have family here. But ultimately, it’s a choice to live in this community, and we’re really blessed to be at the convergence of the McKenzie and Willamette.

What about McKenzie River Trust’s mission appeals to you?

I fell in love with what McKenzie River Trust does for our community. It felt like a calling, and it was something that I couldn’t ignore. It’s the water that we drink. Keeping it clean and preserved is really important. And McKenzie River Trust does so much more. They also take care of the areas around the water streams, do restoration work, build access with boat landings and more. I’ve taken advantage of hiking and watched salmon spawning, and those are the things that McKenzie River Trust protects.

How does McKenzie River Trust’s work impact you as a business owner?

As a business owner, you think about ways to have an impact, and of course, also about how to best serve your employees. We have people who like to fish on the McKenzie and hike on the McKenzie and just drive down the McKenzie. It’s so beautiful. Our employees are very passionate about doing restoration work. It’s a community-building experience for our own organization and it helps us bond with one another.

What do you wish people knew about McKenzie River Trust?

McKenzie River Trust does a lot of large real estate transactions. The goal is to preserve as much of that riverfront property as possible and return it to healthy conditions to help our water source and the wildlife. I would encourage anybody who’s interested in the outdoors to go visit Finn Rock, walk the trails, and look at the McKenzie. I think that they will fall in love with it like I have—and like so many of our employees have.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

Member Spotlight: Palo Alto Software

The Shire for the River campaign continues through October 26! Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Sabrina Parsons Palo Alto Software
Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software, shares why she supports McKenzie River Trust.

Sabrina Parsons shares why she feels businesses should support McKenzie River Trust

Sabrina is CEO of Palo Alto Software, one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

It’s important for businesses to support organizations that are effective in our community. There’s so much going on in our world right now, and I think people can feel a little helpless about what they can do. Supporting McKenzie River Trust is a way to affect something immediately in a very positive way.

What about McKenzie River Trust’s mission appeals to you?

McKenzie River Trust is working on projects that make a direct impact, whether it’s river cleanup or buying land to preserve or protecting our drinking water source. It’s an organization that’s really thinking long term—but at the same time, their work affects the short term and allows people to participate in change that feels immediate.

How does McKenzie River Trust’s work impact you as a business owner?

Our employees want to work for a company they feel has the values and a mission they can relate to. It’s important to so many of our employees that we participate in a positive way in our community. It’s part of who we want to be as a company, and it’s something we can do by working with organizations like McKenzie River Trust.

What do you wish people knew about McKenzie River Trust?

The McKenzie River Trust is protecting the water we actually drink. I don’t know that a lot of people realize when they’re on the McKenzie River that it’s that same water that comes through their pipes. I think everyone should know that, and hopefully it will inspire everybody to be a little more involved in any way they can—whether helping with river cleanup, educating yourself, or giving money so McKenzie River Trust can do more of the work that they’re doing.

Why do you think people should contribute to the Shire for the River campaign?

Because more businesses are on board this year, the match is going to be bigger. When you contribute one dollar, it’s actually two dollars. That’s a compelling reason to give today. Your donation will go farther.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

Member Spotlight: Twenty Ideas

The Shire for the River campaign continues through October 26! Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Mike Biglan Twenty Ideas
Mike Biglan, CEO of Twenty Ideas, shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust.

Twenty IdeasMike Biglan shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust

Mike is CEO of Twenty Ideas, one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

It’s really concerning to our family to see what’s happening to the planet. McKenzie River Trust has a unique perspective on creating a barrier around the rivers—which are really the arteries and veins of the planet—to protect those rivers. The McKenzie River affects us in so many ways. It’s something that really is integrated into everything we do.

What about McKenzie River Trust’s mission appeals to you?

It’s not just about the clean water and the fish and preventing run off. It’s not just one single benefit, but a reminder of all the things that the river is able to provide. Growing up here, so many amazing things that I take for granted tie in with the McKenzie. I got married in Vida. I went river rafting as a kid. And now my children do that too.

What are the long-term benefits of supporting McKenzie River Trust’s work?

I have an eight-year-old and a ten-year-old. With the fires becoming the new normal and all the different weather events that are very likely related to the climate, we need to put money into supporting anything that makes a healthier planet. It’s something that I want for my kids and for all the other kids of their generation. At the very least, they really deserve to have what we have—if not much more.

What do you wish people knew about the Shire for the River campaign?

The Shire for the River campaign shows other businesses, employees and clients that you’re a business that cares about the planet, the world and the people. With this money, it’s very specific and targeted. This money will protect square feet and acres that will be a buffer, one that you can walk on with your kids. And it’s going to be there for a long, long time.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

Member Spotlight: MPulse Software

The Shire for the River campaign is raising money for the lands and rivers of western Oregon from October 16-26. Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Randall Brous and Jason Johnson of MPulse Software share why they support McKenzie River Trust.

Jason Johnson and Randall Brous share how they believe McKenzie River Trust’s work impacts our community

MPulse SoftwareJason is president of MPulse Software and a McKenzie River Trust board member. Randall is CTO of MPulse Software. MPulse is one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

JASON: It’s water, right? It’s our source of water that keeps us alive every day. I think that’s easy to rally around. It’s something that we all recognize is important. And it’s something that, quite frankly, is sacred to all of us—tech businesses and other businesses alike here in Eugene and Springfield.

RANDALL: We all have a responsibility to give back to the area that we live in. It’s important to help recover, restore and protect it—for the way we want it to be now and the way we want it to be for our children. That’s part of being a responsible business.

What do you wish people knew about the McKenzie River Trust?

JASON: Sometimes people ask me, “What does McKenzie River Trust do?” We still have a long way to go as an organization in educating people about the Trust. The basic mission is to preserve riparian habitat along Oregon’s rivers. We want to restore habitat for wildlife. We want to provide clean drinking water for the future, for your grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren. And we want to provide recreational access—like the Finn Rock boat landing on the McKenzie—so people get out there and understand what they’re protecting.

How does McKenzie River Trust’s work impact local businesses?

JASON: The clean water that comes from the river makes this area a great place to live. You have all these fantastic recreation opportunities. You have the scenery itself. The privilege of living in a place with rivers like the McKenzie adds to the quality of the community. I think local tech leaders really understand that. It attracts employees, and it makes this a great place to live.

RANDALL: When we hire someone, and they come here because of the quality of life, they’re going to bring along their family. They’re going to need to go to the grocery store, to buy clothing, to buy a car, to buy a house. All these things are interconnected. When McKenzie River Trust and the tech community help protect the water here in the Willamette Valley, it works for all businesses. Everything is interconnected in an economy.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

 

Member Spotlight: Lunar Logic

The Shire for the River campaign is on from October 16-26, 2018! Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Celeste Edman Lunar Logic
Celeste Edman, CEO of Lunar Logic, shares why she supports McKenzie River Trust.

Lunar LogicCeleste Edman shares how McKenzie River Trust’s work contributes to the local economy

Celeste is CEO of Lunar Logic, one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

McKenzie River Trust benefits our whole community. It’s our drinking water. It’s our hiking trails. It’s our riverbanks. It’s our forests. It’s the ecosystems around us. It’s activities we often take for granted.

We have our company here because our community has so much to offer. We really like the outdoors. We’re here because we can go to the river, and it’s so close. We can climb the Buttes. We can go on a hike. We can get to the oceans and the mountains. I’m really committed—and my company is committed—to keeping it beautiful for the next generation and beyond.

How does McKenzie River Trust’s work impact you as a business owner?

Technology as an industry segment has really grown in Eugene-Springfield. One of the crucial parts is recruiting staff. How are we going to bring in people for our new positions, for new companies, for new opportunities?

A big piece of that is lifestyle. You don’t have to do a big commute to live here. The food and beverage sector is awesome here. You can bike to work or catch the EmX. Nature is really close. All of those things play into our recruiting. It’s not just that we have great jobs. Our environment is one where people want to live. McKenzie River Trust is a big part of that.

What do you wish people knew about McKenzie River Trust?

We are fortunate to live in a community where we have accessible, clean water that tastes really good straight out of the tap. And it’s extremely unusual to have such a wealth of natural resources so close to a city of this size.

One of the ways we ensure that we continue to have that incredible resource is to support it. Not only will you ensure we have this wonderful natural area, but we’re going to have an economy that can be sustained. It’s Oregonians supporting Oregonians.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

Member Spotlight: SheerID

The Shire for the River campaign is on from October 16-26, 2018! Your gift goes twice as far with over $12,000 available in matching funds from local tech businesses. Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Jake Watherly SheerID
Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust.

SheerIDJake Weatherly explains why McKenzie River Trust’s work is vital to our community

Jake is CEO of SheerID, one of nine Silicon Shire technology companies offering matching dollars for this year’s Shire for the River campaign.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

First and foremost, it’s about clean water. We live a special life here in the Willamette Valley. Clean air and clean water—these things are easy to take for granted. I spend a lot of time in other areas. It’s easy for us to assume that’s the way it is everywhere else. I think we have a major obligation—a huge responsibility on our shoulders—to preserve and enhance our quality of life, because it really is special.

What about the McKenzie River Trust’s mission appeals to you?

What was intriguing to me was their interest in the history and preserving that history. That’s led the community to understand more deeply what the McKenzie River watershed is today, and what it once was. It’s a bridge to the future to make sure we can both preserve it and work to turn things back to what they once were.

How does the McKenzie River Trust’s work impact you as a business owner?

We’ve all decided to come to Eugene and stay in Eugene for very similar reasons. Those reasons are really focused on this rare opportunity that we have in this area to balance the work that we do with the fun and healthy ability to live a quality life.

What’s your personal experience with McKenzie River Trust?

Personally, I’ve enjoyed time on Green Island with my children. They learned how to cast flies without snapping lines, and they dipped into the watershed and then examined everything that was in the water. It was just teeming with life in comparison to what you see on the surface.

The McKenzie Memories event was really moving and helped me understand a little more deeply what McKenzie River Trust is doing. We saw how things used to be when Finn Rock was a giant lumber camp, when it was once a community. It has a tremendous history.

What do you wish people knew about the McKenzie River Trust?

MRT has a unique model—they forge partnerships with private landowners and understand the area really well. They’re looking for opportunities a year from now, five years from now, 20 years from now and beyond to the next generation. I think it’s a very big picture and holistic view.

I really feel it’s our obligation to be involved—whether it’s through donating, volunteering or even evangelizing. Get involved. Because this is something that really is unique to the world.

Join us!

Give now to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

 

Member Spotlight: Concentric Sky

The Shire for the River campaign is on from October 16-26, 2018 with a goal to raise $20,000 for the lands and rivers of western Oregon! Every day, we will share the story of one campaign supporter.

Cale Bruckner Concentric Sky
Cale Bruckner, President of Concentric Sky, shares why he supports the McKenzie River Trust.

Cale Bruckner shares why he supports McKenzie River Trust

Cale is president of Concentric Sky, founder of the Silicon Shire, and a former McKenzie River Trust board member.

Why do you support McKenzie River Trust?

I give my own money to McKenzie River Trust because protecting our water resource is vital to this community. We’ve seen multiple examples where other communities have been negatively impacted by having their water source compromised. McKenzie River Trust, EWEB and other organizations are working hard to protect our water source.

We all benefit from the McKenzie River. The water from our taps comes from the McKenzie River. All the beer that we enjoy here in town is from the McKenzie River. That’s important to me. I’m also a fly fisherman, so protecting outdoor places is a priority for me.

What about McKenzie River Trust’s mission appeals to you?

I like their model for protecting lands and resources in our area that are important to all of us. They buy land directly from property owners, or they work with property owners to put conservation easements in place. Sometimes that even comes with grant money to do restoration work.

I was surprised at times to find that some members of this community don’t understand that their tap water comes from the McKenzie River. We need more people in this community to understand what McKenzie River Trust is doing, where their funding is coming from, and how the funds are being used.

If we can get more people to give just a little bit of money, there’s a lot more McKenzie River Trust can do in our community and throughout our region to protect our water sources and outdoor recreation spaces.

How does the McKenzie River Trust’s work impact you as a business owner?

As an employer here in the Eugene tech community, one of the things we use to recruit people from outside the area is the wonderful outdoor experiences that we have here. You can go mountain biking. You can go fly fishing. You can go skiing.

All businesses in this area benefit from the recreation opportunities that we’re fortunate to have here. If we want to protect those resources as a community, then we must give back to the organizations that are working to protect those resources.

What do you wish people knew about the McKenzie River Trust?

When I was on the board, we said McKenzie River Trust was one of Eugene’s best kept secrets. The people who work for McKenzie River Trust are total rock stars. They are out there every day making sure that the McKenzie River—our water source—is protected, and they care passionately about their work. 

How You Can Participate

You can donate to the Shire for the River campaign by visiting the campaign website on Crowdrise, or by mailing a check to McKenzie River Trust, 120 Shelton McMurphey Blvd, Suite 270, Eugene, OR 97401. You can also donate over the phone by calling the McKenzie River Trust offices at (541) 345-2799.

Learn more on social media with the hashtag #ShireForTheRiver at:

New quilt showcases McKenzie River Watershed


“My family and I have been boating on the McKenzie River since 1981 and we love this place,” says Mary Nyquist Koons, a member of the McKenzie River Trust with her husband, James, since 2009. “As members of the Trust we discovered we could help protect this beautiful, sacred river and land with a financial gift. We hope others will join us.”

After touring MRT’s Finn Rock Reach property last fall and watching salmon spawning in their homewaters, Mary began thinking about this special place in a different way. “The stretch of river at Finn Rock is one of my favorite places in all of Oregon – and I wanted to understand how it related to the rest of the watershed.”

“I love maps, I love the McKenzie River and I love quilts. So I thought, why not put them all together?”

First Mary studied a BLM map that MRT executive director Joe Moll lent her; the river was so small that it was hard to find in places. “It’s easy to see the relationship of the rivers on this quilt map. The process of translating the map into textiles was a visual and tactile experience for me. This project gave me the chance to understand how these places fit within the bigger picture of the watershed. Now when I’m in the field, I know where I am.”

“This quilt is my gift of hope for the preservation and celebration of the McKenzie River. I hope it’s something that MRT can use to share with others to help them visually understand the river through art.” Quilt maps are a bit unusual in the quilt world. “This quilt is a great combination of what I know and love. I sew. I boat. I drink the water.”

The McKenzie River Watershed quilt hangs in the MRT office. Feel free to stop by and take in the many intricate details of place that are sewn into this beautiful art piece.

‘Safe Harbors’ for native fish

This is part of a series about the MRT members who have played a part in the incredible comeback of Oregon chub. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll share more stories of MRT members who aided the recovery.

Gail and Eric Haws

“The chub seems like such an insignificant little creature,” MRT member Gail Haws noted from her home along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River near Oakridge. But her family’s work to protect it has had a huge impact.

Gail and her husband Eric were among the first landowners to sign a Safe Harbor Agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2009. Through the agreement, the Haws family committed to protecting Oregon chub found in their ponds.

Researcher Brian Bangs from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife helps coordinate the Safe Harbor program for Oregon chub in the Willamette Valley.

The Safe Harbor program started in the early 2000s. The program allowed private landowners to take on voluntary conservation measures on behalf of Oregon chub on their properties. This allowed agency staff to work in partnership with private landowners to manage endangered species on private property as well as public land. For species native to the Willamette Valley, where land is 96% privately owned, that’s critical.

“It’s been staggering to watch a community grow around this two inch minnow,” says researcher Brian Bangs. “There was a word of mouth to it. People begin seeing what one landowner is doing and saying, ‘Well, this is really neat. What can I do? How can I get involved, too?’”

The importance of healthy floodplains

This is part of a series about the MRT members who have played a part in the incredible comeback of Oregon chub. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll share more stories of MRT members who aided the recovery.

Art and Anita Johnson

Places protected for Oregon chub are also habitat for many other creatures like Great blue herons, red-legged frogs, and Chinook salmon.

In 2007, MRT helped members Art and Anita Johnson create a conservation easement on their 28-acre floodplain property on the lower McKenzie. The land was protected for its ideal habitat for Chinook salmon, redside rainbow trout, steelhead, and red-legged frogs. Years later, researchers found Oregon chub were also using the side channels there year-round.

As more and more people studied the chub, they learned about the interrelationship between one species and the whole web of creatures that live in the river.

“You can’t allow one species to be lost without that having an impact on other species,” says Art. “I’ve been on the McKenzie and Willamette my whole life. I knew the chub was in the river and I was very pleased that they were in that pocket of our property.”

A healthy, functioning floodplain was a major help for Oregon chub. “The recovery of the chub, to a large extent, is because of natural features,” adds Art. “The way the river moves back and forth creates harbors” for fish like chub.

Like many who have assisted in chub recovery in ways large and small, Art and Anita are humble about their role. “We don’t take any credit for [the recovery],” says Art. “It was a bit of fortune that the habitat developed right in the bends of the river.”