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: 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:

Shire for the River Campaign Matches Donations Until October 26

Employees from Silicon Shire companies help out every year by volunteering their time to help restore land with McKenzie River Trust.

Beginning Wednesday, October 17, 2018, McKenzie River Trust (MRT) and several local Silicon Shire technology companies will launch their annual Shire for the River campaign. The campaign will last through Friday, October 26.

Nine companies have, together, committed $12,268 in funds to match, dollar-for-dollar, any individual or business contributions made during this year’s campaign period. Businesses participating as this year’s matching fund sponsors include:

Money raised will support MRT’s efforts to protect and care for rivers and riparian habitat in western Oregon.

Shire for the River will start with a Kickoff Happy Hour co-hosted by the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) and XS Media on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, from 5-8 p.m. at Oakshire Public House, 207 Madison Street, Eugene, Oregon 97402.

Maintaining Our Quality of Life

Located in the southern Willamette Valley, the Silicon Shire encompasses technology businesses of all kinds that work together to expand the local infrastructure necessary to build and grow hi-tech business in the area, and to promote Eugene-Springfield as a hi-tech hot spot.

“Projects like the Shire for the River campaign help us to maintain and improve the terrific quality of life we enjoy in this special region. That’s one of our biggest assets, and it truly helps attract great talent and great companies to the area,” said Jason Johnson, MPulse Software president and MRT board member. “Shire companies are dedicated to ensuring that what makes this place so extraordinary will always be here.”

Over the past three years, the Shire for the River campaign has raised more than $50,000 for MRT. This year’s goal is to raise at least another $20,000 to continue McKenzie River Trust’s efforts to protect sensitive lands in the McKenzie watershed.

How You Can Participate

You can donate to the 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:

 

Sharing Finn Rock Reach

Exploring New Opportunities for Recreation

The Finn Rock Boat Landing hosts hundreds of people a day in the summer months. With your help, we’re looking at adding a hiking trail and wildlife viewing areas, while protecting the river. Photo by Liz Lawrence.

In addition to rare species like turtles and salmon, Finn Rock Reach includes the popular Finn Rock Boat Landing. Throughout our first year of ownership and management of this unique place, resplendent with enormous cottonwoods and maples, spawning Chinook salmon, and habitat restoration opportunities galore, we’ve heard the question many times: Will you keep the Boat Landing?

For us there was no question: the Finn Rock Boat Landing is a key recreational asset that must be preserved. We’ll keep it open, largely thanks to the enthusiastic and immediate offers of volunteer help and financial support from the McKenzie Guides Association, McKenzie Masters, and other river users.

Now, with your encouragement we’re exploring more possibilities for public access at Finn Rock Reach, including hiking trails and wildlife viewing areas.

Walk a New Footpath through an Old Logging Camp

Huckleberry Lane leads past the area that used to be home to the Finn Rock Logging Camp. Photo by Harper Johnson.
Upriver from the boat landing, Huckleberry Lane leads into the forest. This road was once the main street for Finn Rock Logging Camp, the ‘company town’ for Rosboro lumber. Walk down the old road, and imagine it lined with 25 wooden houses, a church, and a baseball field. At the end of the road, a newly installed footpath takes you just over a mile into riparian forest. This out-and-back path offers beautiful views of the McKenzie River and is open this season as a trial run. If you visit, let us know what you think!

New Possibilities

Several challenges remain for broader public access at Finn Rock Reach. Opening the property would require thoughtful planning and maintenance to accommodate visitors while still preserving ecological integrity.

“Public access has to be able to adapt to a living river,” notes MRT associate director for conservation Daniel Dietz. “Any infrastructure has to be compatible with this river dynamism.”

On the other side of the river, the salmon spawning grounds in Elk Creek are incredibly sensitive. Opening up this part of the property to public access would require thoughtful planning. Photo by Tim Giraudier / Beautiful Oregon.
The Friends of Finn Rock group is helping us consider our options. This volunteer corps made up of interested community members has met several times and will tour the property this fall.

“Finn Rock has a significant amount of the Chinook salmon spawning grounds in the McKenzie, which is amazing,” adds Dietz. “The property has been a community resource for many years. We’re excited to now be helping to care for the land and bringing together more people to be stewards of this resource.”

What You Can Do

  • Share your feedback! What do you value about outdoor recreation along the McKenzie River? Completing our Finn Rock Boat Landing Recreation Survey will help us plan for the future of the site. Click here for the survey.
  • Join the Friends of Finn Rock! This volunteer group helps guide management decisions and care for Finn Rock Reach. To learn more and join the mailing list, contact volunteer coordinator Elizabeth Goward: elizabeth [at] mckenzieriver [dot] org or 541-345-2799 x109.

About the author

Harper Johnson is an outreach intern with McKenzie River Trust. Harper is a junior at Williams College in Massachusetts, double majoring in Psychology and Economics. She grew up in Eugene and spent many summers enjoying the McKenzie River and other wild areas throughout Oregon. She most recently did research on the Colorado River Delta as an intern at an organization dedicated to protecting special places in Baja California and is excited for the opportunity to work at a similar organization in her hometown. She is interested in outreach and communications and is excited to have the chance to explore this at a land trust and gain valuable experience throughout the summer.

Double Your Gift

Join or Renew: Donate Now!

Every gift in March will go twice as far thanks to our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs who are offering a $10,000 Match Gift Challenge. Update, March 28: We met the match! Now help us reach our stretch goal of $15,000.

Our Goal: 1,000 Members in 2017

In 2017 we’re aiming to grow our membership to over 1,000. Will you help us reach that goal by joining as a member today or renewing your membership?

Membership support is the lifeblood of the McKenzie River Trust. Your contributions give us the legs we need to get out and work with landowners. You help pull scot’s broom from the ground and replace it with big leaf maple, red osier dogwood, and ocean spray. Members both lead and join in our naturalist walks across fields, through forests, and over gravel bars. Perhaps most importantly, membership is a way to gather with others who share a love for the lands and rivers that stitch together the communities of western Oregon.

$10,000 Match Gift Challenge

Mountain Rose Herbs is challenging our members and those considering joining us by putting up $10,000 in matching funds for all membership gifts in March 2017. Give now, and your donation will be DOUBLED for land conservation in western Oregon!

Update, March 28: We met the match! Now help us reach our stretch goal of $15,000. Less than $4,000 to go.

For more information about the Match Gift Challenge, please contact Julia Sherwood, Membership Coordinator, at 541-345-2799 x107 or julia@mckenzieriver.org.

Beers Made By Walking returns to Eugene

Photo by Trask Bedortha

Drink up the land. That’s what four local breweries and a cidery are hoping you’ll do on December 1st when Beers Made By Walking (BMBW) returns for a Eugene-based release party at The Bier Stein and The Tap & Growler.

This summer we’ve again worked with BMBW to invite brewers to create place-based beers inspired by plants found on nature walks on MRT properties.

The public walks this summer on three places protected by MRT in the southern Willamette Valley taught people about native and invasive plants, in addition to private land conservation in the area. The brewers have been challenged to create a beer or cider that represents the trails they walked.

This brewers have included a huge range of styles and ingredients in their beers. These experimental beers will be a joy to experience, particularly because they were inspired by the lands MRT members are helping to protect.

The proceeds from the events at The Bier Stein and The Tap & Growler on December 1st will support MRT’s mission.

Participating breweries and cidery include:
Agrarian Ales, Claim 52 Brewing, Falling Sky Brewing, Oakshire Brewing, and Wildcraft Cider Works. Additional support was provided by Ninkasi Brewing.

Tapping event details

For more details about the event, including a link to the full beer list, click here.