Board interview with Jim Huber

Board member Jim Huber has a lot of experience with urban planning having served with both the Grants Pass and Medford planning departments. Now retired, Jim and has been part of the Land Conservancy’s land committee for six years and a board member for two years. We asked, “What keeps you engaged in the work of the Land Conservancy for so many years?”

I have always been interested in environmental issues and working to address them. I have been a long time member with The Nature Conservancy and I started to think more about my own county and this local area. I wanted to have a greater impact on a local group and that is how I came to the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. What keeps me coming back is the people. The staff, the board members, the volunteers you meet, from all walks of life, have been amazing. And we all know that the work we are doing, these challenges, are not going away. So we are all very clear on why we are here and that we want to make a lasting impact.

For instance, I remember one of the clean-up groups (work parties) and meeting a Native American man who shared his story of being taken from his family in one of the government programs. And meeting a woman who had a PhD in botany from Yale. Here we all were together removing Scotch broom all day. It was really great.

Another thing that keeps me engaged is the learning aspect. I am just scratching the surface in understanding the complexity of land conservation in terms of biodiversity and what it means to have a functioning ecosystem. Going on a hike with an expert in birds or plants, sitting down and talking with land owners, seeing some of these places, it makes you fall in love with southern Oregon all over again.

If there is just one thing I want people to appreciate, it’s that the hikes, the easements, the book club, the clean-up crews… all of it is very important. The work that the Land Conservancy does is important for future generations. We have to think about sustainability today. What I tell people is that the Land Conservancy is creating healthy ecosystems one easement at a time.

July 17, 2019

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