Gathering Our Voice

The Nature Conservancy of Washington

This Gathering Our Voice project celebrates the 50 year anniversary of The Nature Conservancy in Washington.

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals and natural commuities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

This page contains photos and excerpts from the interviews gathered this year that highlight the people and path of this conservation organization for the past half century. Meet people at the top of the page. To learn about the path, scroll farther down the page for a timeline with milestone events and interview excerpts. (Click on photos for a larger view and use the Flash player or links marked (MP3) to hear the excerpts.)

PEOPLE

Louis Messmer

Louis Messmer talks about stewardship. Stewardship (MP3)

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Louis Messmer talks about stewardship values. Values (MP3)

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Louis Messmer talks about keeping his nose to the ground. Nose (MP3)

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Doug Peters

Doug Peters talks about hope for the future. Hope (MP3)

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Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald talks about coming to the area. Come here (MP3)

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Gene Fitzgerald talks about the conservation ethic. Ethic (MP3)

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Gene Fitzgerald talks about learning stewardship values. Values (MP3)

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Tony Angell

Tony Angell talks about coming to Washington. Come here (MP3)

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Tony Angell talks about stewardship. Stewardship (MP3)

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Tony Angell talks about choosing The Nature Conservancy. Why TNC (MP3)

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Tony Angell talks about staying connected with The Nature Conservancy. Staying connected (MP3)

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Nancy Nordhoff

Nancy Nordhoff talks about grounding. Grounding (MP3)

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Nancy Nordhoff talks about an early bond with nature. Early bond (MP3)

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John Roskelley

John Roskelley talks about connecting with Washington. Connecting (MP3)

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John Roskelley talks about an early bond with nature. Early bond (MP3)

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John Roskelley talks about joining The Nature Conservancy. Joining TNC (MP3)

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John Roskelley talks about The Nature Conservancy people. TNC people (MP3)

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Rick Leaumont

Rick Leaumont talks about an early conservation drive. Early drive (MP3)

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Rick Leaumont talks about joining The Nature Conservancy. Joining TNC (MP3)

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John Rose

John Rose talks about Washington as home. WA Home (MP3)

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John Rose talks about working together for conservation. Conservation Center (MP3)

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John Rose talks about stewardship. Stewardship (MP3)

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John Rose talks about The Nature Conservancy people. People (MP3)

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John Rose talks about the legacy of conservation. Conservation Legacy (MP3)

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Patty Rose

Patty Rose talks about an early interest in nature. Early Nature Interest (MP3)

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Patty Rose talks about stewardship. Stewardship (MP3)

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Patty Rose talks about being positive. Positive (MP3)

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Patty Rose talks about taking action. Take Action (MP3)

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PATH

1951
The Nature Conservancy incorporated as a non-profit organization

1959
Washington chapter of The Nature Conservancy forms


Louis Messmer talks about Alcorn and Carlisle Lakes. Lakes (MP3)

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Louis Messmer talks about prioritizing conservation. Prioritizing (MP3)

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Tony Angell talks about starting with The Nature Conservancy. Starting (MP3)

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1966
First preserves established at Foulweather Bluff, Dishman Hills, Rose Creek and Waldron Island


Louis Messmer talks about early meetings. Early meetings (MP3)

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1975
Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area Preserve established
488 Chapter members


Louis Messmer talks about chapter beginnings. Beginnings (MP3)

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Tony Angell talks about the Skagit. Skagit (MP3)

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1978
Northwest Office of the Conservancy established and Eliot Marks hired as the first Washington State Director


Doug Peters talks about Moxee Bog. Moxee Bog (MP3)

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Doug Peters talks about joining the Board. Board (MP3)

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1979
The Conservancy signs its first conservation easement for Lookout Mountain in the Teanaway watershed
1700 Chapter members

Doug Peters talks about the Yakima Greenway. Greenway (MP3)

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1980
Islands of Life Campaign raises funds to purchase Yellow and Sentinel Islands


Yellow Island (MP3)

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1981
Davis Canyon Preserve established through grassland protection campaign


Gene Fitzgerald talks about Davis Canyon Preserve. Davis Canyon Preserve (MP3)

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Gene Fitzgerald talks about selling to The Nature Conservancy. Selling to TNC (MP3)

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Gene Fitzgerald talks about pride in heritage. Heritage (MP3)

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1983
5200 Chapter members

1986
9000 Chapter members

1987
Legislation to protect the Hanford Reach introduced in Olympia

1988
Volunteers begin restoring South Sound prairies


Nancy Nordhoff talks about prioritizing investments. Prioritizing (MP3)

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1989
Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program created

1991
Washington Chapter 4th largest membership in nation


John Roskelley talks about Why TNC (MP3)

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1994
Conservancy initiates multi-year study at Hanford Reach


Rick Leaumont talks about The Nature Conservancy Hanford Survey (MP3)

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1996
Volunteer pool grows to 370

1997
$45 million allocated for Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program

1999
Conservancy purchases land in the Beezley Hills and Moses Coulee and launches the North Central Washington program


Moses Coulee (MP3)

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2000
Major fundraising campaign to protect Ebey’s Landing; Hanford Reach declared National Monument


Rick Leaumont talks about supporting Hanford. Support (MP3)

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Rick Leaumont talks about persistence paying. Persistence (MP3)

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Rick Leaumont talks about accomplishment. Accomplishment (MP3)

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2001
David Weekes hired as second Director of the Washington Chapter

2003
First purchase of land in Tieton River Canyon with option to buy 9,700 more from Plum Creek Timber Co

2004
Governor Locke charters Washington Biodiversity Council; campaign launched to protect Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia

2006
Conservancy partners with farmers on Skagit Delta to pilot Farming for Wildlife program.

2008
Selective thinning begins at Ellsworth Creek Preserve; volunteers contribute 9,326 hours to Washington program

2009
Karen Anderson hired to serve as Washington Program Director

Patty Rose talks about her Naches connection. Naches Connection (MP3)

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2010
50th anniversary celebration of the Washington chapter

IRIS