Joe, you are closer to what has been on my mind. Ed, I don't doubt that people visit our site and gain benefit. You are in the best position to evaluate our overall impact and outreach. Patience is a virtue. I have to keep telling myself that.
The WNTS outlook has improved over the past few days as we have cemented our relationship with Great Old Broads for Wilderness, the San Juan NF, and a number of local folks of varying background who definitely are interested in what we do and want to help. The article in the Durango Herald has shown that. One must have patience - not one of my strengths. But also, it doesn't not pay to squander time and energy on lobbying the wrong groups. I'm taking stock of how I spend my time in recruiting efforts.
One would think that the state champion tree coordinators would be logical NTS members - every one. One would think that they would collectively jump at membership with us. What do they have to lose? Nothing, and they have much to gain. A no brainer. Maybe so, but they have not beaten down any paths to our door. Other examples could be given of unproductive efforts, but I, in particular, have to exert caution and not write off whole groups. For example, the forestry folks. Here, I'm coming to see that it is a question of strategy. Recruiting foresters by attempting to go through, say SAF or a state-level equivalent, is likely to produce nothing. However, individual foresters with a known interest in big trees is a group well worth pursuing. Individual foresters could be some of our most productive members especially in alerting us to sites and trees. The trick is getting in contact and dealing with them on a one-on-one basis. That's the key, and I think we'll gain traction in 2013 out here in Durango.
One group that I'm writing off is the academic foresters - again, individuals not withstanding. I once thought the academics would be a good group to pursue. But they show little interest. What we do is very peripheral to their interests. It isn't about whether they are busy ot not. You find time for what is important to you, and avoid what isn't.
The American Forests route is showing great potential. For years, we could get nothing started and now it's about to take off. Again, patience is a virtue.
The LTI connection is growing rapidly. We're positioned to have a real partnership.
The tree-climbers are an exciting group with many possibilities for collabration. Lots to be optimistic about here.
Well, enough babbling for now.I'll save up some babble for tomorrow.
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest