A note from Greg Williams and how the shutdown has effected our Cody Anderson, our speaker last week.

The recent shutdown of the Federal government hit home for the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. Our Lakes Basin projects, which are funded via Federal money, were halted immediately. The Mount Hough OHV trail project was also compromised – we will be able to perform trail maintenance as this is a state funded project, but we will not be able to process payments. As a result, we have had to temporarily lay off 8 of our loyal and hardworking trail crew. To put it bluntly, that sucks.

However, thanks to grants from Patagonia and REI, we are able to continue working on the REI funded Pack Saddle trail project and the Patagonia funding will allow us to continue to make some magic happen in the Lakes Basin. At times like this, with no clear idea about when and how the Federal government may get back to work, the support of our partners and members becomes more crucial than ever, and we cannot thank you all enough for having our backs.

We can’t say it often enough: Thank You.

The Shutdown Blues is also an opportunity for us to start talking about how the future may shape up. We have been candid in the past about the long-range forecast not being too rosy in terms of Federal funding. Grant money is drying up, and new grants are fewer and further between. This is a cyclical occurrence, and it tends to follow phases of recession pretty closely. So, in the long run, that situation is likely to improve again, but as far as the next few years are concerned, source money for a non-profit like ours is going to get stretched thin.

To that end, we are going to start assertively growing our membership base. You, our members, are our backbone. The more of you there are, the more work we can get done. We are going to be asking you to stay involved, and to bring your friends. We are going to increase the number of our fundraising events, and we are going to incentive you to spread our gospel the old fashioned way – by showering you with swag, staging good parties, and pouring beer down your throat. Hell, we might even run some pledge drives – “As soon as we hit our funding goal today, we’ll start building the next ten feet of trail. Henry’s standing by the phone waiting for your call…”

Okay, maybe not the pledge drives, but we’re serious about the other stuff. We’ve got a lot of work to do, as always, and we are going to need your help. As always.

And really, we can’t say it often enough: Thank You.