If you are like me, you may be waking each day with a feeling of uncertainty, wondering what today’s Covid-19 news will mean for you, your loved ones, and your community. During these past two weeks I have frequently felt unmoored by the speed with which this is all unfolding.
However, like many of you also, the natural lands that surround us, and the unfolding spring season that is upon us have served as a grounding anchor for me. I have observed a delightful number of folks out ambling along neighborhood sidewalks and enjoying regional trails, as if we are collectively rediscovering the joy of a simple walk outdoors.
One of the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy’s emerging themes for the year is that of “Restoration.” Very literally, this has meant a growing programmatic focus on the habitat restoration work that Rose Richardson is leading on the lands that you have helped protect. It is also moving in the direction of the personal – restoring our own connections to the land, to our hearts, and to each other. Todd Dunfield’s “Grounded in Nature” public hikes and veterans' events have been expanding on this theme of restoration.
The “social distancing” and “shelter in place” realities of the coronavirus have clearly thrown a wrench in many of our plans, and we’ve had to cancel these sorts of activities for the indefinite future. Instead, like you, we have to get creative within the constraints necessary to address this virus. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing creative ideas and strategies for restoring your connections to the natural world in your neighborhood and backyard, and we invite you to share your ideas with us.
In the meantime, rest assured, that while working from home we are continuing to make great progress on the many land protection projects that you help support, the impacts of which will far outlast this time of hardship. Your support for the Rimrock to Riverside and Lower Coeur d’Alene River Basin project areas have resulted in continued success in both, and we will be sharing good news on those projects and more in the near future.
While this health crisis is bringing economic uncertainty to all of us, and profound hardship to many, INLC will continue to care for natural lands so that you, our community, can continue to restore your healthy connections to the land and to each other.