Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture

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Lecture Series on “Coexistence and Regeneration”

Speakers offer perspectives from the arts, humanities and environmental sciences; share their knowledge and experiences connecting history, living culture and ecology

Our selected speakers are a great fit for our program theme this year, helping to provide fresh perspectives and new connections. Here at the Ranch,  we concern ourselves with how to instill ethical relations of production and explore the role artists, culture bearers, scientists, scholars, and researchers play in nourishing radical imagination and facilitating transformative change. The lecture series will help bring these concepts to life over the next few months.”
– Ana Varas, arts projects coordinator for Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture

Our lecture series’ theme, “Coexistence and Regeneration,” is also the focus of this year’s residency program at the Ranch, and seeks to offer a more expansive perspective that recognizes the power of diverse ways of knowing and being. Lecturers in the series offer views from across the arts, humanities and environmental sciences to share their knowledge and experiences on connecting history, living culture and ecology.

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Coexistence and Regeneration: “Rethinking Fire”

Date: September 29, 2022

Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Location: Sisters Library, 110 North Cedar Street, Sisters, OR 97759

Details: This event is free, but prior registration is required. Register here.

Speakers:

  • Ken Van Rees, artist, Emeritus Professor and Director, Centre for Northern Agroforestry and Afforestation, University of Saskatchewan
  • Marko Bey and Belinda Brown,  Executive Director & Tribal Partnership Director of Lomakatsi Restoration Project
  • Alyssa Cudmore, Wallowa Resources Forest Program Manager and Mike Hayward, Wallowa Resources Board Member

Title: “Rubbing Shoulders with Burnt Trees”

Ken van Rees (Professor of Forest Soil, ret., University of Saskatchewan, and artist)

Forests after a wildfire present themselves as very inhabitable places – often we avoid them for various reasons: a reminder of death, they are ugly and dirty, and devoid of life. Though we know that eventually these blackened landscapes will regenerate and turn green once again, there is a period of time after a fire that little coexists. But, I found a way to collaborate with these burnt ecosystems and thrive, creatively. By figuratively rubbing shoulders with the forest’s burnt remnants, I created art. This experience was transforming, and could even be considered regenerative, in terms of how it impacted the trajectory of my own artistic creativity.

Title: “Collaborative Forest Restoration: A Win-Win for People and Nature”

Marko Bey (Executive Director of Lomakatsi Restoration Project) and Belinda Brown (Tribal Partnership Director of Lomakatsi Restoration Project)

Lomakatsi has implemented restoration projects across thousands of acres of forest and miles of stream with federal and state agencies, Tribal Nations, nonprofits, private landowners, and city and county governments. This presentation will share Lomakatsi’s holistic approach to ecological forest restoration, social equity, workforce development, and building community partnerships.

Title: “Land and Community Regeneration”

Mike Hayward (Wallowa Resources Board Member) and Alyssa Cudmore (Wallowa Resources Forest Program Manager)

Mike & Alyssa will share the story of Wallowa Resources genesis, and how a community came together to find a common path forward through regeneration of both land and community. It began with a few dedicated Wallowa County residents and friends that brought the community together to put differences aside and look at the whole community; economically, socially and environmentally. They will discuss how this collaboration was able to emerge and is working to generate and implement a collective, community-based vision of long term stewardship of the Northern Blue Mountains’ forests, people and economies.

Learn more about the speakers:

Ken van Rees is a retired professor of forest soils from the University of Saskatchewan. Living on the southern fringe of the boreal forest, Ken’s career in research focused on enhancing seedling survival and growth. Ken is also a plein air painter, allowing him to connect with the natural environment from a different perspective than through a scientific view. In 2010 a forest fire burned his research plot, and while inspecting the damage, he noticed various charcoal markings on his clothes from the burnt trees. This inspired Ken to create a series of abstract works, exploring charcoal on paper and canvas. He also produced works by leaving his work in the forest for extended periods of time.

Marko Bey has over 30 years experience working in forestry and ecosystem restoration. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Lomakatsi Restoration Project (lomakatsi.org) which currently has ten regional ecosystem restoration programs and associated workforce development initiatives. Under Marko’s leadership the nonprofit has successfully served rural, forest-based communities throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California since 1995. He also serves as the President and CEO of Lomakatsi Ecological Services, a wildland firefighting and prescribed burn contracting operation; and Board President of the Southern Oregon Forest Restoration Collaborative. Marko has dedicated his career to advancing the full spectrum of ecosystem restoration, job creation, and forest-based community revitalization.

Belinda Brown is a Kosalektawi Band Member of the Ajumawi-Atsuge Nation. (Pit River Tribe). She is also Gidutikad, Northern Paiute and Isleta Pueblo. She has served Indian Country in many capacities over her thirty-year career, beginning in health care administration, human services and entrepreneurship in Oregon, Alaska and California. She spent six years as the Executive Director of Strong Family Health Center, an Indian Health Service Clinic in northern California. She owned and operated a reforestation business for eight years working throughout Oregon, Nevada, and northern California. She has also served as an elected official of her tribe, cultural representative, and as tribal administrator. During her work with Lomakatsi Restoration Project as the Tribal Partnerships Director over the past seven years, she co-developed the formation of the Inter-Tribal Ecosystem Restoration Partnership (ITERP), building increased capacity for Lomakatsi. She also serves as Public Information Officer (PIO), in emergency preparedness and for tribal affairs.

Belinda currently chairs both the ITERP and DEI Committee for the Rogue Forest Partners. She has also implemented and chaired the Tribal Advisory and DEI Committees of Lomakatsi and has served as Secretary of the Lomakatsi Board of Directors since 2017.

Mike Hayward previously worked for Wallowa County Grain Growers. He was Chairman of the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners, a position he has held for 15 of the 19 years he served on the County Commission. Prior to taking public office, Mike served as the Executive Director of the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce, owned and managed the Eagle Cap Chalets at Wallowa Lake, and was Acting Manager for Les Schwab Tire Center in Enterprise. Mike is originally from Pullman, WA and received a forestry degree from Washington State University. Despite significant reductions in forest revenue, the Wallowa County economy remains dependent on natural resources. Wallowa Resources attracted Mike because it addresses the challenges of a resource-based economy.

Mike’s wife Beverly worked for the Wallowa Health Care District, and is now retired. They have two kids, one of whom lives and works in the county.

Alyssa Cudmore is the Forest Program Manager at Wallowa Resources in Enterprise, OR. In her role at Wallowa Resources, she has helped coordinate an all-lands forest and watershed restoration partnership that spans 10 million acres of private nonindustrial forestlands, 13 counties, two national forests, and two tribal nations. She was born and raised on a small family woodland in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. She has masters degrees in Natural Resources Management and Regional Planning with a focus on rural development and conflict resolution from the University of Michigan, and a background in economic development, civil rights, nonprofit management, partnership coordination, and community based natural resource management work.

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Ken van Rees, (Professor of Forest Soil, ret., University of Saskatchewan, and artist)

Mike Hayward (Wallowa Resources Board Member)

Alyssa Cudmore (Wallowa Resources Forest Program Manager)

Through its programming and activities, PMRCAA works with artists, educators, researchers and Tribal members to support the long-term resilience of the local ecosystem. As stewards of the land, the organization relies on a deep understanding of the local ecology and the application of time-tested techniques to conserve natural resources and maintain the fertile conditions in which life can flourish. Understanding how different entities within the ecosystem interact and coexist at PMRCAA has allowed the organization to focus on preserving the ranching tradition and maintaining agricultural land. The hope is to restore PMRCAA’s soil by understanding the diverse web of relationships responsible for maintaining its fertility.