Last week was a reminder of what’s really important. We lost one of our longtime, loyal CAHNRS employees. Those who knew and worked with Larry Helweg witnessed his commitment to the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) in Prosser, Wash. Larry took great pride in his work, and it made a difference for those around him. Larry will be missed by many.
Evacuations have been downgraded for those impacted by the Gray and Oregon Road Fires, but things are far from normal. Many, including friends and family of several CAHNRS employees, have lost everything but their spirits. We are still months away from being out of fire danger, and other fires are burning throughout the state. Hopefully losses are minimal, and the air quality continues to improve.
I learned a lot last week during the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Board of Natural Resources tour. I found a number of new places to explore in Whatcom and Skagit Counties and I better understand the difference between recreating on DNR land versus state park property.
I also saw the benefits of an agency partnering with users to advance shared goals. I particularly appreciated that the vans transported board members, DNR staff, and members of the public including residents, foresters, elected officials, and those who purchase logs from DNR timber sales. The mix of interests made for interesting van conversations and humanized the varying perspectives.
This week holds a quick trip to the west side, followed by meetings in Pullman. We continue to prepare for the October visits around the state, wanting to ensure a good use of time for all able to attend. We have completed revisions to the CAHNRS Promotion and Tenure Committee document and posted the new version, which is accessible to chairs and directors. Thanks to the college P&T Committee for its input!
I am making it a short week to take advantage of summer’s end and the already extended weekend. I plan to make good use of the cooler weather at the end of the week. Next week, fall seems to kick into high gear with travel, the Fall Festival, and the first home football game. I will keep in my thoughts those who are mourning the loss of loved ones and places.